Sparrow Hawk Trail

Jae McBride stands at the top of Sparrow Hawk Trail and takes in the view.

When people think of Oklahoma, one of the major things that seems to come to mind would be the nature and landscape of the state.

Oklahoma is home to many state parks, lakes and countless hiking trails. Tahlequah and the surrounding area features many of these things. From Sequoyah State Park to Tenkiller Ferry Lake, anyone who likes the outdoors will not be disappointed in the beauty of Cherokee County.

“Tahlequah is seriously an amazing place to camp and hike,” said Alexander McBride, marketing specialist for Tour Tahlequah. “There are a lot of options for people to camp at the river or lake. My favorite spot to camp is Tenkiller State Park. They have some cool campsites surrounded by big boulders that overlook the lake.”

McBride has an extensive history camping and has been for over a decade. His position with Tour Tahlequah allows him to go all around Tahlequah and the surrounding areas to gather pictures and videos of all the activities people can enjoy, such as hiking and camping.

“My favorite trail in Tahlequah is Sparrow Hawk,” said McBride. “It has the best view of the river and arguably one of the best views in Oklahoma. The Nickle Preserve also has a cool trail with pine trees that reminds me of Colorado.”

Along with these, the lakes and rivers of Tahlequah are also a big attraction to area visitors. There are several different floating agencies lined up along the Illinois River that rent out rafts and kayaks, and many different marinas along the lakes in the area. Burnt Cabin Marina and Resort on Tenkiller Ferry Lake, for instance, acts as a boat dock and rental spot for individuals hoping to earn their sea legs.

“It’s basically a floating gas station, but with more to it,” said Brice Lubbers, manager at Burnt Cabin Marina and Resort. “We work on boats, rent boats and have all sorts of things for purchase that our customers can enjoy during their time on the lake. We also have nine cabins and an RV park. There are hiking trails and campgrounds in the area.”

Cabin, RV sites, and tent camping are all different and all have their own perks. People have different preferences on which they like most. McBride, while being use to a tent, sees the perks of other options.

“I’m a tent camper myself, but I have really come around to RV camping,” said McBride. “Tent camping is cool because you get a very intimate experience with nature and you’re also allowed more freedom on where you set up camp. RV camping, however, has benefits like air conditioning and a real bed. At the end of the day it just comes down to preference.”

For first time campers, McBride advises that folks go with someone more experienced and always let others back home know where the group is going.

For an even broader look at the different outdoor activities offered in Tahlequah, visit Tour Tahlequah,

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