As the rains begin to return and bring cooler weather to Oklahoma, it is time for the leaves to start turning from green to vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange. For those looking to get a taste of Oklahoma’s fall beauty, there are a number of trips and places to visit.
Peak times to view fall foliage vary by location, but are typically late October through early November. Many of the best sites are located in the eastern part of the state, but there are some in other parts of Oklahoma as well. Rent a cabin, pitch a tent, or just take a roadtrip to see the leaves in all their color-changing glory.
Talimena National Scenic Route
Perhaps the most famous spot for fall foliage in Oklahoma is the Talimena National Scenic Byway. Winding through the Ouachita National Forest, this road actually stretches all the way to Arkansas if you walk it all the way to the end. There is a lot to see on the Oklahoma side!
“Not only is the drive along the route beautiful, the scenic views provide breathtaking views for miles,” said Megan Thele, a Yukon resident who drove the Oklahoma portion of the route in the fall. latest. “There are lots of choices, but each is worth the trip to see colorful leaves through the forest, sprawling farmland, and mountains stacked in the distance.”
The National Forest also offers many options in recreational areas for camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, off-road mountain biking, boating and more, making the road a great one. option for a weekend or a family vacation in the fall. Billy Creek and Cedar Lake are two popular recreation areas close to the highway.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
A short jaunt south of Oklahoma City in the Arbuckle Mountains is the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Home to Veterans Lake and Lake of the Arbuckles, this nearly 10,000 acre expanse offers chances to see some of the best fall foliage in south-central Oklahoma.
Whether it’s camping for a weekend in a tent or RV, taking a day hike in the recreation area, cruising the lake by boat, or taking a walk on the wild side to see what animals you can. spot, you are sure to find a way to enjoy the natural beauty of fall in this national park.
Turner Falls Park
Just west of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is another gem of the Arbuckle Mountains. Turner Falls Park, located just off Interstate 35 in Davis, is home to the state’s largest waterfall.
Make sure to climb to the top of a nearby peak and get a view of the water cascading over the edge with the brilliant hues of fall all around. In addition to the waterfall, the park offers cabins, wire shelters and camping tents for those who wish to spend the night. For fun there is hiking, fishing, caves and even a castle to explore.
There are several prime viewing spots for viewing the fall colors in Oklahoma’s Kiamichi Mountains. These mountains are home to Beavers Bend State Park and Clayton Lake State Park.
Beavers Bend is nestled in the southern part of the Ouachita National Forest, along Broken Bow Lake, and offers a wide variety of amenities and activities, including hiking, biking, boating, fishing , canoeing and kayaking, horseback riding, scuba diving and more.
Clayton Lake is in the heart of the Choctaw Nation and offers hiking, kayaking and fishing as well as boating, but no water sports. Both state parks offer tent or RV and cabin rentals, including pet-friendly options.
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
If you are in the southwest of the state, there is still a chance to catch Shifting Leaves. Mount Scott in the refuge offers a view from its summit, accessible on foot, by car or by bike. Head to the top to see the colors of the refuge displayed in 360 degree views.
The refuge offers hiking, rock climbing, fishing and wildlife viewing with herds of wild bison and longhorns roaming free. Camping at the refuge is currently only available to those who have motorhomes and caravans with self-contained toilets, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Robbers Cave State Park in the San Bois Mountains of eastern Oklahoma, Grand Lake O ‘the Cherokees and the Tahlequah region in northeastern Oklahoma, Lake Murray State Park in south central ‘Oklahoma and Black Mesa State Park in the Panhandle and all among additional sites for great fall escapes. Each location offers camping and hiking with additional recreation options available in some.
“We rented a cabin in Grand Lake a few times and it was awesome,” Oklahoma City resident Michael Kimball said on Twitter. “Not as expensive as summer and the leaves were spectacular. Makes for good family photos.”
With so many options and most within a few hours’ drive of the city, you can even choose to explore more than one neighborhood. Now plan to bring a few friends or family and make the most of the stunning oranges, reds and yellows that are spreading throughout Oklahoma.