I’ve lived in Oklahoma for over 20 years and all I knew about Roman Nose State Park was that it was the home of the largest Furry conventions here in Oklahoma. No need to get into the details of all that but that’s what I knew, that the furries would come to Roman Nose every year and frolic among the forest. They no longer have their retreat there but that’s besides the point.
I finally decided I would take a trip to see what all the fuss was about this place that attracted so much “wildlife”. Being a nature lover and a gal who loves to hike, me and the family set forth on our adventure on a lovely spring day!
Roman Nose is located in central Oklahoma, just 7 miles north of Watonga. All I know about Watonga is that it is home to a big cheese factory. I don’t eat cheese because I’m vegan so this never appealed to me.
Roman Nose is one of the seven original state parks in Oklahoma and is set amidst a beautiful canyon of cliffs and natural springs. It is named after a Cheyenne Chief named Henry Roman Nose who actually died in the canyon in 1917.
There are a lot of recreational activities that you can partake in at Roman Nose including a Golf Course, horse riding, hiking, on site lodge, cabins, general store and restaurant, two lakes that offer paddle boating, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. My favorite attraction is that you can rent a large teepee to stay the night in, they look so fun so I will definitely be booking a stay in one of these in the near future.
The park itself seems very well maintained and is smaller than I had thought but it is very pretty. There are signs once you enter the park that direct you to all the different areas and campgrounds. We decided to check out the natural springs when we first arrived. There is a large parking lot and when we arrived there was only one other car there besides us so we picked a great day to go!
The trail to the springs starts with a large rock staircase leading down into the forested canyon. There are large open air rock structures for gatherings which are great if you have a group.
As you make your way into the area you continue to descend down into a beautiful serene setting of trees and natural beauty.
The springs are not far off at all, its less than half a mile to get to them so very easy to access quickly. There are actually three natural springs located here and streams of flowing water throughout.
The water looks very clean and refreshing. The largest spring is known as the “Spring of Everlasting Waters”.
The rocks surrounding the pools of water are aesthetically pleasing and very inviting to just sit and admire the springs. I imagine a lot of people gathered here in the hotter months jumping around in the water but it was so perfect being the only ones there.
There are multiple little side trails that head off in all different directions, most leading back to the main trail but definitely fun to get off the beaten path and explore. There are some benches located throughout the area and cute bridges to go over.
There’s also a large open field that would be perfect to play a game of flag football or hacky sack or whatever other sports float your boat. For me a large blanket, book, and bottle of wine is more fitting.
The stream runs through this entire area and there are some small little waterfalls cascading down.
After we got done exploring the trails around the springs we decided to do the Canyon Loop Trail which is a 1 mile trail that has a very slight elevation and overlooks the lake. This trail head was not clearly marked and we actually passed it not even knowing. The trail head is actually located in the parking lot of the restaurant behind the dumpsters so now you know if you go! Once you get passed the dumpster nature steps in and invites you to take in its beauty.
At the beginning of the trail you will come across an extremely long wooden bridge that I absolutely loved, like a little labyrinth in the woods. I’m a sucker for wooden bridges so this was a delight!
From there its a nice scenic hike through the towering cedar trees and a diverse landscape of buffalo grass and other varieties of plants.
There’s some cool rocky boulders as you get towards the top that are fun to climb and play around but watch out for snakes!
Both of these trails are considered easy and kid friendly. Even people who aren’t into hiking would enjoy both of these trails. Both my kids loved playing around this area, lots of fun things to explore and passageways.
Since we had both our kids with us, (ages 5 and almost 2) hiking what would be a short hike turns into a really loooooooong hike, so these were the only two trails we tackled on this trip. There is one other trail, Inspiration Point, which is 6.3 miles and has sweeping views of the canyon but we are saving this one for another day.
We ended the day with a picnic amongst the trees. There are a lot of designated picnic tables throughout the park along with campgrounds and other state park amenities.