Natural Falls State Park
|Natural Falls State Park|
|Location||Delaware County, Oklahoma, United States|
|Nearest city||West Siloam Springs, OK|
|Area||120 acres (49 ha)|
|Governing body||Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department|
Located in northeast Oklahoma in the scenic Ozark Highlands region, Natural Falls State Park features a 77-foot (23 m) waterfall cascading through rock formations and creating a hidden, serene atmosphere at the bottom of a narrow V-shaped valley. An observation platform with a nearby picnic pavilion overlooks the falls and a deck with seating is available at the base of the falls. Picnic tables and grills can be found throughout the park. Campsites including 44 RV sites and 27 tent sites, and a comfort station with showers are also on site. The Red Fern Reunion Center is available for group functions. Other amenities include a three and a half mile hiking and nature trail, picnic shelter, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball court, catch and release fishing, playgrounds, and formal garden area. Pets are allowed on a leash only.
The park affords an opportunity to observe a variety of plant and animal life. Hikers will find a dense forest of maples, chinquapin, and white oaks, while plants such as flowering dogwood, sassafras, coralberry, spicebush, redbud, and pawpaw blanket the cool forest floor. The waterfall creates a moist environment where ferns, mosses, and liverworts thrive. Once privately owned and operated as a tourist attraction, this park was used in the production of the 1974 film Where the Red Fern Grows.
It includes a waterfall which is 77 ft (23 m) tall. This is one of the two tallest known waterfalls in the state, matching Turner Falls in the Arbuckle Mountains. The falls are known to local residents as Dripping Springs Falls, but the State renamed the park as Natural Falls to distinguish it from Dripping Springs State Park and other sites in Oklahoma with similar names.
Proposed park closure in 2018
In March 2017, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation published a list of 16 state parks that may be closed to help offset a reduction in its budget for 2018. Natural Falls State Park is on this list. This list represents approximately one-half of the parks remaining after the department closed seven parks in 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Natural Falls State Park.|
- "Turner Falls". Turner Falls Park. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009.
- Wolftraveler (January 5, 2009). "Oklahoma Waterfall Study underway". Retrieved February 23, 2009.
One [possibly taller waterfall] is said to be well over 100ft in height.[dead link]
- "Natural Falls State Park". ExploreSouthernHistory.com.
- "Natural Falls State Park". Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Fultenberg, Lorne (March 13, 2017). "Half of Oklahoma state parks could close with budget cuts". KFOR News. Retrieved November 1, 2017.[dead link]