Step Outside - Oklahoma WELCOME TO STEP OUTSIDE! Find the best outdoor fun near you! en-us 30 Step Outside - Oklahoma 144 144 Sun, 15 Jul 2018 16:13:07 -0500 5 Best Birdwatching Hikes in Oklahoma The experience of observing wildlife in its natural habitat can be breathtaking. Across the state of Oklahoma, you’ll find a variety of awe-inspiring birdwatching destinations, from wildlife refuges to flourishing gardens. Discover snowy owls, migrating pelicans, and bald eagles at these five amazing birdwatching spots in the state. 

Bookdocker’s Landing is a private RV resort along the Mountain Fork River, but it does open its gates to hikers and birdwatchers. It costs $8 a day per person, but the park limits the number of guests to allow for spaciousness and quiet. The scissor-tailed flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird, snowy owls, purple martins, and painted buntings call this park home. From November to March, it’s common to see bald eagles along the cliffs. There are 12 dedicated trails in the park, and you can rent kayaks and canoes to catch the wildlife along the river’s edge. 

The Salt Plains refuge is more well known for selenite crystals that get dug up in the area, but it’s home to hundreds of species of birds who nest here and feed on the salt brine flies. Every week, the staff performs a wildlife survey, and posts results online. More than 12 types of ducks were spotted recently, along with whooping cranes, killdeer, American white pelicans, Franklin gulls, and bald eagles. It’s an amazing place to hike any time of the year. This habitat was established in 1930 and has more than 32,000 acres where migratory birds can find sanctuary. 

Black Mesa is the highest point in Oklahoma, and this park has a lot to offer. Golden eagles, scaled quail, and pinyon jays are often seen in the area, as are many local mammals, such as black bears, antelope, mountain lions, and bobcats. It has a unique ecosystem, because it marks the area where the Rocky Mountains meet the prairie. The park boasts eight rare animal species and 23 rare plants. When you visit, make sure to stay overnight to enjoy an area without light pollution to see the stars. During the winter months, make sure to check the weather before driving out. 

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This urban wildlife center has more than two miles of woodland trails and a specific birdwatching area. The INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Courage Trail is ADA-accessible, allowing individuals with limited mobility an opportunity to explore nature without struggling on rough trails. The park opens at 5 a.m. daily, which gives you a chance to hike early and watch birds go through their morning routine. It’s an excellent place to really get in touch with nature without having to drive very far (if you live in Oklahoma City.) 

This eight-acre botanical garden is most known for its beautiful plants, but it has some great birdwatching areas, as well. It features seven different gardens, each with its own character. The Japanese Pavilion Garden has a koi pond, and many waterfowl call it home. The Oriental Garden features shade plants, while the American Backyard Garden has plants that will thrive without a lot of water. From spring to fall, you’ll find birds and butterflies enjoying the gardens. In October, you may see the white pelicans migrating through the area. 

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10 Best Outdoor Festivals in Oklahoma Festival season is finally here, and there’s no better way to celebrate than getting outside. There’s an outdoor-themed festival to suit just about any interest that can sate your thrill for adventure. Whether you love all things land or water (or even in the air!), you’ll find your happy place at these nine best outdoor festivals in Oklahoma.

This annual outdoor festival is also known as Oklahoma’s largest outdoor picnic. Honing in on the arts and crafts scene, the festival also includes outdoor games for kids and adults alike, plenty of food and drink to go ‘round, live entertainment, and a shared passion for all things outside. Entry to the event is free and ideal for all ages. Sponsors included in making this amazing event possible are Osage Casino, Safari Smiles Children’s Dentisry, Boots & Brushes Paintbar, Level 8 VR, and more.

This three-day cycling extravaganza is so much more than bicycle race. Three days are jam packed with group rides that explore various parts of the city, fun rides, cycling classes, safety courses, and more. This high-profile event has attracted some of the biggest names in city, including Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Elemental Coffee, Modern Environment, Film Row, and others.

This free family event spans the entire first week of June and is chock full of amenities and activities. This event has been a long-standing Madill tradition of fishing and fish fries, and every year since it gets a little bigger and better. Events this year include a kid fishing tournament, carnival, talent contest, fun run, horseshoe throwing contest, and turtle races, among other activities. Thanks to Big Tex Trailers, Oklahoma Steel and Wire, the Chicksaw Nation, and KTEN this year’s festival is the best yet!

This three-day cycling festival was initiated to promote healthy and fit lifestyles. Comprised of a variety of racing events and fun rides, there’s a little something for bike riders of every age and skill level. It’s not just for cyclists, either. The event is more like a mega street festival, offering live music, vendors, a kid’s zone, and other activities for those who’d rather cheer from the sidelines. A special nod to Saint Francis Health System as well as the Holiday Inn for sponsoring this event.

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This week long paintball extravaganza sponsored by Indigo Sky Casino and Valken is one of the largest in the world. Thousand of paintball players descend on a 1,000+ acre field to engage in mini scenario games that put their skills to the test, along with helicopter and tank rides, an obstacle course, and other family-friendly activities. Campsites are available, and food vendors and some of the biggest brands in paintball will be on-site throughout the week. 

