Posted by Tasha on January 13th, 2012 in Attractions, Free Stuff to Do, Kids and Families, Sports
This weekend residents of the Tulsa area have a rare opportunity: The Keystone Ancient Forest west of Sand Springs is open to the public. This only happens about once every month or so, and it’s an exciting chance to both enjoy the outdoors as well as get a feel for what Native Americans and early European settlers had to deal with as they crossed from the eastern portion of the state to the west. I wrote about it in my Done That column at This Land Press; today, Tulsa-based blogger Sasha Martin of Global Table Adventure fame takes us along with her and her family into the forest.
I had my doubts as we pulled into the gravel parking lot for http://sandspringsok.org/category.php?cat=1001″>the Keystone Ancient Forest Trail. I wasn’t worried about the trail — I’m always up for an adventure — but rather about taking my then-20-month-old daughter hiking. Especially considering she’d only started walking at 15 months.
This could be a huge mistake, I thought to myself.
I hoisted Ava out of her car seat and we walked over to the trail head. My husband, Keith, put together our equipment: An apple, water and a backpack for Ava, should the trail prove too difficult. Five volunteers greeted us with guide books, smiles and a pile of walking sticks. We chatted for a few minutes about what we could expect from the short, three-mile trail. We were given the option of going with a guide or alone.
We were feeling brave, so we opted to go alone.
The trail was wide, at times the width of an average one-car drive, and mostly flat. Ava took great pleasure in chasing the dragon flies, running from the one snake we saw and, most of all, carrying a walking stick, just like mama and papa.
We took our time, going Ava’s pace, and were soon passed by a group of 10 year-olds, all chattering excitedly. This was definitely a family-friendly trail. No bikes. No pets. Nice, roomy.
About halfway out we stopped to admire the view of the water, just visible through the still-bare trees, and snacked on our apple. Down the hill at the side of the trail was a cluster of small, scraggly, old trees – 500 years old, to be exact.
So there we were with our 15 month-old, a smattering of 500 year-old trees, and an apple, on one of the 12 days each year these ancient trails are open to the public. It was a great Saturday.
Want to hike the Keystone Ancient Forest yourself? You can do exactly that this Saturday. Get the details on the January Keystone Ancient Forest Hike at DO WHAT?