Staff Expansion Spurs More Hours At Keystone Ancient Forest

Friday, January 1st 2021, 6:44 pm
By: Matt Rahn


For those looking to get into shape in the new year, the Keystone Ancient Forest in Sand Springs is expanding its hours.

Parks director Jeff Edwards said the ancient forest has grown in popularity over the years. Now, they have a full-time staffer which will allow more people to visit the trails.

“It's an old-growth native, natural landscape of what Oklahoma would look like hundreds of years ago," Edwards said.

Edwards said those who visit the ancient forest will see trees up to 500 years old.

"One of the biggest disappointments with this property in the past is that we just haven't been able to be open on a consistent basis just operating on a volunteer base," Edwards said.

The forest will now be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. They're planning a new visitor center set to open in February.

"It's climate-controlled,” Edwards said. “It's got great modern bathrooms, a beautiful building on the inside.” 

Edwards said the forest has been a great escape for people during 2020. He hopes that continues into the new year.

"The forest has shown to be just a hugely, popular place and one of those facilities that people can come and enjoy and not worry too much about the pandemic," Edwards said.

Daniel Winzer came to the forest to celebrate his birthday.

"It's great. It's one of those places like I never have taken the time to come out here and I think we're just super fortunate to have something so close to the city to be able to enjoy nature," Winzer said.

Organizers will be hosting a run next month to raise money for the trails.