Scenic USA - Oklahoma

Natural Falls

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Natural Falls, Natural Falls State Park - Oklahoma

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Here in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, where the state borders Missouri and Arkansas, the rural landscape is still influenced by the Ozark National Forest and the Ozark (Highlands) Mountains, simply called the Ozarks. This is Cherokee Country. Driven from the southern Appalachians during the 1830s, those Indians who survived the brutal Trail of Tears, joined the Western Cherokee already ready living in these lush hills. Today, in Gore and Tahequah you'll find tokens of the Cherokee legacy, and a mix of Ozark beauty and Native history.
   Where Oklahoma routes 10/82 connect I-40 to I-44, this scenic byway hightlights a handful of state parks, including Natural Falls State Park. It's easy to guess what the main attraction is here ... naturally the park's waterfalls. Enclosed in a deep ravine, the tallest Natural Falls Ravine cascade drops 77 feet into a cool emerald pool, creating one of Oklahoma's most beautiful park settings. Lying in one of Oklahoma's ten diverse ecoregions, the park is located near the charming town of Siloam Springs.
   Natural Falls State Park features a unique location where plants and animals have adapted to the high rocky ridges and a cool, damp environment below the falls and valley floor. A paved walkway provides easy access to the falls viewing area for those able to handled stair steps. The park, known to the locals as Dripping Springs, provides camping sites, picnicking areas, playgrounds and hiking trails. This unique area provided the enchanting scenes for a motion picture entitled Where the Red Fern Grows.

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