21 Best State Parks Near Tulsa, OK Ranked + Map to Find Them!

21 Best State Parks Near Tulsa, OK Ranked + Map to Find Them! by Stephanie Craig
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Northeast Oklahoma is green and lush, with tons of great opportunities for outdoor adventures. Nineteen Oklahoma state parks near Tulsa can be reached by car in two hours or less.

Plus, two state parks in Kansas and Arkansas are also within two hours of Tulsa – perfect for an out-of-state adventure!

Oklahoma - Colcord - Natural Falls State Park - Dripping Springs Falls - Overlook - Stephanie Selfie

This means that there are twenty-one state parks close to Tulsa, making for endless possibilities for great day trips and weekend getaways!

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State Parks near Tulsa OK by Stephanie Craig

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Map of State Parks Near Tulsa, OK

This map has the closest state parks to Tulsa numbered by drive time. While some of these might look rather far, because of their locations near major highways, these parks are all two hours away from Tulsa or less.

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State Parks Near Tulsa Ranked from Best to Worst

To help you decide which one to visit, I’m listing them here in order of ranking from worst to best. Below this list, I have another list of parks by drive time.

To rank the parks, I’m using an average of the ratings by parkgoers on Trip Advisor, Google, and All Trails.

Cherokee Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 11.2/15 stars

There are six areas of Grand Lake State Park, which were independent state parks in the past and still maintain some level of autonomy.

They dot the shore of Grand Lake, the third-largest lake in Oklahoma.

The Cherokee Area is located near the Pensacola Dam and features the Grand Cherokee Golf Course, four camping areas, and lots of water activities.

True adrenaline junkies can visit the nearby Hogans Offroad Park to drive ATVs.

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Sequoyah Bay State Park

Park Score: 12.2/15 stars

Located near Wagoner on Fort Gibson Lake and across from Sequoyah State Park, Sequoyah Bay State Park.

The most popular activities here are water sports, and the park features a full-service marina. There’s also a volleyball court and a picnic area with picnic tables right beside the lake.

For campers, you can reserve RV sites with both 30-amp and 50-am hookups along with tent campsites.

Twin Bridges Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 12.2/15 stars

If you’re looking for serious fishing, the Twin Bridges Area of GLSP is a great destination. You can fish bluegill, catfish, and trophy-sized bass.

The park features RV camping and tent camping as well as lake huts, grills, restrooms, and showers.

Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park

Park Score: 12.25/15 stars

Formerly Arrowhead State Park, the Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park is still a destination worthy of visiting in its own right or as part of a larger state parks road trip.

Arrowhead State Park - Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufala | state parks near OKC
By Corey Taratuta – Sunset at Arrowhead State Park CC BY 2.0, Link via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Eufaula is the largest lake in Oklahoma, perfect for fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and water skiing.

There are two hiking trails here, one that comes in under a mile and another that is three miles long and is only recommended for the advanced hiker. There’s also a golf course here for golf enthusiasts.

There are RV sites and tent sites available to reserve in advance, as well as group camping options.

Lake Eufaula State Park

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

Just a little over twenty minutes down the road, Lake Eufaula State Park sits on a peninsula in the lake and features miles of shoreline.

Formerly known as Fountainhead State Park, the LESP is located by Checotah and the Honey Springs Battlefield, so there’s a lot to do in this area of eastern Oklahoma beyond the park.

Lake Eufaula State Park is known for bird watching and wildlife viewing, and they put on events like Bald Eagle tours in the spring.

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Oklahoma - Lake Eufaula sunset, Oklahoma, USA

There are a ton of other great outdoor activities here, like archery, horseback riding trails, and golfing.

Overnight visitors will love the option to stay in one of the park’s three yurts, though they also have traditional RV sites and tent camping sites as well.

Many people will base themselves at Lake Eufaula. If you plan on spending a week here, you can visit some nearby sites, like Okmulgee Lake and Recreation Area and the Deepfork National Wildlife Refuge.

Lake Thunderbird State Park

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

This is the closest state park to Oklahoma City, so it’s a great option if you want to meet up with people from both Tulsa and OKC.

The park can host a lot of overnight visitors at one time, with two hundred RV sites as well as tent sites and group shelters.

A senic view of the clouds reflecting in the water at Thunderbird Lake in Oklahoma.

During the day, you can enjoy hiking and biking trails, equestrian trails, swimming, canoeing, fishing, and more.

Make sure to stop by the Lake Thunderbird State Park Discovery Cove Nature Center, a great place for families to take kids to learn about what they’re experiencing in the park. Open year-round five days a week, but hours vary by season.

