One of my favorite quotes about Oklahoma comes from Will Rogers in 1926: “Oklahoma is the heart, it's the vital organ of our national existence.”
It came to mind as I wrote about the Oklahoma Department of Tourism's new State Parks and Outdoor Recreation Guide.
Oklahoma's outdoor beauty begs to be explored as we spring forward with Daylight Saving Time, shaking off the winter coat and embracing nature's vitality!
Being outside — exploring, playing and observing — just seems vital. Exercising indoors or outdoors is good for your heart, but Oklahoma's outdoors does my heart good. The Oklahoma Tourism Departments' new outdoor guide leads the way with valuable information.
“The 2013 Oklahoma Outdoor Guide is our largest issue ever! It's 258 pages, packed with outdoor venues and activities for every level of adventurer,” said Deby Snodgrass, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation.
The guide is divided into sections. The first deals with our 35 state parks.
“Oklahoma State Parks offer a multitude of options for outdoor activities or relaxing in a beautiful setting. Do yourself and your family a favor and get more physically active by visiting one of our state parks,” said Kris Marek, director of Oklahoma State Parks.
The new Outdoor Guide highlights all of our parks, all the way from the Panhandle such as Black Mesa down to Beaver's Bend in McCurtain County and everything in between. There's such a tremendous amount of diversity in our state and a large number of eco-regions represented in the guide.
Another section of the guide lists various outdoor activities, such as golf, fishing, paddling, hunting, equestrian, camping, hiking and mountain biking, just to name a few.
There's also a full listing of activities as well as campgrounds, cabins and lodging. In the past few years, I've gotten back into playing golf, so it's been an absolute pleasure to play on some of our seven state park courses.
If you play on an Oklahoma State Golf course, you'll find thrilling and challenging play in what is I think some of the most picturesque surroundings. You can putt in the shadow of the Pensacola Dam at Grand Cherokee on Grand Lake, or drive the canyon rims of Roman Nose. Lake Murray and Lake Texoma golf courses will captivate you, too.
Equestrian activities may interest you. Did you know Oklahoma has the fourth-largest horse population in the nation? We Oklahomans love our horses. For the past seven years, my family has saddled up and ridden horses every summer. We've ridden at Robbers Cave State Park, as well as Roman Nose and Lake Thunderbird. In the equestrian section of the new Outdoor Guide, you'll find listings for trails, camping, and equestrian events.
Oklahoma's outdoor beauty begs to be explored in all its glory and splendor when spring fills the air with adventure, family fun and relaxation.
To help map out your next fun-filled adventure, go to www.travelok.com and order your free copy of the Oklahoma State Parks and Outdoor Recreation Guide today!
Dino Lalli is the producer, a reporter and co-host of the weekly TV travel show AAA's Discover Oklahoma.