An Oklahoma Oasis
In the northeast corner of Oklahoma sits a lovely state park that could be the poster child for getting off the beaten track. Make no mistake, Natural Falls State Park is well maintained with a few nice hiking trails, but it is not the kind of place that attracts national park size crowds.
The centerpiece of the park is Dripping Springs Falls. The top of this scenic 77 foot waterfall can be accessed from the parking lot by a paved, accessible trail. That connects to a trail that stays on top of the small gorge created by the river and falls. However, the real fun is getting off that trail and hiking to the bottom of the falls. The air temperature drops about 10 degrees as you approach the pool at the bottom. Once you are looking up at the falls you'll also have access to additional trails along the bottom of the gorge. The trail that follows the river takes you back to a wide waterfall (pictured above) that is part of a dam built in the 1920's to create a fishing pond. You also can cross a pretty sketchy looking foot bridge that deposits you on the Bear Trail, which appears to only be traveled by bears and hardy hikers. It's a bit overgrown, but climbs back up to the top of the Dripping Springs Falls.
The park provides picnic areas, a children's playground, and plenty of parking. Please note: there is a Dripping Springs State Park, which is located two hours west, near Tulsa. That is a different park. Natural Falls State Park is located near the town of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, off Highway 59.