Whether you’re Leslie Knope or just an average Joe, chances are you like parks. I mean, what’s there not to like about a beautiful outdoor, free spot, filled with magical things like playgrounds, golf courses, running trails, and splash pads? Here, I’ll share the Tulsa Places choices for Tulsa’s 5 Best Parks.
1. LaFortune Park
This place has it all. A golf course. Plenty of playgrounds. A 5K running trail surrounding the park. A pool. Tennis courts. Baseball fields and batting cages. And being situated in the middle of Tulsa (between 51st and 61st st., east of Yale) gives it the advantage of being a perfect spot when you want to meet friends for a play date, run, walk, or game of golf or tennis.
LaFortune is a perfect place to take the kids for an afternoon at the park. It’s also a wonderful birthday party spot. Take it from me: I had my 5th birthday party there! (And sadly, managed to lose the amazing clown watch gift I received that day somewhere at the park. If you find it, leave a comment below). One of the magical spots at LaFortune is the lovely creek/waterfall area. I have many childhood memories of trying to capture tadpoles in that creek!
As an adult, I frequent LaFortune most recently for the excellent 5K (3.1 mile) running trail. The trail will take you around the circumference of the park, so you’ll be able to enjoy views of people golfing, playing tennis, fishing in the pond, playing on the playground, and more. It’s a fun, easygoing run.
To check out more of what’s going on at LaFortune Park, check out their website.
2. Hunter Park
Hunter Park on 91st st. between Sheridan and Yale is a wonderful oasis in south Tulsa. The park features great playgrounds, possibly the best splash pad in town, a dog park, disc golf, basketball courts, a scenic pond, and connects to the Creek Trail, which meanders along the Creek Turnpike.
When I was younger, I used to love exploring in the woods at Hunter Park. Nowadays, kids can still enjoy the trails that run through the wooded area, as well as a truly incredible splash pad and playground. People of all ages will find the beautiful pond, always filled with plenty of ducks and geese, to be relaxing and fishing-friendly.
Personally, my favorite thing about Hunter Park is its incredible dog park, Biscuit Acres, which my dog, Bella, has written about here. Biscuit Acres is a fully enclosed, 2-acre dog park, separated into small dog and large dog areas. It includes beautiful doggy water fountains, plenty of benches for the owners to relax on, and of course, wide open spaces. Take your dog there, and he/she will love you forever!
3. Woodward Park
Woodward Park could easily be considered the most scenic park in Tulsa, thus making it a popular spot for family photos and bridal portraits. With 45 acres of beautiful plants, flowers, ponds, a botanical garden, and an arboretum, this serene park is located at 21st & Peoria.
Woodward Park was designed to provide visitors encounters with a variety of horticultural subjects. It contains a number of specialty gardens, including the Tulsa Rose Garden (which sadly lost a number of its roses this year due to a rose disease), the Tulsa Garden Center, the Linnaeus Teaching Gardens, and the Tulsa Arboretum. While I would describe Woodward Park as mostly being a place for “the adults,” there is a small playground on the premises for the kiddos, as well as a picnic area for family gatherings.
Woodward Park is the perfect place to go when you want to experience a romantic stroll, smell some flowers, or take pretty pictures.
4. Mohawk Park
At 2,820 acres, Mohawk Park is a beast of a park — it’s actually the nation’s third largest municipal park. Granted, some of that acreage contains the Tulsa Zoo, and also Oxley Nature Center and Trails. The park, located at 5701 E. 36th st. N. also features a nice golf course. Mohawk Pond is also a good spot for fishing.
With such wonderful wide-open spaces, Mohawk Park is a great place to take your dog to run around off-leash. The trails at Oxley are some of my favorite, easy hiking in Tulsa, as I’ve blogged about previously. It’s a wonderful place to view wildlife like deer, raccoon, bobcat, mink, skunk, coyote, flying squirrel, and beaver.
When Owen Park opened in 1910 (over 114 years ago!), it became Tulsa’s first municipal park. The area around the park actually has a pretty fascinating history, which you can read about on Wikipedia. The park, located at 560 N. Maybelle Ave., features my favorite duck pond in town. It also has a nice playground. Being located in the lesser populated northwest side of town, it is also one of the lesser known parks. But its location next to the Tulsa Children’s Museum makes it a great spot for a picnic after a visit with the kiddos to the museum.
What are your favorite parks in Tulsa? What makes them so special?