One of the most scenic cities in Oklahoma hosts an epic festival dedicated to the heritage of the area, but more specifically its natural wonders and wildlife. Forestry competitions, wildlife art, and a fishing tournament are just a few of the activities highlighting the local outdoor elements. The locale couldn’t be any more perfect—the Beavers Bend Resort Park is an outdoor paradise just waiting to be explored. Choctaw Casino , Lambert Lumber, Broken Bow Cabin Lodging, International Paper, and many more are partnering with this event.

The skies have never been more beautiful than they are during Tulsa’s Balloon Festival. This magical event will have you experiencing the outdoors from new heights and perspectives. Offering tethered rides, balloon glows, flights, and more, this five-day event is perfect for kids and adults alike. 

Sure, most music festivals like this one also have camping, but what makes this one unique is its locale in Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness. Here you get a taste for all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, biking, and trail running. The area has been named one of the state’s best places to hike, and the music only adds to the experience. Dates for this year’s event have yet to be confirmed.

The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness area plays an important role in the Monarch butterfly migration, and you can come see it for yourself at this one of a kind festival. The festival is equal parts educational and adventurous, offering plenty of hands-on activities and seminars about the Monarch butterfly, as well as tagging demonstrations and butterfly releases. This event is free and open to the public thanks to the River Parks AuthorityTulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the Tulsa Audubon Society, the Tulsa Zoo, and Blue Thumb.

If you are a whitewater rafting, kayaking, rowing, and dragon boating enthusiast, then the Oklahoma Regatta Festival is calling your name. From September 28-30 enjoy this family friendly festival showcasing these fantastic river sports. Not only can you watch (or possibly participate) in these enticing races you can indulge in the abundance of food trucks, beer gardens, and more. Koma RadioCOOP Ale Works, Jake FM, and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber are amongst the many sponsors that keep this festival going.

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SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Gloss Mountain State Park From its magnificent rivers to its rolling landscapes, Oklahoma is one of the most naturally stunning states in the U.S. To best experience what this beautiful state has to offer, escape to Gloss Mountain State Park. With its opportunity for hiking, biking, fishing, and birdwatching, plus area attractions worth making a weekend getaway out of, you’ll have plenty to enjoy. Gloss Mountain is one of the true gems of Oklahoma. Here are the best things to do in and around the park. 

The Gloss Mountains are located near Fairview, Oklahoma. Sometimes, they’re called the Glass Mountains, because of the selenite content that makes these mountains appear to have a shiny, glass-like exterior. The park has restroom facilities, and public water and grills. Climbing to the top of Cathedral Mountain gives you a spectacular view across the landscape. Bring your camera to take home your memories! 

Gloss Mountain State Park near Fairview, #Oklahoma.

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The Wildlife Department recommends taking Loop 8 around the area to experience the mesas that glitter with bright hues of green, gold, and blue. Take Highway 412 between Orienta and Bouse Junction for a scenic route that is also a great birding route. You might see road runners, turkey vultures, and eagles. 

Park in the lower parking lot. Follow the trail to the top of Cathedral Mountain. The trail is 1.2 miles in length. The park has brochures available which point out the interesting facts, but you’ll see many rock formations, working oil pump jacks, ponds, wildlife, and stunning views along every step of the hike. There’s a stairway system in place to help you get to the top. 

About 30 miles northeast of the park, you’ll find a museum that was once a Harvey House. It’s a nice place to get some history about the area and see what it might have been like riding the train in the late-19th century. 

Santa Fe Railroad Depot, Waynoka, OK

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This authentic German restaurant is a great place to get dinner. It’s been serving Bavarian food, like jaeger schnitzel, pretzels and authentic German beers since 1998. While this is an Oklahoma favorite all year long, the German cuisine is particularly excellent during the colder months.  

The best German food I've ever had. Seriously.

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At one time, sod houses dotted the Oklahoma landscape. This sod house in Aline, about 20 miles from the state park, is the only one remaining in Oklahoma that was built in the late-19th century. This museum has preserved early artifacts from a homesteader’s life. It’s a great exhibit to experience what life might have been like in early statehood. 

I love that piano!!!

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The state park doesn’t offer campsites, but this ranch, just a few minutes away from the park has campsites, RV sites, and a lodge. They have a stocked farm pond, just bring your license and equipment. From May to September, the wildflowers are in bloom and truly a sight to see. The light pollution is limited, making star gazing a great evening activity! 

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5 Best Dirt Motorcycle Trails in Oklahoma In Oklahoma, the off-roading community is strong. And for those thrill-seeking dirt bikers looking for the perfect track to hone their skills and have a little fun, there are plenty of options. From miles of tracks in privately-owned parks to entire motorsports complexes, here are the five best dirt biking trails in the state. 

The ATV and motorcycle trails are located on the northwest end of Lake Murray. The 10 miles of trails have sand and varying terrain to bring riders an exhilarating adventure. On a busy weekend, you’ll need to be cautious when riding, but Jeeps and dune buggies aren’t allowed, so you won’t have to worry about that. It costs $10 per rider, and there is even camping on-site. It’s a beautiful location for taking your bike out on the trail! 

This area features almost 1,000 acres of trails for ATVs and dirt bikes. City permits are required, but you can get them at the marina. The riding area is next to a campground where you can relax between rides. The riding permit costs $10 per day per rider, but if you plan on going out often, get an annual permit which lets you ride all year long, weather permitting. Just make sure to check closing time, because all vehicles need to be out of the parking area, not just off the trails. 

