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Courtesy photo of TravelOK.com


Photo courtesy of TravelOK.com


OKLAHOMA E VE NTS


id you know that Oklahoma is home to 12 different ecoregions? Within our great state visitors can explore diverse terrain of all sorts. Lush green pine forest, cypress swamps, vast desert mesas, alabaster caverns, open skied tall grass prairies, and even ancient mountains all have a home in Oklahoma. The varied landscape here makes Oklahoma a nature lover’s paradise, but of all the topographical options to explore, some of the most unique can be found in Okla- homa’s Red Carpet Country.


Nestled away in the northwestern section of Okla- homa, The Great Salt Plains State Park lay among miles of beautiful farm land and wide open skies. The park hosts a number of modern cabins that visitors can temporarily call home as they enjoy the hiking, mountain biking, swimming and sightseeing the park has to offer.


Adjacent to the park is the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. This 32,000 acre lot of protected land is home to over 30 species of mammal, but is more famous for the 312 species of bird who live or stop by the refuge annually. Bird watching enthu-


Red carpet state parks D


OKLAHOMA TRAVE L S By Austin Tackett


siast from all across the world visit the refuge each year to catch a glimpse of the rare migratory water fowl such as the Endangered Whooping Crane and American White Pelicans that stop at the refuge dur- ing their migratory travels.


Rare birds aren’t the only thing to be found at the Salt Plains. The refuge is the only spot in the world where crystal enthusiasts can dig for hourglass selenite crystals, a rare and fragile form of selenite, which is a form of gypsum. Digging is open to visi- tors during the spring and summer months and is a great activity for kids of all ages. A little west of the Salt Plains, you’ll fi nd Alabaster Caverns State Park. The highlight of this 200-acre park is a three-quarter mile cavern formed of ala- baster. This amazing cavern is the largest of its kind open to the public. Daily guided tours of Alabaster Cavern are available however, more adventurous visi- tors may want to take advantage of the park’s wild caving opportunities as well. Hiking trails, picnic areas, group shelters with electricity, grills, water, a horseshoe pit and a volleyball court are also available at the park.


Head just a little south and you’ll fi nd the stun- ningly beautiful Gloss Mountain State Park. This


OKLAHOMA TRAVE L S


Gloss Mountain State Park in northwestern Oklahoma.


recreational-educational park is accessible for hiking and picnicking from sunrise to sunset. A hiking trail from the base parking lot to the top of Cathedral Continued on Page 33


A Building That Stands Out Service That Stands Above the Rest


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Three offices located throughout Oklahoma to serve you.


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© 2011 Morton Buildings, Inc. All rights reserved. Country Craft Buildings are not available in all locations. A listing of GC licenses available at mortonbuildings.com/licenses.aspx. Reference Code 613


32 OKLAHOMA LIVING


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