Escape into Nature
Do you ever have one of those days that you wish you could blink your eyes and get away? Some place peaceful and quiet, far away from the real world? Then look no further than Woolaroc! Sprawling hills, lush forests, peaceful waters, and maybe even an animal or two await you on our scenic walking trails, located NW of the Heritage Center on the main campus. Three different trail options are available for guests, perfect for both experienced hikers and beginners alike:
For those wanting to get acquainted with nature but short on time, a quick walk down to Princess Falls is for you. This is the only asphalt-paved portion of the trails, and it is complete with a park bench nestled in the trees. Here you can sit and listen to the falls as they meander their way to Warrior Creek, hear song birds in the trees, and perhaps even the bugle of an elk.
This one-mile hike delivers a scenic trek across a mix of picturesque landscapes. Large sandstone ledges have fallen over time, creating what can be imagined as the perfect hiding place for the bandits running from the law after brazenly robbing the train near Okesa. As this trail crosses creeks and Blackjack trees that fill the Osage Hills, it then magically opens up onto a tranquil meadow of tall grasses. This trail has some rocky and rough terrain and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
For the more adventurous hiker, this trail is roughly 1.5 miles and rough with rocks, streams, and difficult terrain. Follow the trickling creek as it cuts its way through native rock, forming moss-covered ledges that lead you down to the serene waters of Elk Lake. Take a seat on the bench and soak in the beauty of what was Frank Phillips’ favorite lake, so much so that he built his mausoleum directly above it. After crossing the man-made bridge over the leg of the lake, you have a steep climb over rocks and large boulder formations before arriving at what feels like the “top of the Osage.” From this vantage point, you can gaze back over the trails below you and view the main campus of Woolaroc in the background.
History come to life
As you navigates your way through these Osage hills, you can’t help but wonder who else has explored these lands. From the Osage Indians, to the French traders selling their wares, to the roustabouts seeking fortune from the perfect oil well. History comes alive when you immerse yourself in the beautiful tranquility that is Woolaroc.