Had a great time at draper

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Angel Ridge features a full-size motocross track, a freestyle area, a pee-wee track, and an outdoor national track. The track is open all week long, sun up to sun down. Riders will need a Department of Transportation-approved helmet, goggles, and boots. The terrain is mostly for amateurs and novices, but there are some obstacles which will add a challenge. 

WHORP has a nice track that follows the natural terrain. You’ll need a permit to ride at this privately-owned park, but it’s well-kept and has a number of nice trails that wind through the wooded areas and fields around the main track. The park is open year-round, weather permitting. Overnight camping is permitted prior to race days.

This complex has a motocross track, a pit bike track, and supermoto track. They’ve recently started a motocross school, for beginners to pros, and there’s a bike shop on-site. Make sure to check the schedule for events. Beginners can learn the basics on pit bike track while the other tracks are more of a challenge. 

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SPOTLIGHT: Things to Do in and Around Bernice State Park On the northwest corner of Grand Lake sits Bernice State Park. Featuring RV and tent campsites on the lake’s edge, world-class fishing, and plenty of places to hike, Bernice makes for a great weekend away. Next time you’re in the area, check out all the great things to do in and around Bernice State Park. 

Bernice is known as the “Crappie Capital of the World.” The fishing at the park is off the hook, pun intended. Largemouth bass, white bass, and channel catfish are abundant. If you’re not into fishing, you’ll find plenty of places to birdwatch. The walking path is handicap-accessible and features two wildlife watch towers. The park also boasts a nature center. The opportunities are endless here and you’ll enjoy every moment of being immersed in nature. 

This museum houses over 50 custom-built exotic vehicles. Although many were built by Starbird himself over the past 50 years, some of the cars are from other designers. You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to appreciate these vehicles, many of which were futuristic in their day. 

This museum has several historic buildings which house antiques, collectibles, and reproductions, to give visitors a chance to see what life was like in the late 19th century in Oklahoma. The Village opens in March for the tourist season. Check out the calendar for historic trade and craft demonstrations. 

Enjoy the games and entertainment at this casino not far from the lake’s shore. Venue 655 Restaurant is a great place to grab a meal, but the real excitement are the gaming machines. Come in, relax, and try to win big! 

Sin in the city - walking away.

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For some down-home cooking, Road Hog is the place to be. The décor is definitely unique. The motorcycle over the bar is truly an antique. The French fries are made fresh. The pork is smoked in-house. The burgers cooked to order. Get lunch here. You won’t regret it. 

Dinner after a nice day of Golf!

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If you’re not into camping, you’ll find off- and on-season accommodations at this lakeside resort. Stay in the hotel, or get a private cabin with all the amenities you’d expect. 

It's a beautiful day on Grand Lake. #nature #lake #lazyday #happycamper

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Plan a fishing trip with this fisherman who has 26 years of experience catching fish in Grand Lake. He can accommodate large parties, furnishes tackle and gear, and takes you to some of the best fishing spots on the lake. 

This golf course sits near the Pensacola Dam which makes a lovely backdrop while you’re teeing off. It’s a beautiful public course with tree-lined fairways and minimum water hazards. 

The Artichoke won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 Taste of Grand event. It’s a charming restaurant, a renovated farmhouse that retained its style. The chef knows how to cook a steak to perfection. They use fresh, local produce, growing their own herbs and supporting local producers. The restaurant is eco-friendly and locally-owned. Make reservations for dinner, especially in the summer months, to make sure you get a table. 

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10 Best Bait and Tackle Shops in Oklahoma Oklahoma is home to hundreds of lakes stocked with bass, catfish, crappie, and more. If you’re an angler, there are numerous opportunities for a top-notch fishing experience. But before you head out to your local fishing hole, you’ll need to stock up on some gear. From live bait to rods and reels, the 10 best bait and tackle shops in Oklahoma will give you everything you’ll need.  

This store is Oklahoma City’s only locally-owned and independent fishing tackle retailer. They advertise competitive prices with excellent customer service. 

This bait shop is near the main boat dock at Tom Steed Lake. Find all varieties of bait at Tom Steed. In addition to bait, this shop features beer and burgers. What’s better than that? 

Grand Lake has many great places for fishing, all year long. The owners at Ketch-Um Bait Shop can point you in the right direction and have all the equipment you need to toss a line into the water. Make sure to grab a bite at Bobbers Café, which features some excellent home cooking.  

TJ’s went through a remodel earlier this year. It’s been updated to include a restaurant, but it still carries bait and fishing equipment. It has friendly service from locals who know the area and all of bait you could ever need! 

One reviewer on Facebook says that this bait shop feels like visiting your grandma and grandpa’s house, and we think that’s pretty special. The owners know the area and carry a large selection of fresh and frozen bait for the best catch of the day. 

Tonja drove down from Ponca City for our world famous green worms!

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Nabatak Outdoors has been serving fishermen in the Claremore area since 1967. With that kind of history, you know they’ll be up on the best fishing holes. This store is more like a sporting store, with all types of apparel and equipment for a day on the lake. 

