Mooser Creek at the north boundary of Turkey Mountain has been able to remain in reasonably good condition despite encroaching urbanization. How do we know? Mooser Creek is monitored by devoted Blue Thumb volunteers. Several of Turkey Mountain’s trails twist and turn and progress north to tie into areas along the southern bank of Mooser Creek.
Tulsa’s RiverParks Authority is pleased to announce Monarchs on the Mountain, a new festival celebrating the vital role Eastern Oklahoma plays in the Monarch Butterfly migration will be held September 24th, on Turkey Mountain. The festival will take place from 10:00 am, until 2:00 pm in the pavilion area of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area near the main trailhead, 6850 S. Elwood Ave.
The day will be filled with fun and educational activities highlighting the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly, the Great Monarch Migration and the habitat of Turkey Mountain which supports a myriad of wildlife. Information will be available and plants may be purchased to help establish your own Monarch Waystation. Visitors can even make a seed ball to plant this fall. Monarch tagging will be demonstrated and butterflies will be released to join the southward migration to the Oyamel fir forests of Central Mexico. This free festival will appeal to all ages and food trucks will be on site. Come spend the day with us celebrating our unique place in the life of the Monarch!
This event is hosted by: RiverParks Authority in partnership with the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the Tulsa Audubon Society and The M.E.T. and supporters; Sustainable Tulsa, Blue Thumb, The Tulsa Zoo, City of Tulsa, Monarch Initiative of Tulsa, Westside Y and the USFWS.
Please help us spread the word by distributing the promotional flyer and sharing our event on Facebook.
For more information contact Marci Hawkins, steering committee chair at: email@example.com.
Venomous snakes are a fact of life for outdoor enthusiasts in Oklahoma. On a sunny day, snakes can often be found sunning themselves in the most inconvenient places. In Tulsa, we have seen them in the middle of paved trails and dirt trails alike. With the warmer winter and the onset spring, reptiles are emerging from hibernation earlier than usual. Rather than hiding inside until the temperature dips below freezing, we would like to provide these tips from one of our members who has first-hand knowledge of how to best care for a venomous bite.
Leslie, an avid trail runner and mountain biker, offers the following: “I was bitten by a copperhead on my foot almost two years ago up at Grand Lake…and got lucky. Thought I’d share a few things I learned from the experience in hopes to save time if someone were to be bitten.”
• Remain calm if bitten. Take deep breaths to control your heart rate. Pay attention to your body’s reaction the best you can.
• Do not put ice on the bite. This causes the venom to stay in one area and accelerates tissue deterioration.
• Don’t go all Crocodile Dundee and have someone suck the venom out. This is dangerous for both parties.
• Only major hospitals carry anti-venom. My options were St. Francis or go to Joplin. I was in Eucha and was taken by ambulance to Grove Integris Hospital (where they “couldn’t do anything for me”).
• Once at St. Francis, I learned that you have a 6-hour window to receive anti-venom (depending on snake/bite area). The anti-venom takes 1 hour to make. If you receive anti-venom, they will keep you in ICU for 3 days to monitor you, because anti-venom can be more dangerous than the bite itself and have long-lasting side effects.
By the time I made it to St. Francis, I was already on my fifth hour and thankfully was stable enough that I did not need anti-venom, just a night in the hospital and a painful/swollen leg for a couple of weeks.
Being bitten is a scary stressful situation, it is always best to know the information before you need it.
Remember it is always safest to assume every stick is a snake until proven otherwise.
But there comes a time when you have to think bigger. The places where I run are pretty busy, and not just with runners. Cyclists, hikers and other trail users frequent my local trails by the hundreds every day, at a minimum. All that use has an impact on trails under the best of conditions. Add enough rain to the mix and trail erosion and degradation is greatly accelerated.
As of Saturday, January 2, 2016, trails are very muddy and slick. We recommend avoiding muddy trails for the sake of preserving them, and if you find yourself on a muddy trail, to walk/run/ride right down the middle of it instead of trying to sidestep. Sidestepping widens trails and increases likelihood of significant erosion.
If you don’t see the difference of indoor and outdoor living, you are missing contact with a real learning experience. Besides, it’s accessible and close. I recommend it.
First off, Welcome! Turkey Mountain is one of our biggest treasures in Tulsa and the very best example of what Tulsa was like before people were here. This year we have seen a significant upswing in visitors to our beloved Urban Wilderness Treasure! We wanted to provide you with some tips to help make your visit the best possible!
Clean Out the Car. Full parking lots with owners in the woods, this sounds like paradise to a thief! Leave nothing inside your car. This will prevent potential break ins and hopefully encourage the ne’er-do-well’s to find another parking lot to prey on.
Hydrate. When planning a visit to Turkey Mountain the first thing you need to think about is hydration. There is one water fountain at Turkey Mountain and it is in the lower parking lot. Yes, there are streams and ponds on Turkey Mountain, but trust me when I say you do not want to drink from them. Bring a hand-held water bottle or hydration pack.
