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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

15 Things to do when you go camping at Turner Falls, OK

Instead of taking a big huge vacation this year, we opted to instead stay closer to home and save some money. We didn’t want to do a “stay-cation” because we really felt like we needed to get out of town. So when we thought of where we could easily go from the DFW area to get away from it all, we thought of Turner Falls (near Davis, OK).

We took the kids to Lake Murray a couple of years ago because of a gift certificate that my parents gave us. We went in the fall and had a wonderful time that included a day trip to both Arbuckle Wilderness and Turner Falls. So as we discussed going camping with some friends for our vacation this year, Turner Falls immediately came to mind.

So, if you’re looking for a close to home (for DFW) getaway that is full of family fun and pretty inexpensive, look toward Turner Falls and look for these fun things to do.

1. Swim in the river. Just be sure to wear water shoes.


2. Visit The Toy and Action Figure Museum in Paul’s Valley. This place was a hoot. It was totally nostalgic for us adults and the kids had a great time

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I guess I’ve seen Toy Story and Night at the Museum a few too many times because we walked in and I immediately wondered what went on in there after closing and who was “in charge.” I finally decided that it had to be this life sized Yoda.


3. Climb up a hill away from some of the lights, lie down and just take in the view of all the stars. You’ll be glad you did.

(There is no picture that I could take that would possibly do the night sky justice.)

4. Make s’mores and Jiffy Pop over a campfire. (Disclaimer: the Jiffy Pop container said to NOT do it over an uneven heat source like a campfire… but we tried it anyways.)


5. FRIED PIES. ‘Nuff said.


Find these delicious fried pies at the corner of 77 and I-35 (north of Turner Falls).


6. Swim in the pool close to the falls and get close enough to feel the spray of the water from the falls hitting the water below.


7. Go crawdad fishin’.


Just bring some extra bacon for this endeavor.


8. Explore the Castle.

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9. Eat at The Cliff. We knew we wanted to go out to eat one evening but had no idea of where we would go. We happened to see a billboard for this place and passed by it on our way to Paul’s Valley. We stopped in to just check it out and I have to say, we were pleasantly surprised by what we found. It’s a little bit of refined civilization in a very unrefined place. We ate at a folding table on the terrace but had beautiful and delicious food.


10. Enjoy some shaved ice. This is some of the best shaved ice I have ever had and the Arbuckle Rock flavor really does rock.


11. Hike around and explore the rocks and caves.


12. Go down the slide and dive off the board at the Blue Hole Pool.


13. Enjoy a Turner Falls “spa” treatment like a mud bath.


14. Visit Arbuckle Wilderness. We didn’t do it this trip, but we have been before and Arbuckle Wilderness is definitely worth a visit if you have time.

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15. And please, for the love of all that is good, please rent a cabin if you’re going in July. Seriously. “Camping” as in sleeping outside in 90 degree heat (at11 pm) and 200% humidity with not a breeze to be had in the entire state of Oklahoma… well, it’s for the birds… and the raccoons.

Have you been to the Arbuckle Mountain/Turner Falls area of Oklahoma? What are your favorite things?


Kay said...

I love it! I've heard of Turner Falls but never been there myself. Now it's on my list of places I want to see! Looks like a fun trip...except for the tent part. : )