At D/J’s, you’ll find live bait, cold drinks, and more for your fishing outing. The owners are active in the community and have a lot of knowledge about the best fishing locations in the area. 

At Big Al’s, you’ll find custom fishing lures and tackle. The store gets live bait in from Louisiana and Texas each week, so it’s really fresh. But you’ll find frozen bait like chicken livers and gizzard shad, if that’s what you want. It also has rods and reels, plus years of experience to help you find the gear that works for you. 

At this full-service marina, you can find live bait and tackle, plus get your boat serviced by certified techs. You’ll find Bass Cat boats, Polar Kraft boats, and even used boats for great deals. 

The Mountain Fork River is one of the best places for fly fishing in Oklahoma. This tackle shop not only carries the gear and equipment you’ll need, but can also offer guides to help you hone your technique and find the best spots to catch some trout. 

Fly shop. #beaversbend #flyshop #statepark

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A beginner’s guide: Ice fishing Vin T. Sparano, as excerpted from Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia: Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Boating, Wilderness Survival, First Aid



Ice fishing differs greatly from open-water fishing, and it is a demanding sport. It requires an understanding of and an ability to cope with winter weather, knowledge of the cold-weather habits of the fish, and the use of an unusual assortment of gear, most of it unique to ice fishing.

There are two basic ice-fishing methods: tip-up fishing and jigging. In general, tip-ups are usually used on larger fish—pike, pickerel, walleyes, trout, and such—that prefer bait and require the angler to play the waiting game. Jigging is usually preferred for smaller fish that tend to school up—bluegills, perch, crappies, and the like. But these are merely generalizations, not hard-and-fast rules. For example, jigging (sometimes called chugging) is often quite productive on big lake trout and salmon in the Great Lakes. 

Also called tilts, these come in various styles, but they all perform two basic functions: they hold a baited line leading from a revolving-type reel spool, and they signal the bite of a fish. The most common type of tip-up consists of three strips of wood, each about 18 inches long. Two are cross pieces that form an X as they span the hole. The third piece is an upright; at its bottom end is attached a simple line-holding spool, while the upper end holds the signaling device. The signal is usually a piece of very flexible spring steel with a red (some anglers prefer black) flag on the end. After the hook is baited and lowered to the desired depth, the steel arm is “cocked”—bent over and down and hooked onto a “trigger.” When a fish strikes, an arm on the revolving spool releases the steel arm and it flies erect.

In this type of tip-up, the reel is positioned underwater. In other variations, the reel is positioned above the ice. Each type has its advantages. The above-the-ice reel can be more sensitively adjusted for light-biting fish, but the line tends to freeze on the reel once it gets wet. The underwater reel largely eliminates the problem of freezing, but the fisherman must remove the tip-up from the hole before he can grab the line.

Baits for tip-up fishing are usually live. In general, it pays to match the size of the bait to the size of the fish you’re after. Baits range from tiny maggots (often called mousies) and grubs for panfish, to worms and small minnows for walleyes, and up to 6-inch baitfish for pike. 

As done by ice fishermen, jigging is simply a method of imparting an up-and-down movement to a lure or bait. Jigging can be—and is—done with any sort of line-holding rod or stick. 

Some jigging rods—more appropriately called sticks—are simply pieces of wood 18 inches or so long, with U-shaped notches in each end. The line—10-pound-test monofilament is very popular—is wound lengthwise onto the stick around the U-shaped notches and is paid out as needed. There are other types of jigging sticks of varying designs, and many ice anglers use standard spinning or spincast rods or the butt half of a fly rod. 

Rods made specially for ice jigging are simple affairs consisting of a fiberglass tip section that is 2 or 3 feet long seated in a short butt. The butt may have a simple revolving-spool reel or merely a pair of heavy-wire projections around which the line is wound. The tip section may have two to four guides, including the tip guide. The shortness of such a rod lets the user fish up close to the hole and have better control over the lure or bait at the end of his line. 

There are many and varied jigging lures and baits, but flashiness is built into most of them. Others produce best when “sweetened” with bait. Two popular jigging lures are: an ungainly looking critter with a heavy body shaped and painted to resemble a baitfish, a hook at each end and a treble hook in the middle of its underside, and a line-tie ring in the middle of its upper surface; and a long, slim, three- or four-sided, silvery model with a treble hook at one end and a line-tie ring at the other. 

Jigging methods vary with the fisherman and with the fish being sought. However, a productive way to fish many jigging lures, especially flashier types, is to twitch the lure slightly and then jerk it suddenly upward with a quick upward movement of the arm. The proper interval between jerks is learned with experience. 

Popular jigging baits include a single perch eye (either impaled on a small hook or used to sweeten a tiny hair or rubber-bodied ice fly), worms, grubs, maggots, insect larvae, minnows, and cut bait (pieces of skin or flesh that are cut from the tail or body of such fish as smelt and perch). 

Jiggers tend to move around more than tip-up fishermen, boring holes in different areas until they find a productive spot. 

Like most other forms of fishing, ice angling requires some auxiliary equipment. Most ice anglers prefer to keep such gear to a minimum, for they have to haul it with them wherever they go on the ice. 