Greenleaf State Park

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

One of the original New Deal state parks in Oklahoma, Greenleaf State Park features original native stone cabins, twenty miles of trails great for hiking and mountain biking, and good fishing on Greenleaf Lake.

(In fact, the nearby town of Gore boasts the nickname the Trout Capital of Oklahoma, in part, due to its proximity to Lake Greenleaf).

Greenleaf State Park Sign - Braggs, Oklahoma - photo by Stephanie Craig

Located in the Cookson Hills on the westernmost edge of the Ozarks, Greenleaf Lake is surrounded by beautiful woods and slight, sloping hills.

The park recently traded in its swimming pool for a modern splash pad, making Greenleaf a favorite with families, especially those traveling with small children.

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Read next: Things to Do at Greenleaf State Park + Greenleaf State Park Cabin Review

Tenkiller State Park

Park Score: 12.5/15 stars

Sometimes mislabeled as Lake Tenkiller State Park, Tenkiller State Park sits on the lake and has earned the nickname “heaven in the hills.”

Featuring over one hundred miles of shoreline, this is a water lover’s paradise. You can swim, canoe, paddleboard, fish, go tubing, and even scuba dive!

TSP is packed with amenities, from volleyball and basketball courts to almost two hundred picnic tables to an entire scuba park.

Fireworks display at Lake Tenkiller Oklahoma

With weekly activities in the offseason and daily activities in the summertime, every day at Tenkiller is full of possibilities.

For overnight campers, there are ten campgrounds and almost forty cabins to choose from.

Located just a short twenty-minute drive from Greenleaf State Park, these two make a great pairing for a longer trip or day trip from one another.

Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 12.6/15 stars

Boasting the nickname “the Crappie Capital of the World,” the Bernice Area sits on the northwest portion of Grand Lake and draws anglers from far and wide.

The park boasts a nature center, wildlife viewing, water sports, and hiking trails.

You can stay overnight at the park, which has RV sites and tent campsites.

If you are looking for things to do near the park, there are Civil War sites and Route 66 attractions to explore as day trips.

Spavinaw Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 12.7/15 stars

Even though the Spavinaw Area has been turned into a part of Grand Lake State Park, it sits on Spavinaw Lake. Featuring fishing, boating, and swimming, this is a place to come if you want to get out on the water.

Spavinaw Area at Grand Lake State Park

The swimming beach gets high praise from families with kids because the water is relatively shallow.

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You can stay overnight at the RV or tent campsites. Travelers who stay longer can use the park as a base to explore the Spavinaw Wildlife Management Area as well.

Cherokee Landing State Park

Park Score: 12.7/15 stars

Another park tucked away in the Cookson Hills, Cherokee Landing State Park is located on Lake Tenkiller, thirty minutes northeast of Tenkiller State Park.

Outdoor activities include disc golf, volleyball, biking, hiking, and birdwatching. Of course, water sports and recreation are popular here as well.

Featuring a playground and a swimming beach, this is a great park for families with young children.

You can stay overnight at the RV and tent sites, which can be reserved online ahead of time.

Keystone State Park

Park Score: 13/15 stars

Situated on Keystone Lake near the town of Sand Springs, Keystone State Park is the closest state park to Tulsa.

A sunset over Keystone Lake in Oklahoma.

With traditional RV and tent sites as well as cabins available, this is a great place to get away from Tulsa without having to go all that far. Keystone State Park is just twenty minutes from T-Town.

Activities here include all the traditional state parks activities like hiking and boating.

Sequoyah State Park

Park Score: 13/15 stars

A favorite with families looking to enjoy a state park from the comfort of a park lodge or cabin, Sequoyah State Park features many amenities that other parks on this list do not.

Beyond the lodge and traditional water activities, there is also a swimming pool, rec room, horseshoe pits, and tennis courts, as well as a nine-hole golf course.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sequoyah_State_Park,_Hulbert_(51339711353).jpg">Sharon Mollerus</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons
Sharon Mollerus, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park features group camping options for large groups – perfect for a family reunion!

Families traveling with kids can stop by the Three Forks Nature Center. Be on the lookout for special children’s programs.

Disney Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 13/15 stars

Located by the Pensacola Dam on Grand Lake, the Disney Area at Grand Lake State Park is one of the most popular spots to visit on Grand Lake.

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You can also plan a visit to the nearby Hogan’s Offroad Park for some ATV or OHV fun.

The park features tent camping only, so it’s perfect for anyone who wants to get out and experience a little solitude and quiet while they camp.

