The rugged mountains with their swift-flowing streams, the numerous large lakes and reservoirs, and the historic sites of Native American and pioneer days attract many visitors to Oklahoma. The most popular recreation areas in the state are the lakes and streams. The generally mild climate makes fishing a year-round sport on Oklahoma’s lakes, which are well-stocked with bass, trout, and catfish.
Tourism has become an important economic activity in Oklahoma. Since the 1950s, many parks have been developed in the areas around Oklahoma’s lakes and reservoirs. The parks have been supplied with luxury hotels, lodges, and camping and recreational facilities. Sporting events, including rodeos and horse shows, draw people from within and outside the state.
Oklahoma has 52 state parks and recreation areas. Lake Murray, Quartz Mountain, and Lake Wister state parks in the south and Sequoyah State Park at Fort Gibson Reservoir are the better-known parks in the state. These parks provide outstanding facilities for fishing and water sports, as do the state parks on the shores of lakes Eufaula, Texoma, Greenleaf, and Tenkiller.
In the northwest corner of the state, Black Mesa State Park has Native American pictographs, a pit where dinosaur bones have been found, and colorful rock formations. Other natural features in the northwest are springs that bubble up through the sand at Boiling Springs State Park.
One of the largest known gypsum caves at Alabaster Cavern State Park; and the salt lake in the Great Salt Plains State Park. Roman Nose and Red Rock Canyon state parks are located in scenic canyon valleys in western Oklahoma. Robbers Cave State Park in the San Bois Mountains of eastern Oklahoma is said to have been a hideout for deserters from both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War (1861-1865). Other state parks in eastern Oklahoma are Osage Hills and Beavers Bend. "Oklahoma" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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