Focus on the Backroads » Photo Journeys

FOCUS ON THE BACKROADS: WICHITA MOUNTAINS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE OKLAHOMA

Located in the southwestern part of Oklahoma, near Lawton, is the  Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.  The 59,020-acres are  home to elk, deer, buffalo and other wild life.  It is also a popular area for hiking, rock climbing, camping and other outdoor activities.

This area was established in 1901 when President McKinley proclaimed a portion of the mountains as the Wichita Forest Reserves, managed by the Forest Divsion of the U.S Department of the Interior.  In 1905 President Teddy Roosevelt issued a proclamation creating the Wichita Forest and Game Preserve, which became the nations first big-game animal refuge.  In 1906 3,680 acres was added to the refuge .  In 1907 the park became the Wichita National Forest and Game Preserve.  The area’s name was change again in 1936 when Congress renamed it the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge.  Today over 1,000,00 visitors experience this area every year.

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is like an amazing Island as you approach it.  After driving trough Oklahoma flat lands you come upon this wildlife oasis.  A trip to this area is a must for any  Texas (or any other state) Backroader!  The perfect destination for a vacation or a long weekend camping trip.  It is truly where Buffalo Roam.

note:  A must when in the area.  You must visit the Meers Restaurant in Meers, Oklahoma.  Meers, Oklahoma was once a booming gold mining town with a population of over 500 folks.    Meers’ population now consist of one family, their pets and their restaurant and store.  Meers is considered to be the home of the best burgers in Oklahoma – I for one know that this is true!  These burgers are made from Texas Longhorns that are raised on the family’s near by ranch.

The mountains are calling and I must go.    John Muir

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