If you’re going to fish through holes in the ice, you need something to make those holes. The ice auger is a popular tool for this job. Augers come in different designs. One has a long handle with a U-shaped bend at the top, and a rounded cutting blade at the bottom. The handle is turned much like that of a manual drill, and the blade cuts a round hole through the ice. Another type looks like a giant ice drill with sharp, widely spaced threads. It is used in the same way. Gasoline-powered ice drills are also available. 

Then there’s the ice spud or chisel. This is a heavy metal handle with a large, chisel-type blade at the bottom. The spud’s weight helps the angler punch down through the ice, but the user must shape the hole once he has broken through. 

An indispensable item of accessory gear is the ice skimmer, a ladle-type device that is used to keep the hole clear of ice chips and chunks and to skim ice. A heavy sinker will serve the same purpose. 

Many ice anglers like to use an attached spring clip. It is attached to the fishing line and used to determine the water depth—an important factor because in winter most game fish are found on or near the bottom. 

Winter is the time of year when ice fishermen venture out onto frozen waters. Most will have fun, but a few will get into trouble because they don’t know how to make sure that the ice is safe. The first rule is never take chances. There are two periods when accidents are likely to happen: early in the season when slush ice doesn’t freeze uniformly and late in the season when ice melts at an uneven rate. It takes prolonged periods of freezing to make ice safe. Here are some rules to remember: 

Be cautious of heavy snowfalls while ice is forming. Snow acts as an insulator. The result is a layer of slush and snow on top of treacherous ice. 

Clear, solid river ice is 15 percent weaker than clear lake ice. 

River ice is thinner midstream than near the banks. 

River mouths are dangerous because currents create pockets of unsafe ice. 

When walking with friends, stay 10 yards apart. 

Lakes that have a lot of springs will have weak spots of ice. 





About the author:

Vin T. Sparano is the author of Complete Outdoors Encyclopedia as well as three other guides for Rizzoli

He has been an outdoor editor and writer for more than fifty years. He is editor emeritus of Outdoor Life, and has written and edited more than fifteen books about the outdoors. In 2013, he was inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.

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10 Best Archery Outfitters in Oklahoma Whether it’s for bow hunting or target shooting, Oklahomans know a thing or two about archery. Maintaining your equipment and staying up to date on the latest in great gear is essential, and this deeply-rooted sport has a variety of excellent local shops all across the state. Whether you’re looking to get your bow serviced or you’re in the market for something brand new, you’ll find all of the best brands and expert advice at these 10 local archery outfitters in Oklahoma.  

Archery Outpost has a pro shop, a range and league opportunities. Beginner shooters can rent bows to use on the range. The pro shop features trained and certified technicians who can repair and maintain your bow to peak performance. 

"I feel like you are more of a man, once a bow is in your hands." @jonathan_dickey

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Pat’s Archery bills itself as Oklahoma’s largest and oldest archery pro shop. It’s been in business since the 1960s, locally owned and operated by avid hunters and outdoorsmen. It has six indoor lanes where you can test new equipment, practice and enjoy the comradery of friends and fellow archers. 

Ordered my bow! #newhobbiesarefun #tryingnewthings

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Arrowhead has an indoor range where kids under age 12 can shoot free with a paying adult, and it has opened a 3D outdoor range at Crystal Lake, complete with a 14-foot tower with four shooting stations. The pro shop features trained technicians who can help you find the right equipment for your needs. 

Archery Traditions has a super-knowledgeable staff. The business is family-owned and operated. It has 21 very wide lanes, and welcomes all bow types on the range. One brand they have is Martin, but they also carry youth equipment. 

Archers Corner carries Genesis bows and arrows, which are the official school archery equipment. Purchase a bow from the store and get special range rates. You’ll find bowhunting equipment for adults and service from expert technicians. 

kattiff wuverdeen 😬 #avpfea

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This archery store not only carries traditional archery equipment, but also bowfishing equipment and information. If you’ve ever thought about combining a love for shooting with fishing, it’s a sport you need to check out. 

Buckhorn Archery is locally owned and operated by bow hunters who want to pass on their love of the sport. These folks will help you fit a bow to your needs, which can make the difference in how much you enjoy archery and want to get out and shoot. The store carries many different brands of equipment, including Hoyt

Picked up my Reign 6 today! She's beautiful😍😍 #bowtech

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At Bow Pro Shop, you’ll find all kinds of equipment and accessories for archery, including Gold Tip which are said to be some of the most accurate. 

Murf’s Guns is a third-generation owned business that has a great selection of archery equipment in addition to guns. You’ll find the popular Mathews brand, along with other accessories to make your archery game its best. 

Whether you’re into recreational archery, target shooting or hunting, you’ll find a great selection of archery equipment in this locally-owned store that offers excellent customer service. Find Carbon Express arrows, plus many other popular archery brands in this store. 

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8 Best Ice Skating Rinks in Oklahoma Ice skating might be the best winter sport for kids and adults of all ages. It’s a healthy workout and a lot of states offer accessible options with public skating times and rental skates. With a little practice, you can learn to glide across the ice without falling. Here are the eight best ice skating rinks in Oklahoma.  

Downtown Oklahoma City has a beautiful rink that’s part of the Downtown in December lineup. You’ll be surrounded by twinkling lights, music, and boutique shopping. 

I still can’t feel my toes.

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This indoor ice rink is a great place to hone your skating skills! Be sure to check their website for a public skating schedule. There are also Learn-To-Skate programs, hockey lessons, and other sports camps available. 

