Turner Falls Park has tucked away in the quaint city of Davis, Oklahoma, which is situated between the counties of Garvin and Murray. At Turner Falls Park, there is a prominent waterfall of the same name that boasts a 77-foot drop and forms a natural swimming pool. Moreover, Turner Falls holds bragging rights to being one of the state’s tallest waterfalls. Encompassed by the Arbuckle Mountain range and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Turner Falls Park is a nature enthusiast dream come true. The park and the nearby recreation area feature plenty of easy to moderately challenging hiking trails. There are also many vacation rentals around Turner Falls, Oklahoma to choose from. With that said, check out some of the top family-friendly trails around Turner Falls.
1. Turner Falls Park Hiking Trails
If your goal is to witness the immense beauty of Turner Falls, then the Turner Falls Park Hiking Trails is the best pathway to take. The trail system is a loop that spans three and a half miles. Along the way to the top of the incredible waterfall, hikers can expect to encounter numerous little caves and ruins of stone structures. Bring a flashlight to explore one or all of the caves. Moreover, as some parts on the trail can be rocky, this hike may be more appropriate for older kids, rather than very small children.
2. Veterans Trail
An almost three-mile round trip, the Veterans Trail at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area winds around the picturesque Veterans Lake. The path leads through oaks and red cedars, as well as wildflowers and prairie plants like prickly pear cactus and blue gamma grass. Occasionally, hikers may catch a glimpse of a friendly armadillo or white-tailed deer.
3. Bison Pasture Trail
The Bison Pasture Trail is a loop that falls just under two miles in length. Since there is some elevation on the path, it may be considered moderately challenging for young children. Hikers will pass by grasslands, a lovely stream, and woodland. Staying true to its name, the start of the trail has a fenced viewing area where a herd of bison can be seen roaming the land. The bison migrated from the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge and Yellowstone National Park.
4. Travertine Creek Trail
Kicking off the path at the Chickasaw National Recreation Areas Travertine Nature Center, this modest path stretches about a mile and a half long. The pathway follows its namesake creek and goes west of the Little Niagara Waterfall. During severe dry seasons, the bed of the creek is occasionally dry. The main trail allows casual hikers to leisurely stroll through hardwood thickets, shrubs, and seasonal flowers. Benches are available along the way to stop, rest, and admire the peacefulness of the forest.
5. Antelope and Buffalo Springs Trail
Running a little over a mile long, the Antelope and Buffalo Springs Trails main pathway is wheelchair accessible. However, the three side trails cannot accommodate wheelchairs. Starting at the nature center, the leisure trail is both easy and flat, as well as offers beautiful views of forests and wildlife.
6. Prairie Loop Trail
A mere 0.6-mile loop, the Prairie Loop Trail is one of the Antelope and Buffalo Springs Trailside trails. The pathway runs across Travertine Creek, which is lined with bamboo-like plants called horsetail. Upon crossing the scenic creek, hikers will encounter a forked route which leads to the remaining two side trails.
7. Dry Creek Loop Trail
The longest of the Antelope and Buffalo Springs Trailside pathways, the Dry Creek Loop Trail is almost two miles long. Take the left-hand fork from Prairie Loop Trail to embark on the Dry Creek Loop Trail. Along the loop are patches of mixed-grass prairie and cedar thickets. The end of the loop leads back to the historic rock bridge and the main trail.
8. Tall Oaks Loop Trail
By taking the Prairie Loop Trails right-hand fork, hikers will find the Tall Oaks Loop Trail, which only stretches a half of a mile. This path also crosses Travertine Creek and through woods consisting of cedars. Ultimately, the route opens up into a forest of sycamore, oaks, and elm trees, and then follows along the creek to loop back to the starting point.
9. Rock Creek Multiuse Trail
For a slight challenge, the Rock Creek Multiuse Trail is an unpaved path that spans around 11 miles. Hikers need not trek the entire path to appreciate the incredible sights on the route, though. There are multiple loops on the trail, so families can venture as far as they desire, and then turn around or complete the loop. Housing a diverse landscape, the area offers mixed-grass prairies and deciduous forests. The pathway accommodates hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders. Pets are allowed, but they must be on a leash at all times.
10. Bromide Hill Trail
Situated at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, the Bromide Hill Trail stretches almost two and a half miles. This well-shaded, easy path is home to gorgeous wildflowers and a fantastic view from the Bromide Hill overlook. Around halfway up to the overlook, there is a rest area near a creek where hikers can cool off for a moment or two.