It never gets old featuring the spectacular hidden beauty in Oklahoma. The state’s topography is so diverse, it’s amazing all the beautiful places tucked away waiting to be discovered in the Sooner State. From state parks to wildlife refuges to nature centers, these 11 hidden oases are the perfect place to go to find peace and quiet.
1. J.T. Nickel Preserve (Tahlequah)
The J.T. Nickel Preserve is located near Tahlequah in the Ozarks and comprises 17,000 acres of astounding beauty and environmental protection areas that are filled with spring-fed creeks, forests, woodlands, prairies, wildlife species and so much more. You’ll also find a little geological water park within the area that is a hidden gem in the summer. This unique nature preserve is a one-of-a-kind destination in the Sooner State overlooking the Illinois River and is free for all visitors.
2. Heavener Runestone State Park (Heavener)
Heavener Runestone Park is a 55-acre, day-use park located in Le Flore County. A beautiful waterfall flows freely below the rocks and is surrounded by lush greenery. It's a small park that is loaded with mystery, scenic views and nature trails.
3. Great Plains State Park (Mountain Park)
Located in southwestern Oklahoma (and not to be confused with Great Salt Plains), Great Plains is located close to the Wichita Mountains. The area is full of rugged terrain that offers many outdoor activities and sweeping views of the surrounding area.
4. Honey Springs (Davis)
Turner Falls is a popular place to go in Oklahoma to admire the 77 ft. waterfall that cascades over the Arbuckle Mountains into a pool below. But for a quieter area, visit Honey Creek above the falls. The surrounding beauty and crystal-clear water make this a hidden oasis waiting to be discovered.
5. Beaver's Bend State Park (Broken Bow)
Beavers Bend State Park is a gem in southeastern Oklahoma, comprised of 1,300 acres about 10 miles north of Broken Bow. The park boasts of a postcard-like setting and is filled with rivers, lakes, trails and peaceful spaces. The area is filled with so many hidden spots waiting to be discovered.
6. Clayton Lake State Park (Clayton)
Here at Clayton Lake State Park you'll view the rich colors of the Kiamichi Mountains. The park is over 500 acres, including the 80-acre Clayton Lake. If you get a chance to visit in the fall, the bright fall colors reflecting off the lake are out-of-this-world.
7. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Lawton)
One of Oklahoma’s crown jewels is the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton in southwestern Oklahoma. Comprised of over 60,000 acres, the refuge is home to a variety of protected wildlife, rugged landscapes, diverse flora and majestic beauty. Take a look at this enchanting place that will make you fall in love with Oklahoma all over again.
8. Osage Hills State Park (Pawhuska)
As one of the oldest state parks in Oklahoma, Osage Hills State Park is full of mature trees, picturesque scenery, rolling hills and rocky bluffs. Just because it’s an older park doesn’t mean the majority of Oklahomans know about this beautiful hidden gem. The park boasts over 1,100 acres of lush greenery, waterfalls, streams, bluffs, forests and natural beauty.
9. Natural Falls State Park (Colcord)
Natural Falls State Park is the perfect location for a quiet spot to enjoy nature. The park features a breathtaking 77-foot waterfall and 4.5 miles of hiking trails. The area is full of lush foliage that provides lots of shade and beautiful backdrops.
10. Ouachita National Forest (LeFlore and McCurtain County)
The Ouachita National Forest spans over 1.8 million acres in southeastern Oklahoma and into central Arkansas. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Oklahoma and is a must-see destination. You’ll encounter stunning mountain views, picturesque scenery and the perfect setting for outdoor activities. There's so many places to escape to for peace and quiet.
11. Chickasaw National Recreation Area (Sulphur)
Chickasaw National Recreation Area has been described as an oasis in the Oklahoma prairie. From its pristine waters to picturesque scenery, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in south-central Oklahoma is the perfect place to explore the great outdoors. This Oklahoma oasis is situated at the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains and is made up of Veteran’s Lake, Lake of the Arbuckles, Travertine Creek and Rock Creek.