Oklahoma may not cross your mind when you think about natural places to enjoy in the winter. But with more than 400,000 acres of dedicated land, Oklahoma State Parks are bound to offer year-round adventure—even in the colder months.
We have five suggestions from the far west panhandle to the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma to inspire your winter exploration of the Sooner State. Check them out below!
5 Oklahoma State Parks to Experience this Winter
The neat thing about these five Oklahoma State Parks is that there is something for everyone to enjoy—from quiet, cozy cottages with extraordinary views to family lodge getaways and everything in between!
Greenleaf State Park in Braggs, Oklahoma
There's just something remarkable about winter sunsets. And here at Greenleaf State Park, the experience is intensified as the sun descends over the rolling hills of eastern Oklahoma.
If you're looking for an idyllic winter getaway, this Oklahoma State Park must be on your radar! Beautiful cabins constructed in the 1930s with native stone that blends flawlessly into the landscapes make this a wonderful place to slow down and embrace the winter season.
Venture out to enjoy a day of hiking. Or stay put and take some downtime to relish the views from your warm cabin with a cup of hot tea or coffee. Either way, you are sure to walk away with a newfound appreciation for Old Man Winter.
Lake Thunderbird State Park in Norman, Oklahoma
Lake Thunderbird State Park makes our list because of its prime location along the bald eagles' winter migration path. If you enjoy birdwatching and would like to see these majestic beauties for yourself, this is an excellent Oklahoma State Park to visit from December through February.
Lake Thunderbird State Park is only 30 minutes from downtown Oklahoma City and makes a great little day trip to enjoy the great outdoors while vacationing in the city!
Robbers Cave State Park in Wilburton, Oklahoma
In days gone by, this area in east-central Oklahoma offered a bit of respite and seclusion for infamous American outlaws, including Jesse James and Belle Starr. Checking out their hideouts is a highlight for most who visit this Oklahoma State Park.
Additionally, this 8,426-acre park is also a favorite winter getaway for many looking for a break from the noise and hustle of everyday life. The historic cabins at Robbers Cave State Park are outfitted with wood-burning fireplaces and cozy lodge décor—the perfect retreat after a day of exploring the park's beautiful views of the Sans Bois Mountain Range.
Belle Starr Lodge is another option for making Robbers Cave State Park your winter destination. And the best part is that each room comes with a delightful view of Coon Creek Lake and the surrounding forest. Just imagine being nestled in here with a hint of snow in the forecast!
Black Mesa State Park in Kenton, Oklahoma
Winter landscapes offer unique perspectives. And at Black Mesa State Park in Oklahoma's panhandle, you can hike to the state's highest point and be rewarded with incredible winter views.
The temperatures can dip low in the winter when you head this far west. But tent and RV campsites are available for winter adventurers. And if you do brave the cooler weather, you'll undoubtedly have the opportunity to enjoy excellent star-lit nights as Black Mesa State Park is home to some of the darkest night sky views in the country!
Sequoyah State Park in Hulbert, Oklahoma
Our last Oklahoma State Park recommendation to visit this winter is less than one hour from Tulsa and an ideal family destination. This place is hopping in the summertime with water activities like swimming, boating and fishing, hiking trails, a nature center, a golf course and more!
But in the winter, it's Oklahoma's largest set of state park lodges that attract visitors. With more than 100 rooms and 45 cozy cottages, a restaurant, a game room and more, you're sure to find comfortable accommodations for a winter retreat. Check out Sequoyah State Park with the family this winter, and it may become a yearly tradition!
Don't Let Winter Keep You Cooped Up
Winter is not always the outdoor lover and grand adventurer's favorite season. But bundling up and hitting the trails or simply getting out of the house for a quiet weekend retreat works wonders to relieve the winter blues.
Our best advice for winter outings is to be prepared! Pack your thick socks and several layers and plan a winter experience you won't soon forget.
And of course, don't forget your Oklahoma State Park Bucket Journal! After a day of exploring, you'll need it to record your favorite winter experiences at these and many other Oklahoma State Parks.