Turner Falls, Oklahoma

Turner Falls in Oklahoma is just a short 2 hour drive from Dallas/Fort Worth, and offers clear, cool spring water!  It’s an almost annual mom and kids trip for us to celebrate summer, and something we look forward to all year long!  Over the years, I’ve collected some great, and a few rather OCD-like Mommy tips for having a great time!

turner falls 2

Know Before You Go
  1. All tent campsites are on a first come basis.
  2. Children 12 and under are required to wear a US lifeguard approved life jacket.
  3. Dogs are not allowed in the park or campsites.
  4. Don’t forget sunscreen, life jackets for children and water shoes!  The rocks are slippery!!
  5. You can use the air compressor at the Park Store to blow up tubes and floats.
The Falls
The 77′ waterfall cascades down into the perfect swimming hole, at a chilly constant 70 degrees from the spring-fed Honey Creek.  There is a grotto behind the falls, but visitors are not allowed access, or to climb on the falls.
The water here is deep, so don’t forget life jackets for young or inexperienced swimmers.
Tubes and floats are allowed.
A sandy beach is perfect for digging in the sand, so don’t forget your sand toys!
There are a few picnic tables scattered under the trees.
There is a restroom by the sandy beach.
I take a water-safe bag to hold our sunscreen, water (plenty of water), a little cash for Snow Cones on the walk back to the car, and my camera.  I usually also carry my car keys in the bag, but be sure to remove your keyless entry, mine got wet one year.
The Caves
There are three caves, which are open and can be explored.  There is usually a line to get inside and one climbs up to the top of the falls!
We love toobing, but Honey Creek is too shallow for most adults, although kids usually don’t have a problem.  We usually park about half way between The Falls and the road, one the side closest to the water.  After a few hours of toobing at the falls, the kids float down on toobs while we walk on the easy shore beside them to the car, and stop and have a picnic lunch, and put up the sand toys, before heading on down to the Blue Hole.
The Blue Hole
Don’t let the shallow water along the creek fool you, a man-made dam traps the water to create The Blue Hole, an incredible swimming area!  It is deep, so don’t leave the life jackets in the car.
The rocks are sharp and VERY slippery!  Bring water shoes (I really prefer the cheap ones at Walmart, etc. best) or you can purchase them at the park store.
The Blue Hole has diving boards, slides and lots of fun, but on weekends it does get busy so watch young swimmers!
The Castle
Each year, we wake up early one morning to hike (a nice word that here means climb) up to the ruins of the “Castle”, once an old home set on the side of the cliff that somewhat resembled a castle.  It’s a fun climb and interesting to explore the ruins, but take plenty of water.
Another scenic hike is to Bridal Falls, upcreek from The Falls.
Turner Falls offers some beautiful campsites in the Arbuckle Mountains and along Honey Creek.
All Campsites and RV sites are on a first come basis.  Camp sites along the water are not well distinguished, and rather tight together.  We prefer camping up on the mountain, with much more privacy in the sites.
All tent camping is primitive.  A bathhouse is by the cabins and offers showers with hot water!
City police patrol the park 24/7, and the park entry office is also open 24/7.
There is a food stand inside the park with limited hours, and a snow cone stand.  Outside food is allowed in the park, and the park store sells staples, such as bread, milk, eggs, etc.