Discover Nature and Outdoors in Chickasaw Country
Chickasaw Country is overflowing with numerous water attractions, outdoor exploration opportunities and lakes, including one of the largest lakes in the state. You will find a perfect place to soak up the rays and splash in the waves, discover the wonders of the natural landscapes, ride horseback along the Arbuckle Mountains and fish the soothing waters of Blue River. Relax in the great south-central Oklahoma outdoors while diving into this three-day itinerary immersed in nature and outdoor adventure.
Day 1 – Sulphur/Davis
Explore the Natural Beauty of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area
As one of only three Oklahoma parks affiliated with National Park Service, this national park is a beautiful oasis of water, foliage and wildlife creating the perfect backdrop for all your favorite outdoor activities. The CNRA offers year-round activities such as boating, skiing, sailing, fishing, swimming, hiking and camping. The Recreation Area provides more than 22 miles of trails for both novice and experienced hikers to enjoy, including the Veteran’s Trail, Bromide Hill and Bison Overlook Trail. You can see a small herd of bison in the CNRA. Check before you arrive to see which pasture the bison will be in during your visit. The Travertine Nature Center serves as the park’s main educational center providing groups with interactive learning opportunities, informational exhibits and other ranger-led programs including guided hikes and educational tours on the flora and fauna found within the park. Make sure to stop by one of the natural springs to taste the mineral waters.
Grab Hand Pies for the Road
Get your fingers on some fabulous fried pies! Located right off Exit 51 on I-35, Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies is a famous stop for mouth-watering breakfast, lunch and dessert fried pies. The original location, which is nestled within the Arbuckle Mountains in Davis, offers small town charm and out-of-this-world pastries in dozens of flavors. They are perfect to grab and go before heading to your next stop.
Zipline Over Oklahoma’s Tallest Waterfall
Enjoy nature from a different perspective at Turner Falls. Located in Davis, 777 Zip and The Soaring Eagle zip you across 777 feet of open air with an incredible view of the Arbuckle Mountain Range, Collings Castle and Turner Falls. You can ride solo or bring a friend; just be sure to buckle up and hold on tight as you soar through the sky at speeds of up to 28 mph. Please see their website for more information and questions about physical limitations.
Yes, Go Chasing Waterfalls at Turner Falls Park
Nestled within the Arbuckle Mountains, Turner Falls Park is one of the oldest parks in Oklahoma with natural caves, hiking trails, a stone castle and 77-foot waterfall creating natural swimming pools for all to enjoy. Discovered by Mazeppa Thomas Turner in 1878, Turner Falls has received national publicity for its likeness to the Grand Canyon and Black Hills of South Dakota. Those visiting the park are encouraged to take full advantage of these outdoor activities and explore 1,500 acres of fun in the heart of the Arbuckles. Tent camping and cabins are available throughout the park.
Embrace the Rugged Charm of the Arbuckle Mountains at Cross Bar Off-Road Park
Located on the outskirts of Davis, Cross Bar stands as a testament to untouched beauty, spanning an impressive 6,500 acres of pristine Arbuckle Mountain range. This expansive terrain teems with flourishing wildlife, creating a relaxing haven for nature enthusiasts. Notably, Cross Bar proudly holds the title of Oklahoma's largest dedicated offroad riding area, catering to ATV, UTV, dirt bike and full-size vehicle enthusiasts. Also, the ranch boasts an additional 3,000 acres of specially designated mountain biking areas, providing endless thrills for biking enthusiasts. The ranch offers convenient RV camping facilities, complete with hookups for added comfort and convenience. *It's important to note that guests must bring their own vehicles for off-roading adventures, ensuring a personalized and tailored experience. **This could be an entire day’s adventure in the park.
Day 2 – Ardmore
Saddle Up for a Horseback Riding Experience
At the Lake Murray Riding Stables, you'll find the ideal horseback riding experience that caters to both adventure-seekers and those seeking a leisurely ride through picturesque nature trails. Located within Lake Murray State Park, the stables offer a convenient trail ride schedule with departures every hour, on the hour, lasting between 45 minutes to one hour. For a more relaxed experience, guests can also opt for enjoyable hayrides, allowing them to sit back, unwind, and effortlessly take in the surroundings.
