The winter months have passed quickly and memories of frigid air, snow and ice are slowly melting away. If you're counting the days until you emerge from your self-induced hibernation, mark a big X on your calendar for March 20. The vernal equinox; the official first day of spring.
But don't think you have to wait for a specific day on the calendar to enjoy this picturesque panorama. Your escape to nature can begin today at an Oklahoma State park.
Even though the parks have been open and available throughout the winter season, some campgrounds were temporarily closed for winterization. Most campgrounds are now open for visitors and entertainment venues will be available at some parks.
One all-weather sport is becoming a popular attraction. The disc golf courses at Lake Eufaula, Sequoyah and Natural Falls state parks expect their player numbers to rise as the temperatures climb. Natural Falls and Sequoyah each offer 18 holes and Eufaula offers a nine-hole course with diverse play areas.
At Arrowhead State Park on Lake Eufaula, Manager Jim Ramsey is ready for guests, noting that all campgrounds will be open.
“Bring your horse and check out the riding trails that have been cleaned and the new signage that has been posted along the trails. The stables and marina will also be open and the golf course is ready to go,” he said.
Diane Rutland, front desk manager at Greenleaf State Park, is excited about the opportunities offered for their spring break crowds.
“In addition to fishing, which is always a popular sport, we have paved trails for hiking, biking and skating,” Rutland said. “The marina will be open with kayak, pedal boat and canoe rentals, and we'll have free miniature golf for all park guests. ... And don't forget your binoculars and camera, especially for bird watching and capturing pictures of the deer and other wildlife that roam in the park.”
Not all visitors to the state parks have experienced tent camping or spending time outdoors, and that's perfectly fine with Merle Cox, manager at Robbers Cave State Park near Wilburton.