Edmond’s outdoor rink is only open through Jan. 7, but it offers extended hours starting Dec. 21. Bring the entire family for an afternoon of fun in the sun on the ice! 

couple divided :') #woopig #boomersooner

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This outdoor rink is near Norris Park in the eastern part of the state. Check the Facebook page to make sure that the conditions are right for skating. If it’s too warm, the rink may not freeze hard enough to allow skating. Skate rentals go at just $2, and the admission fees are inexpensive as well! Schedule a private skating session for a truly exciting experience. 

You're the only person I'm falling for😏💕

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The Oilers Ice Center offers public skate times seven days a week. This Tulsa rink offers classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, with a special session for adults at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday! Check out their Learn-To-Skate program as well. 

At this celebration of the season, the ice rink is open Thursday through Sunday. Over the course of the month, there are several themed skates from your children’s favorite movies and shows. The rink closes on Dec. 23, so don’t wait to enjoy the ice! 

This outdoor ice rink is open every day of the week until Jan. 7. You can even get a season pass to save money while you’re having fun. Plus, with your ice rink ticket, you can get discounted tickets to attend Oklahoma State University basketball games. 

This indoor rink offers public skating throughout the week. Come out on Tuesday nights for special family night pricing with skate rental included. You can also buy season passes for the entire family to make it even more affordable to learn to skate. They offer special prices for military, so bring your ID. 

alright @ou_hockey we're ready for our scholarship #pros

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6 Best Ski and Snowboard Stores in Oklahoma Oklahoma may not be the destination most people think about when they’re looking for a place for winter sports like snowboarding and skiing, but there are some great spots in the state to enjoy the snow during the colder months. If you need gear to get out into nature, here are six great stores where you can find the equipment and accessories to keep you warm and to have a great time! 

This store bills itself as Oklahoma City’s only local skateboard and snowboard shop. You’ll find snowboards and gear in this shop, plus have the opportunity to connect with local enthusiasts. 

Sun & Ski has been one of the key places in Oklahoma City for winter sports gear for many years. You can chat with an expert online or in the store to find the right equipment and gear to be safe and have a great time on the slopes. Some of the ski brands they carry are Volkl, Dynastar, and Salomon. Sun & Ski have locations in Norman, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. 

DICK’s Sporting Goods has snowboarding equipment and gear for all levels of riders. The store carries goggles, protective gear and racks, along with boots and winter outerwear.

This locally-owned store is all about outdoor adventures. It carries a wide variety of products that will fit into your budget for outdoor fun all year long. Get hats, gloves, jackets, and all the essentials you’ll need when you’re outside in the winter for an adventure! 

Hats and gloves for all.

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Zumiez carries Burton snowboards, as well as many other high-quality brands, for men, women, and children, as well as outerwear and other accessories for spending a day in the snow. 

Columbia carries outerwear and footwear perfectly suited for winter sports. They carry high-quality insulated jackets and pants for men, women and children that are waterproof and designed to keep you dry. Make the most of a day on the slopes with excellent gear! 

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9 Best Winter Cabin Camping Spots in Oklahoma Tent camping during winter in Oklahoma might be harsh, but if you go to one of these great campsites with cabins, you can enjoy nature, a campfire, and the crisp, cool air all season long. Here are our favorites! 

This KOA ranks in the top two percent of over 500 campgrounds. Although the pool isn’t open in the winter, there’s still plenty to do. The campground offers a rec room with games, movies, and a treadmill. In the area, you’ll find plenty of restaurants, Native American heritage, casinos, and more. 

Bear’s Glen Cabins feature fully-equipped kitchens, full baths, television, heating, an outdoor fire pit, and much more. It sits on 15 acres of private land, with a private dock on Keystone Lake. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, as well as casinos, boat rentals, and local attractions. November to April is the best time for bald eagle viewing in the area. 

Never too cold for camping #campinglife #camping #campfirefun #campfire #photography #outdoors

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The 12 cabins at Rivers Edge overlook the Mountain Fork River. It’s a serene setting, with very little noise and light pollution for viewing the nighttime sky. You’ll find miles of hiking trails, a privately-stocked fishing pond, and loaner bikes. ATVs are welcome. 

These beautiful cabins in central-southern Oklahoma are located in the Arbuckle Mountains. Each cabin is uniquely decorated, sleeps six adults, and has a fully-equipped kitchen. During the day, enjoy nature, shop in town at the antique stores or visit Turner Falls. 

At this KOA, you can fish for crappie or sand bass in Clinton Lake, which is just a short walk from the campground. Lucky Star Casino, golf courses, Route 66 museums, and Stafford Air & Space Museum are within driving distance. Plus, there’s a fenced-in area for pets at the campground to let your buddy run leash-free. 

Although River of Love Cabins are mostly for couples, there are family options at this beautiful location in southern Oklahoma near the Red River. WinStar Casino is just a few miles away, as is Lake Murray State Park and ATV trails. The cabins have full kitchens, AC/heat, linens, and towels and hot tubs. 

