SEQUOYAH STATE PARK
This past Sunday we were able to take an amazing group up from our shop in the Village all the way to Sequoyah State Park in Hulbert, Oklahoma. We had lots of requests for some group hikes and saw that the Sequoyah State Park were hosting 10 miles worth of hikes throughout the month of January to kick off a New Year of being active and getting outdoors!
We were able to join them for a 3.7 mile trek through Whispering Pines and Deer Run trail. After a 2 1/2 hour drive up, were were ready to stretch our legs and take in the towering Short Leaf Pines.
We were led by a team of state park rangers and joined by some other families and groups from around the Tulsa area. We got a first hand look at this wildly different ecology than what we'd find in our neck of the woods. Even on the fallen trucks and limbs the amount of fungi and lichen had us stopping and taking lots of photos of the amazing ecosystem throughout the park.
Sequoyah State Park was a former resort that the State Department took over in 1948. Since then, it's maintained the established golf course, created trails for hikers, biking, and hunting, stables, a marina, campgrounds, and more. It sits on Fort Gibson Lake and has a great view of the amazing lake and its scenery. We enjoyed the view of the lake from the Sequoyah Lodge on the southern tip of the park. The park also houses a nature center you can see snakes, coyotes, and even an injured bald eagle!
The thing that struck us the most on this hike was seeing the impact of last spring's floods on the area. With the dam almost being spilled over on Fort Gibson Lake, much of the park was completely submerged. For portions of the trail, driftwood was littered across the way. Also there was very little underbrush. Much like a wildfire can wipe out saplings and underbrush to make way for new life, the flood did a similar thing for the park. Thankfully, with the construction of the dam, the park and former resort were designed to withstand flooding and the buildings are insulated enough that there was no severe damage.
After a great hike, we ended up across the lake at Pizza Port where we enjoyed pizza and calzones before heading home!
We had such a great time, thank you everyone who came out and participated in the hike! We're so excited to be planning more of these for this spring. We already have an invitation back to Sequoyah State Park and are working on something for Roman Nose for February. So stay tuned to our social media feeds and newsletter for more information as that comes out!