Last week I took a quick trip to Natural Falls State Park in Northeast Oklahoma to explore a little more of the Ozark Highlands. Natural Falls State Park is definitely one of the most beautiful state parks I’ve been to in quite a while. Springtime was the perfect time to go because everything was just so green and the waterfalls were stunning.
It costs 5 dollars per vehicle to enter the park for day users and you are able to stay until dusk. If you’re wanting a longer stay, the park has camping options with tent sites at $12 per night and RV sites at $20-$23 per night. The park offers a variety of activities including 5 different short hiking trails (the longest is 1.5 miles), disc golf, fishing, and volleyball.
The most popular view in the park is a 77-foot waterfall cascading through rock formations known as Dripping Springs Falls which attracts visitors from all over. It’s an easy, short walk to get to the overlook above the waterfall, and for those that wish you can walk down 47 steps to the base of the falls (which I highly recommend!).
The view from the base of the waterfall (pictured above and below) is absolutely beautiful. The water falls through the rock formations with lush greenery all around the waterfall. Definitely take a few minutes at the base of the waterfall to just relax and soak in the beauty of Dripping Springs Falls and the nature surrounding the falls.
Below is a picture of the stairs you have to walk down to get to the base of the falls and consequently back up to get out, but it’s definitely worth it! The stairs really aren’t too bad but if you’re not able to make the climb, the overlook at the top of the falls offers stunning views as well.
During my day at Natural Falls State Park, I hiked three of the five trails and the first one I hiked was Ghost Coon Trail. This trail is just 1.3 miles long and meanders along the forest edge to the stream bank and through prairie fields. It’s a pretty moderate hike with not much elevation change.
Another trail I hiked was the Dripping Springs Trail which takes you to the waterfall and if you continue along the stream it takes you to the lake area.
The lake area (pictured above) allows for fishing and wildlife viewing. If you continue past the lake you’ll discover a breathtaking waterfall where the lake spills over the dam and continues on into the stream (pictured below).
The last trail I hiked was the Fox Den Trail which is 1.5 miles long that travels down to a rock overhang, cavern area and to the stream below the dam. This trail is the most strenuous with significant elevation change.
Below is a picture of the cavern area along the Fox Den Trail, unfortunately there were some other visitors exploring the cavern when I passed through, but it was such a gorgeous day to go hiking so I knew it would be hard to get photos without anyone else in them.
As I passed back by the lake to head back to my car, I spotted some turtles sunbathing on rocks in the lake and I had to get a picture. I loved spending a gorgeous, sunny day exploring Natural Falls State Park and seeing the breathtaking waterfalls. Everything in the park was literally SO green and it was beautiful. Springtime was a great time to visit Natural Falls but of course you can visit year round and I’m sure it’s just as pretty during all times of the year. If you’re in the Northeast Oklahoma or Northwest Arkansas area and you love waterfalls then definitely spend a day exploring Natural Falls State Park!
Have you ever been to Natural Falls State Park? Do you have a favorite state park in the USA? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
This post is part of the Best of the Midwest series showcasing the natural beauty in this area and some of my favorite Midwest destinations for weekend getaways. To see more posts in this series look here.