Mountain Escape Cottage! #beautifulcabins #riversedgecottages #travelok #relax

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Peckerwood Knob Cabins may only have two cabins, but both are beautiful. If you’re a morning person, stay in the Sunrise Cabin, which has a glass wall overlooking the mountains for an excellent view of the morning sun. The other cabin faces west for sunset views over the mountain. It’s like a private mountain retreat. 

Medicine Park is one of the nicest resort towns in Oklahoma. It’s close to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge and has some wonderful restaurants and boutiques. White Horse Lodging has three cobblestone cottages with screened-in porches and modern amenities. It’s a lovely place to stay in the winter. 

Even in the off-season, there’s a lot to do at Grand Lake. There’s a game room on site, and an area for four-wheeling. Just a few miles away, you can enjoy the history of the area at the Eastern Trails Museum or get a meal at Clanton’s Café, “the oldest continually owned family restaurant on Route 66 in the state of Oklahoma.” 

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7 Best Motorsport Retailers and Rentals in Oklahoma In Oklahoma, we know a thing or two about hopping on the back of an ATV and escaping to the wilderness. If you’re looking for a new ride, some new parts and accessories, or simply need a tune-up, these awesome motorsport retailers across the state are here to help you out. Here are our favorites! 

Stewarts has been providing ATVs and buggies to enjoy Little Sahara State Park for over 10 years. You don’t need a trailer, because you can drive the ATVs to the park through town. The company provides helmets. Renters must be at least 18 years-old to rent a Polaris ATV. Reservations are recommended. 

Got this turbo fixed! Installed a good race clutch and got her tuned up. She is fired up now and ready to roll

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One of the best ways to explore the Broken Bow nature areas is by ATV or UTV. If you’re not up to a hike or just want to reach new areas, you can find a vehicle that will accommodate up to six people. Bandits also rents party barges for large groups who want to relax on the river.  

This store, just west of Oklahoma City, offers RZR ATVs for rent on a per day basis. Renters must be at least 18 years-old with an Oklahoma state driver’s license. Reservations are recommended, but you can check availability online. The website has a list of some great trails. Even if you aren’t close enough to rent an ATV at this store, check out their resources. 

Although this store doesn’t have rentals, they have some good deals on pre-owned ATVs, dirt bikes, and motorcycles. You can find KYMCO and other brands, as well as all the accessories you need to be safe on the trail. 

This Tulsa retailer carries Tao Tao, Roketa and Massimo ATVs as well as high-quality helmets that are Department of Transportation-approved. The store also provides service for the lines they carry. According to the website, they can beat their competitors by five percent. 

If you want Kawasaki ATVs, this Oklahoma City retailer has a large inventory of new and pre-owned vehicles. Shop online or go to the store to find HJC helmets and other equipment for taking an ATV out on the trail. In 2020, the store celebrates 50 years in the Oklahoma City area. It has a rock-solid reputation in the state for providing excellent customer service. 

FLY Motocross helmets on sale! Come in and check them out today!

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Jones Offroad is a locally owned and operated business that gets great reviews. They feature Polaris and Can-Am ATVs and carry a new and pre-owned inventory. You’ll also find parts and service, equipment and more when you shop at this highly recommended ATV store. 

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Start Your Trek: 7 Best Hiking Retailers in Oklahoma Oklahoma has some wonderful trails for hiking, whether you want a short day trip or a longer trek into nature. But the first thing you need to do is find good hiking equipment that will stand up to the elements of nature without weighing you down. Here are seven stores that carry high-quality gear that will meet your needs. 

If you’re looking for solar power or rechargers to take on your hiking trip, this store carries a large selection of Goal Zero and YETI products that will fit into your backpack for added power when you’re out in nature. 

Green Beetle is an independent and locally owned store in Tulsa that carries excellent products. You can’t beat Eberlestock equipment for backpacks. If it’s good enough for Olympic-class biathletes, it’s going to be great for your trek. The store carries many products for survival, such as fire starters, water treatment, and first aid kits. 

Native Summit is locally owned and operated by outdoor enthusiasts who stock and sell products that they have used and believe in. You’ll find a great selection of lightweight hiking boots and shoes and many other pieces of equipment that will keep you safe and comfortable on the trail. 

You can find all types of hiking gear at Bass Pro Shops, but one thing you’ll want to throw in your pack are the SOL emergency blankets, ponchos, and first aid kits. These items are extremely lightweight and easy to carry, but vital in case you get lost or stranded. It’s a small thing, but it will add to your peace of mind when you’re out on a mountain. 

Since 1973, Backwoods has been supplying hikers, campers, and other outdoor enthusiasts with the best gear. Find everything from Oboz hiking shoes to breathable fleeces from MtnLogic for those chillier expeditions. Backwoods will supply you with everything you will need for a successful and safe hiking experience. 

Stillwater Summit Co. is the destination to shop at before you conquer your next outdoor adventure. On their site, they state that, "it is our mission to provide the best quality outdoor gear & apparel along with the best customer service,” and that they do! It is a known fact that the owners and staff here are incredible and with brands like YETI and Cotopaxi, you are sure to leave happy.

A Cotopaxi windbreaker is a great jacket on a day like today. #stillwatersummitco #getoutanddostuff #staywarm

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Ascent, located in Tulsa, carries an extremely well-selected inventory of hiking gear, clothing, shoes, and tools. You can find everything you'll need to “ascend” on your next escapade! Not only do they carry the finest products from brands, like Arc’teryx and Kuhl, but the raved-about customer service is just outstanding! Check out Ascent and feed your passion. 

