Ray Harral Nature Park & Center
With the trend of urbanization and urban sprawl, green spaces and open trails are becoming more important every day. The utilization of existing green spaces for recreational purposes is an important aspect for any diverse and growing community. The three miles of trails at the Ray Harral Nature Park offer a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to get out of the house and explore.
This Nature Park is a 1.6 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Broken Arrow, Oklahoma that features a great forest setting and is good for all skill levels. The trail system at the Ray Harral Nature Park provides a great chance to hike, trail run, mountain bike, view wildlife, and even walk your pets. This park is free to the public and opens from sunrise to sunset.
Inside the center features a bearded dragon lizard, a 10-year old tarantula, multiple tree frogs, and a large turtle exhibit with two live box turtles. Visitors can also learn about honeybees and other Oklahoma animals through hands-on exhibits. A party room is also available to rent for meetings, parties, and other occasions. The 40-acre park grounds feature two picnic shelters and three miles of walking or jogging trails.
Groups are also welcome to gather under the picnic shelters and have lunch. Plenty of park benches and the suspension walking bridge make for a scenic stroll, while the Ray Harral Nature Center opened in July 2009 and offers hands-on displays, live animals, a classroom, and a relaxing deck overlooking the woods.
The trail system is in the shape of a horseshoe leading back around to the Nature Center where both major trailheads are located. This dynamic of the Ray Harral Nature Park trail system allows us to cater to both beginner and intermediate hikers.
In addition to the standard hiker, these trails are friendly and accessible for both mountain bikers, and trail runners. There are several pet service stations throughout the park for pet owners. Pets are permitted to join on the trails as long as they are on a leash.
What makes this area so special is the wonderful sense of community that is incorporated into the park trail system. The park has two access points away from the main entrance by the nature center that gives access to the surrounding neighborhoods. This gives many families access to this wonderful recreation opportunity and allows further development for health benefits to the surrounding community.