Let’s Ruff It: Oklahoma Has the Best Pet-Friendly State Parks and Trails
We all love to explore the great outdoors, and there’s no reason to leave our furry friends behind. It’s just a matter of choosing trails and state parks that not only allow pets but actually encourage them. Here are a few places where Oklahoma has wide-open arms for the whole family, including those with four legs. With just a bit of forethought and preparation, you’ll be running, funning and bonding with all creatures great and small.
Clayton Lake State Park
The Kiamichi Mountains tower majestically over southeast Oklahoma, with Clayton Lake State Park tucked peacefully in the shadows. Its gentle lake is dotted with anglers pulling in lines of trout, and recreation boats bob lazily offshore. There are no motorized water sports to distract or frighten your pets while hiking the six-mile nature trail. You may have a few distant deer or rabbit sightings, but a strong leash keeps that kind of encounter in check. Overnight stays are problem-free, with pet-friendly cabins and no pet fees.
Beavers Bend State Park
Beavers Bend State Park tucks handily into Ouachita National Forest, about 10 miles north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Beginner-level trails are ideal for bringing along Fido, though steeper trails may be suitable only for younger, energetic dogs. As with any hiking trail, be sure to check trail surfaces for debris that could harm uncallused paws. Bring along plenty of water, and avoid stagnant ponds that may harbor harmful parasites. The lake at Beavers Bend is perfectly suited for doggie play time, and pet-friendly cabins have plenty of room for relaxing in forested settings.
Black Mesa State Park
If your pet is the adventurous type, head over to Kenton for a day at Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve. The highest point in Oklahoma happens to be here, so if the two of you are up for it, a spectacular view from almost 5,000 feet above sea level may just be worth the trek. The trail is pet-friendly, but take it easy on the rocky black-lava section leading up to the flat mesa. Remember to take frequent breaks, especially on hot days, and be sure to talk to your veterinarian about sunscreen options. Be aware that high altitudes can affect both humans and animals!
Make some memories this year by bonding with your pet outside of everyday life. Choose a place to explore, load up some gear and your four-legged companion, and jump into nature’s glory.