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Camping Done Right: 6 Essential Outdoor Stores in Oklahoma When you go camping, you want to know that your equipment is going to stand up to the elements. It needs to be lightweight enough to carry on the trail, but sturdy enough to keep you warm when the sun goes down. The right gear will make or break your camping experience, so check out these essential outdoor retailers for everything you’ll need. 

Backwoods is an Austin-based, family-owned and operated outdoor gear store with locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. It carries high-quality camping gear, such as Osprey backpacking equipment, MSR camp stoves and Sea to Summit sleeping bags

Bass Pro Shops are known for carrying essentials for outdoor sports. You can find just about anything you think you’ll need for your camping adventure: tents, first aid and survival equipment, camp stoves, and more. Bass Pro carries equipment to have a good experience in the great outdoors while having cots and sleeping bags that have added support and room. 

It's a beautiful evening to do some shopping. Come visit us! #BassPro #BassProShops #Outdoors #Hunting #Fishing #OklahomaCity #Oklahoma

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Cabela’s carries a wide variety of great camping gear. Get a Lodge Cast Iron Dutch oven for cooking great stews and cobblers over a campfire. Coleman coolers are essential for keeping food cold while you’re away from refrigeration, but Coleman has an entire line of camping equipment which can be found at Cabela’s. If you enjoy camping in the winter, you’ll want to look for Kelty sleeping bags rated to zero degrees. 

Pre-brunch pit stop 🌿🤘🏼🔫⛏🐺🍃 #chrisgaylor

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This company bills itself as an “American sporting goods discount store chain.” You’ll find name brands at affordable prices. It has a large selection of Coleman camping equipment at what it says are the best prices around. Look for the North Face backpacking gear and sleeping bags for high-quality products that will be lightweight and but warm enough for the cooler autumn and winter temperatures. If you’re looking for meal packs that are packed lightweight and easy to fix when you’re out in the woods, Academy has an excellent selection. 

Native Summit is a locally-owned and operated, independent outdoor store with staff who are passionate about outdoor sports. They’re selective in what they carry, looking for high-quality equipment that will do the job when you’re outdoors. Patagonia is a company that has great jackets, boots and base layers for winter camping and hiking. You’ll find a selection of Camelbak hydration equipment at this store, too. 

DICK’s Sporting Goods is a chain that offers a large selection of camping equipment at competitive prices. It carries Quest Outdoors tents, which come in fun colors like orange, pink, and red. You’ll find a good selection of camping heaters by Mr. Heater to stay warm all year long when you’re out in nature. Dick’s has a good sale selection, too. It pays to watch their ads for deals on the gear that will make camping safer, more comfortable, and enjoyable. 

I guess the kids decided we were taking to long getting camping gear. #lazy #tobeakidagain

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5 Energizing Hikes in Oklahoma Nothing compares to fresh air in your lungs and the sounds of nature all around you as your heart pumps along your revitalizing hike. For something a bit more challenging than a novice trek, check out these five energizing hikes throughout Oklahoma! 

Don’t let the 2.4-mile length of the trail fool you. This trail starts out fairly flat, but when it opens up onto the boulder field, you’ll have to climb, hop, and even crawl to get through the irregular terrain. However, the views of Oklahoma’s prairie landscapes are stunning when viewed atop one of the formations. Bring plenty of water. Make sure you have good, sturdy hiking boots with ankle support. Above all, watch out for rattlesnakes. 

The trail begins at Cedar Lake and takes you through the Ouachita National Forest. In the fall, this hike is not only exhilarating, but gorgeous with the changing colors of the leaves. It’s close to the Talimena Scenic Byway. Hikers are welcome all year long, but summers get hot. You’ll hike 11 miles if you take the complete route, but it can be demanding in places due to steep grades and long climbs up the mountain. You can drink the water from the area’s springs and streams, provided you treat it first. 

These dedicated hiking trails are popular, but they do present a challenge. Together, the trails are five miles in length, but you don’t have to hike the entire system at one time. The Creek Loop Trail is about 1.5 miles-long and will take you through the woods and into rocky bluffs. The trails were carefully thought out for an enjoyable, but not too difficult hike. All of the trails are easily accessible from the campgrounds or park office. Depending on the season you visit, you may spot white-tailed deer, grey fox, wild turkey, or a bald eagle. 

This trail system is seven smaller trails that can be mixed and matched. The entire trail is about 12.5 miles-long. The Skyline Trail runs five miles, and is one of the more advanced routes. You won’t get lost because the trail is well marked, but you’ll cross streams and enjoy steep climbs as you take on the nature trail. The system is considered one of the best in Oklahoma. It can be challenging and invigorating, but the landscape is absolutely gorgeous. You can primitive camp, but you’ll want to make sure to bring a camp stove as campfires are not permitted. 

This trail system requires a free permit to hike, bike, or ride a horse though the park. It’s simply a way to keep track of the users and make sure everyone understands that this is a “quiet-water” zone. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails. The area is virtually untouched, and there is always plenty of wildlife to view. There are over 25 miles of trails, clearly marked and usually free of brush. If you want to camp, note that there are hardly any amenities. 

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