My friend Vanesa recently visited from Chicago. She lived in Oklahoma for a short time several years ago, long before I knew her, and there were many things she didn’t see while she lived here. So we took off with my kids and headed to Turner Falls, which recently reopened for the summer.
Vanesa and I both got the military discount. The person at the ticket booth clearly assumed I was a military spouse, not the servicemember, but I let it slide because she was super sweet.
It was nearly $40 for all five of us, but it was well worth it. $9 each for Vanesa and me and two of the kids. (My youngest is still five so he got in free.)
There is an archaic castle-like structure that seems to go on for days. Just when we thought we’d reached the end of it, there was more. It was built in the 1930s by a professor at the University of Oklahoma and he used it as his summer home. I don’t see how he possibly could have lived there. It’s ONLY stone – no windows, no plumbing, no nothing!
Stone steps led to even more parts of the castle!
Once we reached the end of the castle, there was a viewing area where we could clearly see Turner Falls! It was a beautiful view, and my wobbly burning legs were thankful for the break.
We went off the beaten path and climbed some treacherous trails that were wildly steep and seemed to be nothing but loose pebbles with occasional firm stones or roots to step on.
The kids got a lesson in perseverance and learned some practical tips for climbing steep hills, as well as coming back down.
It was a great way to escape the OKC thunderstorms and show off a hidden Oklahoma gem.
We couldn’t find any of the caves this time. We stumbled upon one the first time we went, not even knowing it was there. It was fun to just “discover” it!
Next time we’ll take an ice chest with food and drinks, swimsuits, lifejackets (required for children under 13), and crap tons of sunscreen. We’ll stay most of the day and hike, swim, and relax. Heck, maybe we’ll even stay overnight and camp there. And we’ll make sure to go during the week because even on a Friday, it was packed!