Natural Falls State Park

Park Score: 13/15 stars

Located in the Ozark Highlands near the Arkansas border, Natural Falls State Park is one of the most beautiful places in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma - Colcord - Natural Falls State Park - Dripping Springs Falls - Overlook - by Stephanie Craig

The seventy-seven-foot double waterfall features rock formations, so beautiful that it has been featured in Hollywood productions.

This park makes a great day trip if you’re looking for a state park near Tulsa but you don’t want to swim or get out on the water. Instead, you can enjoy a short waterfall hike to one of Oklahoma’s most beautiful waterfalls!

For those looking to stay overnight, there are five yurts as well as RV sites and tent campsites.

Little Blue Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 13.1/15 stars

Featuring a creek area with clean water, this is a popular spot for families. The park doesn’t have tons of amenities on-site, but it’s a great place to explore along with other nearby locations.

You can book a tour of the Pensacola Dam, visit the Grand River Dam Authority Ecosystems and Education Center, and stop by the nearby Hogans Offroad Park.

While there are no RV sites, tent campers can book a tent site online.

Honey Creek Area at Grand Lake State Park

Park Score: 13.2/15 stars

The highest-ranked area of all the areas at Grand Lake State Park, the Honey Creek Area features boating, swimming, and fishing.

There are lots to do in nearby Grove, Oklahoma, including the intriguing Cherokee Queen Paddleboat.

Don’t just come out in the summertime! Honey Creek hosts an annual Pelican Festival in the autumn, making it a favorite with bird watchers.

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One of the only areas of GLSP to have cabins, you can also stay overnight in an RV or tent site.

Osage Hills State Park

Park Score: 13.5/15 stars

Located near Bartlesville, Osage Hills State Park is one of the best things to do in Osage County.

This park is popular with those who come for wildlife viewing. You can spot deer and wild turkeys, or you can drive forty-five minutes to see the bison at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Osage_Hills_State_Park.jpg">jonathan Wheeler from Ardmore, Oklahoma, United States of America</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0">CC BY 2.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons
Jonathan Wheeler from Ardmore, Oklahoma, United States of America, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are mixed hiking and biking trails, great fishing, and even a swimming pool. Native stone cabins reflect Osage Hills SP’s status as one of the original New Deal-era state parks in Oklahoma.

Overnight guests can reserve a cabin, RV site, or tent site in advance.

Robbers Cave State Park

Park Score: 13.5/15 stars

Located in the Sans Bois mountains near Wilburton, OK, Robbers Cave State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Oklahoma.

Famous for the park’s history as a hideout for notorious outlaws like Jesse James, Belle Starr, and the Daltons (of Ingalls fame), Robbers Cave SP was one of the original seven state parks in Oklahoma.

Today the park boasts a lodge, equestrian trails, and an ATV park. It’s even one of the few parks with horse trails where you can rent a horse and don’t need to bring your own.

A Tranquil Autumn Outdoor Scene at Robbers Cave State Park in Oklahoma.

It’s also one of the only Oklahoma state parks to have rock climbing.

Overnight visitors can stay in an RV site, tent site, lodge room, cabin, cottage, yurt, or even in a covered wagon.

With all the traditional park amenities, these extra park activities, and the spooky park history, you can see why Robbers Cave is tied with Osage Hills as the two best state parks near Tulsa.

Oklahoma State Parks Near Tulsa by Drive Time

Greenleaf State Park Sign - Braggs, Oklahoma - photo by Stephanie Craig

Keystone State Park: 17 min

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Sequoyah State Park: 55 min

Sequoyah Bay State Park: 59 min

Osage Hills State Park: 1 hr 5 min

Disney Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 6 min

Cherokee Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 7 min

Little Blue Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 7 min

Greenleaf State Park: 1 hr 8 min

Natural Falls State Park: 1 hr 11 min

Spavinaw Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 13 min

Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 16 min

Cherokee Landing State Park: 1 hr 21 min

Lake Eufaula State Park: 1 hr 23 min

Lake Thunderbird State Park: 1 hr 26 min

Honey Creek Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 31 min

Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park: 1 hr 34 min

Twin Bridges at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 44 min

Tenkiller State Park: 1 hr 46 min

Robbers Cave State Park: 2 hrs

Kansas and Arkansas State Parks near Tulsa

There is one state park in Kansas and one state park in Arkansas that is less than two hours from Tulsa. The closes Missouri state park to Tulsa, Roaring River State Park, is two and a half hours away.

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Elk City State Park (Kansas)

Drive Time: 1 hr 29 min

Located near Independence, Kansas, and US-160. Situated around the Elk City Reservoir, Elk City State Park features boat ramps, a swimming beach, a disc golf course, playgrounds, and hiking trails. Campsites are available to reserve in advance.

