Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Located in Oklahoma, what an amazing destination!!  I visited there on Easter Weekend and while there were many visitors, it is so large there were no crowds, and no one was ever underfoot or blocking areas of interest.  This park is a mixture of grass prairie and surrounded by granite mountains.  Part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is the home habitat for bison (buffalo), elk, Prairie dogs, steer, reptiles, and some limited birding opportunities.  The Refuge, established in 1901, encompasses 59,020 acres (90 square miles).  

The initial impression is of expansive grass meadows and suddenly a bison shows up alongside the road and slowing down is the response of every vehicle. Soon one realizes that there are long horned steer moving about as well, and everyone is chewing grass.  

The original 15 bison were brought to the area in a horse drawn cart from the New York Zoological Society in 1907 to re-establish a herd in the southern plains herd.

The hiking trails are available to everyone and include varying degrees of difficulty.  Picnic tables are located along many picturesque walkways, especially easily accessed and capacities for large group gatherings. Easter Sunday had many groups around picnic tables and erected tent awnings.  The temperatures were comfortable, and the trails beckoned.  Actually, hiking there is easy to overdue as a wrong turn will put you on loops, some for 3 miles. 

The cutest natural species was the prairie dog and their little village.  There were many holes with cute little babies hovering near them and mamas and dads venturing out a bit.  There are no barriers so walking up to these darling little creatures is possible, giving a great opportunity for natural viewing.  

This is one of the best parks I have been to, and I have been so many, many during the past 10 years! 

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