The Oklahoma Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Osage County provided a perfect day trip from Tulsa. The preserve is about 1 1/4 hours north of Tulsa, and transports the visitor back in time to when the bison roamed free on the plains. It was peaceful and quiet (except when the construction trucks would roll by on the gravel road inside the preserve!). I am not sure what they were constructing way out there, but it kind of ruined the “quiet and pristine” views! Oh well, it was still a very special place and well worth the trip. The Nature Conservancy states, “The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie left on earth. Originally spanning portions of 14 states from Texas to Minnesota, urban sprawl and conversion to cropland have left less than 10% of this magnificent American landscape. Since 1989, the Conservancy has proven successful at restoring this fully-functioning portion of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem with the use of about 2500 free-roaming bison and a “patch-burn” model approach to prescribed burning.”
There were very few visitors (I counted a total of 5 other cars), a small, but educational visitors center (with bathrooms, very important), and several hiking trails. We walked about 1/2 mile into the trail which led into the prairie, and got a close up of many of the native plants and butterflies. My daughter and I went on the trail with a young lady who was traveling on her own and looking for someone to walk with, a very nice person with an interesting travel story.
Back on the buffalo loop, we were fortunate to have a group of at least 30 – 50 buffalo cross right in the road ahead of us. Unfortunately, my camera decided to run out of memory right before that. My tween stated, “Well, that really was cool, much better than I thought”. This from a very hard to impress young lady. Mission accomplished.