Discover this Unparalleled Getaway for Lake Enthusiasts at Lake Murray State Park
Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma's oldest and largest, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and water sports lovers. With its varied landscape, remarkable trails, historic landmarks and a sprawling 5,700 acres of water, the park offers endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you enjoy golfing, horseback riding, swimming, paddle boating, hiking or any other outdoor pursuit, Lake Murray has something for everyone. Thrill-seekers can revel in the excitement of exploring 1,000 acres of trails dedicated to ATVs, motorcycles and dirt bikes. The Park also offers a myriad of overnight options including a lodge, floating cabins, RV and camp sites.
Enjoy Water-Filled Fun in Ardmore
Lake Murray Water Sports offers an array of exciting activities, including wave runners, water slides, trampolines, kayaks, paddle boats, party barges and relaxing lake cruises. For a refreshing break, visitors can find respite under the shade while savoring an old-fashioned sno-cone. Additionally, a lakeside course awaits those who crave a round of 18-hole miniature golf. Lake Murray Water Sports and Mini Golf offers an abundance of activities suitable for all ages, making it the perfect outdoor attraction.
Dine with a view of Lake Murray at The Lookout Kitchen
The newest addition to Lake Murray State Park is the on-site restaurant featuring made-in-Oklahoma items such as locally sourced beef and Okola-Homa sodas. Choose interior dining or patio dining overlooking beautiful Lake Murray. Menu items include pasta, steaks, catfish, pizza and more.
Day 3 – Tishomingo
Cast a Line in the Blue River
Spanning across a vast expanse of 3,367 acres, Blue River beckons adventure seekers with its bountiful offerings of rainbow trout, small-mouth and largemouth bass, spotted bass, crappie and channel catfish, creating a haven for angling enthusiasts.
Learn More about the Native Species of the Area at the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery
The Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery, under the jurisdiction of the US Fish and Wildlife Service within the Department of the Interior, encompasses a sprawling 235-acre area. With 52 acres of water and 62 ponds, this hatchery serves as a vital hub for fish cultivation and conservation efforts. Make sure to visit the visitor center, where you can explore aquariums, colorful photographic exhibits, and displays showcasing aquatic ecosystems. The center's display pool showcases a diverse array of fish species. The surrounding area offers scenic fishing access, a hiking trail, and a historically significant functioning wooden water wheel. Fly fishing for smallmouth bass and sunfish is a popular activity that visitors can also enjoy during their visit.
Don’t Let This One Get Away, Eat at Fish Tales
At Fish Tales Restaurant in Tishomingo, they fry it all! Housed in a distinctive barrel-shaped metal building, the walls are adorned with captivating pictures showcasing remarkable fishing triumphs worth boasting about. Quirky signs with amusing sayings like "Hunters, Fisherman, and Other Liars Dine Here" add to the restaurant's unique charm. The menu at Fish Tales features a delightful buffet that includes drinks and desserts. As guests step inside, they are greeted by the friendly Fish Tales crew, who welcome them with warm smiles and delightful southern accents.
Places to Stay
Bring Your RV to Red River Rose RV Park in Ardmore
The Red River Rose RV Resort is conveniently located off of I-35 at Exit 29 on Hedges Rd. With 82 generously sized sites and 4 cozy cabins, visitors are provided with ample space and comfort. Prepare to be impressed by the on-site amenities, including two colossal water slides. The resort also boasts an on-site repair shop, ensuring convenience and peace of mind for all guests.
Cedar Cabin Retreat in the Arbuckles
Nestled in the woods less than a mile from Arbuckle Lake, take your pick of two efficient cedar cabins for a most peaceful retreat at A.L. Hideaway Cabins. The Hideaway Cabin is in Davis, Oklahoma and is equipped with bed linen, towels, cooking utensils, television, fire pit and BBQ/smoker outside. The Hilltop Hideaway Cabin accommodates six or more guests with the same amenities.
For Small Groups and Large, Deer Creek Lodges and Cabins Has You Covered
Deer Creek Lodges are only two minutes from Arbuckle Wilderness, the local exotic animal park, and 15 minutes from Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Five lodges are conveniently located near an RV park and motel. Two of the lodges have extra private rooms and a large deck overlooking the lake. There are endless outdoor activities offered including hiking trails, fishing, paddle boats, horseshoes, swimming, canoeing and volleyball.