Plan. It is a good idea to let someone know where you are going, what trail you plan to take and when you will be back. Even if it is a quick post on Facebook or a note on a white board at home. Turkey Mountain is a wilderness with technical trails (Technical means rocks and roots that can trip you up). Also just like any outdoor exercise the risk of being bothered is real. We are all aware of the incidents on the Katy Trail and at LaFortune in recent years. Also, should you injure yourself while on the trails it helps to let people know where to look first. I know it is a scary thought, but it’s been said that planning is the best prevention. It is always a good idea to have pepper spray or bear spray on hand when venturing outdoors for any activity, the same is true on trails. Pepper spray and bear spray will act as a deterrent on most any mammal you feel threatened by (note, this will not work on birds or reptiles, don’t try it).
Have a map. We recommend the Avenza pdf Maps app available for iPhone, Droid and Windows smartphones. We like that it saves paper, has a blue ‘you are here’ dot that follows you around, and is free. Just make sure you have your location services turned ON or the dot will not show up. Note: once you have this app installed you will need to search within the app for the “Turkey Mountain” map and install it.
Be safe. It’s not called “WILDerness” for nothing. Turkey Mountain is known to have rocky and technical terrain. In fact some lovingly refer to it as a “skull cracker”. That does not mean do not take up mountain biking. But you need to wear the proper safety gear at all times. At the top of this list is a bike helmet. Visit any of Tulsa’s local bike shops and they will be happy to help you select the perfect helmet for you.
Look before you step. In Oklahoma, reptiles (lizards and snakes) emerge from hibernation in late March. Turkey Mountain is not a sterile wilderness. Turkey Mountain is an Urban Wilderness home to hundreds of species. These include snakes, both venomous and nonvenomous varieties. The best way to say this to tell people “all sticks are snakes until proven otherwise”. Should you encounter a snake the best thing to do is to give it plenty of space. Take time to familiarize yourself with the snakes of Oklahoma. We will likely be sharing Turkey Mountain with these guys until the high temperature drops below 50ºF for several days.
Wear Bug Spray. We all know that mosquitoes and ticks are a nuisance. But tick bites can be deadly or forever life-altering. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease and now Alpha Gal are all spread by ticks. These can lead to organ failure, chronic pain or even cause anaphylactic reactions to all mammal based products.
Don’t tune out. We know these days everyone has headphones and some of us even live in them. This isn’t wise on trails. Many of the trails on Turkey Mountain are single-track trails. Single-track means they are not wide enough for two people to stay side by side. This often means that people need to pass you. To let you know they are approaching you the common thing to do is shout “On Your Left”. When you hear those words the thing to do is hug the right side of the trail or if it is safe to do so step off the trail and allow them to pass. Just like on a highway the slower person always is to move to the furthest right position. While we are on the roadway comparison when on trails the flow of traffic follows the same norms as a city street. You should always stay to the right when approaching someone. If you’re on a narrow section of trail going up or down a hill and meet someone, give the person going downhill the right-of-way. They have gravity drawing them down and have less control than when going uphill. Another phase you may hear is Bike Back. This tells you that there is a bike behind you. If the cyclist is kind they may even tell you something like Three More. That indicates that there are three bikes following them so just hang out till we all pass. Another benefit to not tuning out, you may hear a woodpecker, a blue jay or another bird adding to nature’s soundtrack.
Fido is welcome. Turkey Mountain is a dog friendly park. This is not to be confused as a dog park.While on River Parks / City of Tulsa property leash laws are enforced. Tickets are issued. There is a dog watering station attached to the water fountain in the lower lot. You are encouraged to carry enough water for yourself and Fido, or ask Fido to carry it in a doggy backpack.
Leave no trace. Those three words mean a lot. Leave only footprints (or tire tracks!), take only pictures. This is a wild place, and long after you’ve gone home for the day, animals that live there have to make do with how we treat it. So pack out everything you pack in. Any wrappers, cups or trash of any kinds needs to be carried out with you. There are bags at the trailhead for any droppings your dog might leave behind. Use those, and pack them out, as well. Leave the area as natural looking as you found it — no graffiti, even if it’s in chalk. And if you see any litter, pack it out with you. Try to leave Turkey Mountain better than when you found it.
We aren’t telling you any of this to scare you off, only to help you be better informed when visiting Turkey Mountain! So, lace up those shoes and we will see you on the trail!
Simon was taken by surprise over the public reaction to the proposed mall. This is a company used to getting its way, particularly in cities hungry for new tax revenue. The initial pushback last fall was probably ignored,with the thought that it would subside over time. Instead, it has only grown. The online petition against the mall has nearly 8,500 signatures, and the crowds at two public forums to discuss the mall plan have been decidedly against Simon’s proposal.