It’s closer to Tulsa than it is to any major Kansas city (even Wichita) so don’t be surprised if you see other Oklahoma families enjoying this rural escape.

Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park (Arkansas)

Drive Time: 1 hr 54 min

While Oklahoma does have Civil War sites near Tulsa, if you want to drive to see the US’s most intact Civil War Battlefield, hop across the Arkansas border. In just two hours you can be at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park near Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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You can even plan your trip around their biennial Civil War Battlefield re-enactment every other December.

All Tulsa to Oklahoma State Parks Drive Time

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Keystone State Park: 17 min

Sequoyah State Park: 55 min

Sequoyah Bay State Park: 59 min

Osage Hills State Park: 1 hr 5 min

Disney Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 6 min

Cherokee Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 7 min

Little Blue Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 7 min

Greenleaf State Park: 1 hr 8 min

Natural Falls State Park: 1 hr 11 min

Spavinaw Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 13 min

Bernice Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 16 min

Cherokee Landing State Park: 1 hr 21 min

Lake Eufaula State Park: 1 hr 23 min

Lake Thunderbird State Park: 1 hr 26 min

Honey Creek Area at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 31 min

Arrowhead Area at Lake Eufaula State Park: 1 hr 34 min

Twin Bridges at Grand Lake State Park: 1 hr 44 min

Tenkiller State Park: 1 hr 46 min

Robbers Cave State Park: 2 hrs

Lake Wister State Park: 2 hrs 11 min

Gloss Mountain State Park: 2 hrs 26 min

Great Salt Plains State Park: 2 hrs 26 min

Clayton Lake State Park: 2 hrs 28 min

Talimena State Park (Gateway to the Talimena Scenic Drive): 2 hrs 30 min

McGee Creek State Park: 2 hrs 30 min

Roman Nose State Park: 2 hrs 40 min

Fort Cobb State Park: 2 hrs 46 min

Raymond Gary State Park: 2 hrs 48 min

Little Sahara State Park: 2 hrs 51 min

Foss State Park: 3 hrs

Lake Texoma State Park: 3 hrs 5 min

Lake Murray State Park: 3 hrs 6 min

Boiling Springs State Park: 3 hrs 11 min

Alabaster Caverns State Park: 3 hrs 18 min

Great Plains State Park: 3 hrs 25 min

Beavers Bend State Park: 3 hrs 26 min

Quartz Mountain State Park: 3 hrs 42 min

See also
11 Best State Parks Near Oklahoma City Ranked + Map to Find Them!

Black Mesa State Park: 6 hrs 40 min

Frequently Asked Questions about State Parks Near Tulsa, Oklahoma (FAQ)

These are the questions travelers ask the most often about visiting state parks close to Oklahoma City.

What is the closest state park to Tulsa OK?

Keystone State Park is the closest state park to Tulsa. It is 17 minutes away.

Oklahoma - Natural Falls State Park Sign

What is the most popular Oklahoma state park?

The six parks which scored the highest are Osage Hills State Park, Robbers Cave State Park, Gloss Mountain State Park, Talimena State Park, McGee Creek State Park, and Black Mesa State Park.

What is the number 1 state park in Oklahoma?

Of the six parks that receive the highest scores, the one park that gets the most nationwide attention is Beavers Bend State Park.

How many state parks are there in Oklahoma?

There are 32 state parks in Oklahoma. Some former state parks have been folded into larger or nearby state parks. There are 39 total state parks and state park areas.

Oklahoma - Fairview - Gloss Mountain State Park - Stephanie and Valentine

What is the biggest state park in Oklahoma?

The largest state park in Oklahoma is Lake Murray State Park.

What are the six national parks in Oklahoma?

There are six national parks in Oklahoma. The are no National Park Service sites located in Tulsa. The NPS sites in Oklahoma are:

Chickasaw National Recreation Area (near Sulphur, OK)

Fort Smith National Historic Site (near the Oklahoma / Arkansas border and Fort Smith, AR)

Oklahoma City National Memorial (In OKC)

Santa Fe National Historic Trail (In the panhandle near Boise City, OK near the Colorado border)

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail (Many sites in eastern Oklahoma)

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (near Cheyenne, OK)

Oklahoma doesn’t have any official “national park” designated sites, just sites overseen by the NPS. You can check out this post for the national parks near Oklahoma.

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Pin this Guide to the Best Oklahoma State Parks near Tulsa for Your Oklahoma Adventures!

State Parks near Tulsa OK by Stephanie Craig

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