Situated in the picturesque Ozark Highlands close to the Oklahoma/Arkansas border, the Natural Falls State Park is one of the state’s best loved public recreational spaces.
Just over an hour’s drive from Tulsa, the park is best known for the spectacular 77-foot waterfall that streams through numerous rock formations before cascading into the serene V-shaped valley below.
With observation decks located at both the top and bottom of the falls, this stunning natural landmark has a familiar look to many – who might remember it from the 1974 movie, ‘Where the Red Fern Grows, which was filmed in the park.
Aside from the waterfall, this Oklahoma state park offers a range of other outdoor sporting and recreational activities, as well as very good camping options too.
Without doubt, the park’s main drawcard is the stunning waterfall it is named after.
However when not checking out this magnificent cascade there are several other things you can do to rest, reinvigorate and relax. These include hiking and biking, fishing, walking through formal gardens, picnicking and wildlife watching.
Here is some more information about each of these activities.
Hiking and Biking at Natural Falls State Park
Overall there are more than 4.5 miles of trails for you to explore at the park. Showcasing the park’s outstanding natural beauty, as well as the waterfall, these trails range in difficulty from easy to challenging.
These include the Ghost Coon Trail, which stretches for 1.2-miles and is great for all abilities, as well as the Fox Den Trail which, although slightly shorter at 1.1-miles, is considered more challenging, on account of the hills and creeks you have to traverse.
As well as hiking along these trails many of them are appropriate for biking too.
So if you have brought your bike with you, you will be able to check out the scenery of the forest, or the lake, on two wheels.
Fishing at Natural Falls State Park
At just 3.5 acres, the lake at Natural Falls State Park is fairly small, but it’s crystal clear waters are still a very good spot for catch and release fishing.
You will need to have a valid fishing license from the state of Oklahoma before you can cast a line. But if you do, you should have no problem snaring trout and bass, both of which are abundant.
The Formal Garden at Natural Falls State Park
The Natural Falls State Park boasts something that many parks in America do not have – a formal garden area.
Showcasing the beauty of Oklahoma’s local flora, The Formal Garden is a serene place to stroll through.
There are several colorful and native species of flowers for you to check out, so be sure to have your camera with you as many of them are Instaworthy.
Picnicking at Natural Falls State Park
Given its scenic beauty it should come as no surprise to you that picnicking is a popular pastime at the park.
Throughout the park, you’ll find picnic tables located in strategic spots. All of which offer picturesque backdrops in which to enjoy your al fresco dining experience.
If you are looking for a place that will enable a big group to picnic, there is a pavilion here which you can rent. It has enough room for 80 people and accommodates eight tables, a number of BBQ pits and restrooms.
Nature & Wildlife
Natural Falls State Park is blessed with several species of flora and fauna that call it home. Much of which can be seen as you hike through it.
This includes lush woodlands of chinquapin, white oaks and maple trees, as well as plants like pawpaw, redbud, spicebush, sassafras, coralberry and dogwood.
Around the area of the waterfall, you will also find plenty of mosses, ferns and liverworts too.
As for wildlife, you should be able to spot numerous animal species like foxes, turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, whitetail deer and raccoons during your time at the park.
Sports at Natural Falls State Park
One of the great things about Natural Falls State Park is that it offers plenty of sporting facilities for the visitor to enjoy.
Arguably the most popular is the disc golf course, which consists of 18 holes. The first nine of which run along the Pine Ridge Trail, while the back nine follows the Ghost Coon Trail. Fun and challenging, this sport is enjoyed by many visitors to the park.
Other sporting facilities include volleyball courts, which are situated near the Pine Ridge Trail, in the northwestern corner of the park, as well as basketball courts too. The park’s office will let you hire one out, while some of the local retail stores also have them for sale.
As well as these, there is also a fantastic playground for kids to enjoy as well. Equipped with a good selection of slides, swing sets and climbing walls, they will spend many happy hours in a state of contentment there.
Pets at Natural Falls State Park
Dogs are welcome to join you at Natural Falls State Park. Just be sure to keep them on a leash and fully supervised at all times during your stay.
Camping at Natural Falls State Park
When it comes to camping accommodation, the park only offers 44 RV sites, so you will need to make a reservation as they are liable to get booked out quickly.
Of these RV sites, 7 come with full hookups for electricity, water and sewer, while several others have partial hookups. A lot of these sites are pull-through for your convenience, and they also each come with their own picnic table, BBQ grill, campfire ring and lantern hanger.
Near the campground you will find a restroom with flush toilets and hot shower facilities, as well as a dump station too.
In addition to these RV sites, there are also 27 tent sites, as well as 5 yurts in the park, should you want to stay somewhere a little bit different.
Each of the yurts can sleep between four and six people, and they are equipped with a kitchen, refrigerator, microwave, air conditioning and both heat and electrical outlets, which gives it a rather homely feel.
Natural Falls State Park
19225 E 578 Rd
Colcord, OK 74338
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Natural Falls State Park: