If you love nature, you must visit Oklahoma. Widely known for its varied landscape, the Sooner State is home to the impressive Great Plains, beautiful lakes, majestic mountains, and lush forests! With 3 national parks and 34 state parks, the state has plenty of beautiful spaces you won't mind donning a little bug spray to see.
Here's some of the best Oklahoma Parks worth wearing bug spray for.
1. Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur, Oklahoma
Escape to the pristine waters of Oklahoma's Oasis.
Easily one of the most beautiful Oklahoma Parks, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is known for its beautiful bodies of water! From sparkling springs to cascading waterfalls, this national park is well deserving of its nickname, "an Oklahoma Oasis."
Take a dip in Little Niagra and Rock Creek or try your hand at fishing at the park's Veterans Lake. If you're up for some speed, spend the day motorboating or skiing on the Lake of Arbuckles!
2. Lake Murray State Park near Ardmore, Oklahoma
Catch a sunset at the first and largest state park in Oklahoma.
Sitting on 12,500 acres, the impressive Lake Murray State Park is the ideal spot for natural beauty and adventurous activities! The park surrounds Lake Murray, a 5,700-acre lake great for swimming, boating, and fishing. If you don't want to get wet, drive the scenic highway 77S surrounding the entire park or spend the day golfing on the park's course!
When you've worked up an appetite, stop at the Pecan Grove picnic area to enjoy some lunch. This intimate picnic area has a playground and is located in the northernmost part of the park!
3. Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Johnston County, Oklahoma
Step into the home of a diverse group of animals and plants.
With over 15,000 acres of protected land, the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge is a safe haven for many different species! Its diverse landscape includes the 4,000-acre Cumberland Pool, peaceful grasslands, lush woodlands, expansive farm fields, and wild plum thickets.
All year long, there is something exciting happening at this wildlife refuge. Visit during the spring or fall and you might catch a glimpse of bald eagles circling in the air, searching the open waters for prey! In the spring and summer, vibrant songbirds sing tunes as they pass through the refuge or stop to nest.
The forests of the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge are also home to hundreds of white-tailed deer!
4. Lake Texoma State Park in Kingston, Oklahoma
Reel one in on the state's second largest lake.
Lake Texoma State Park is special for many reasons! Not only is Lake Texoma one of the biggest lakes in the state of Oklahoma, it's also one of the best places to catch striped bass in the southwest.
Fish from the impressive lake's shores or head to the Catfish Bay Marina to inquire about the striper guide fishing services if you want to be out on the water. Lake Texoma State Park is also a great place to view wildlife, hike, and enjoy a picnic!
5. Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman, Oklahoma
Cool off near the water or appreciate nature on land.
Situated on 1,800+ acres, the Lake Thunderbird State Park is the ideal spot for both water and land activities! It features two marinas, nine boat ramps, and two beaches for swimming.
If you don't want to get wet, try your hand at the park's archery range! For the more adventurous, there's also numerous trails perfect for hiking, mountain biking, or appreciating nature.
Where To Stay When You Visit One Of These Oklahoma Parks
Situated closest to most of these Oklahoma parks is the luxurious Shiloh Morning Inn in Ardmore!
This romantic bed and breakfast offers you a secluded and relaxing getaway on its peaceful 73-acres.
The Shiloh Morning Inn is conveniently located between Dallas, Texas and Oklahoma City. It is also near many of the Oklahoma national parks on our list:
- Only 24 minutes to Chickasaw National Recreation Area
- Just 26 minutes to Lake Murray State Park
- Under 40 minutes to Lake Texoma State Park
- Less than 45 minutes to Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge
Another lodging option close to Oklahoma Parks is the inviting Montford Inn & Cottages in Norman!
Located in the heart of the city's historic district, this inn's Prairie-style atmosphere is the perfect escape when you need a quiet weekend getaway.
If you'd like to get your fill of nature, the Montford Inn is only 20 minutes from the Lake Thunderbird State Park! After a relaxing day at the park, retire back to the inn to unwind in its luxurious whirlpool bathtubs or in its beautiful gardens.
Related: Top 21 Places With Beautiful Flowers
Which one of these Oklahoma Parks would you like to visit first? Do you have any parks you'd like to add to our list?