Craig Day, News On 6
NEAR CATOOSA -- Springtime in Oklahoma is beautiful. And nothing says so long to the winter doldrums like plants blooming and birds singing.
And nothing says springtime in Oklahoma quite like the redbud tree. You can see redbuds and much more at Redbud Valley Nature Preserve.
"A lot of people don't realize this is here," Vinnie Robinson, Natural Resource Manager, said.
Redbud Valley is a 200 acre park. Take the one mile looping trail and you'll be glad you did.
As you climb, you'll of course find redbuds as their splash of color brightens up the early springtime landscape. But you'll also discover much more. Wildflowers like Dutchman's britches, wild plum blossoms, even cactus you normally wouldn't associate with eastern Oklahoma.
"The diversity is what's unique," Robinson said.
Preserve Natural Resource Manager Vinnie Robinson loves that diversity and says you will too. And spring is the perfect time to visit.
"From now on through June something is going to be blooming every day," he said.
There is the beauty found each spring and then the natural beauty found year round. Giant limestone rock formations are impressive. Cliffs and caves create some amazing scenery many people don't know is here.
"They're certainly not expecting to see this in Oklahoma," Robinson said.
They don't know it's so close to Tulsa. It's less than half an hour, but it feels like you're a million miles away from the hustle and bustle and stress of the city.
"As soon as you get out of the car and walk into the woods, it sort of melts away," he said.
The preserve is part of the Oxley Nature Center and is operated in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy.
"This is a wonderful place," Robinson said.
A wonderful place and whether it's to see the Redbud, the wildflowers, or the incredible rock formations, it's a great Oklahoma getaway.
Redbud Valley Nature Preserve is located on North 161st East Avenue, 3.8 miles north of I-44 near Catoosa. It's open Wednesdays through Sundays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
For directions and more information, check out Oxleynaturecenter.org.