Sometimes when you live in the middle of the country, you have to be a bit creative when it comes to entertaining yourself. Those like me, lean towards traveling. While growing up, I heard very little about any waterfalls or hiking in Oklahoma – it’s also known as very flat land. I decided to take a poll and find out where these coveted waterfalls are. Friends, family members and perfect strangers all pointed me toward Turner Falls – I didn’t ask if they previously withheld this info on purpose, but I definitely thought about this… The falls on their own spoke to me, but the endorsement of the captivating landscape and the authentic castle ruins made it all seem well worth the 3 hour trek from Tulsa. Since it’s a state park, the $12 donation is a mandatory entry fee. We obliged because A) it’s the right thing to do and B) we just had to see what all the buzz was about. We, meaning – friend, Vlogger & Model @MollieRenay, her friend Nautica and my bestie Rachel tagged along for the trip. For those of you who are entertaining the idea of checking it out – there’s ample parking, shuttles taking you up to the waterfalls and castle or over to the water activities. Local food vendors are also present if the drive prompted your appetite.
First we checked out the castle ruins which were tucked away in the tall trees. While they are just that – ruins, we did see two small empty buildings still nearly in tact. Inside was a petite room and smaller room behind it looking very much like a prisoner’s cage with barred windows and doorways.
There are narrow winding stairs leading up to the roof overlooking the lush trees and a shallow stream of crystal clear water. After touring the castle ruins, we made our way to the waterfall along the path next to the stream. Can we say gorgeous?
I couldn’t take my eyes off of the surroundings – striking blue water, lush green trees just like you’d see in a movie. We saw cascading falls leading up to the glorious 77ft tall waterfall. I might add that if you are looking to snap a photo next to the falls, it is an incredible feat.
Swimming is prohibited beyond a certain point (signs are posted at the boundary lines.) We snuck past the boundary line only slightly. No swimming was happening just some appearingly intense climbing (depending on who you ask.)
Clearly, after all the climbing and photography, we made a trek back down to the shallow streams and pools of water for a break before heading over to the water activities.
The water is not only beautiful but also refreshingly cool – especially after lots of hiking. We found it to be immensely relaxing (if you can’t tell.) The views from the streams are gorgeous as well. The streams are enclosed with trees, stunning rock formations and cascading falls (which feel amazing if you put your head beneath them and let the water run down.) Once we were re-energized, we caught the bus down to Blue Hole – the swimming hole with pools, another smaller waterfall and most importantly the slides.
After basically running in anticipation of all the fun we were about to have, we met a brief line – which admittedly helped calm my nerves. The slide is pretty steep, and if you can stomach the drop and remember to hold your breath, everything will turn out fine. Thankfully, I was able to manage and got a rush from plunging into the deep blue waters. Yes, deep. I’m 5’4″ and I was not able to touch until I swam a ways over to my left. At any rate, I went for a second time and had just as much if not more of a thrill than the first time. If you have the chance, you need to plan at least a day trip. It’s an easy drive and well worth the effort. You’ll be giving your eyes a real treat.