Family Weekender: Dallas

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
By Gary Lantz
Go Guide: Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Getting there : Follow US 287 to Wichita Falls, Texas, then travel north on Interstate 44 to the Medicine Park exit north of Lawton, Oklahoma.
Reference : Outdoor and Trail Guide to the Wichita Mountains of Southwest Oklahoma by Edward Charles Ellenbrook. In-The-Valley-of-the-Wichitas-House, P.O. Box 6741, Lawton, Oklahoma 73506.
Added value : Medicine Creek swimming hole in nearby Medicine Park.
Contact : Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Route 1, Box 448, Indiahoma, Oklahoma 73552, or call (580) 429-3222.

The oldest park in the refuge system, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a part of the old Comanche Indian domain, now home to one of the largest public buffalo herds in America. The buffalo are generally in sight, except during the exceedingly hot months of July and August. Interspersed with prairie meadows, this weathered granite rockpile also contains a herd of Texas longhorns, descendants of animals rounded up in Texas when the breed was near extinction.

A system of hiking trails and a rough 'n tumble wilderness area challenge all levels of skill, but this is best done in the cooler months of October through May. More than 22,000 acres are open for public hiking, wildlife viewing, and nature study, and an additional 40,000 acres can be visited during special tours arranged through the refuge. A new interpretive center is one of the best in the nation and appeals to all ages.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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