I spend a lot of time at the Turkey Mountain. It is called an Urban Wilderness with a big emphasis on “Urban.” It sits on the Arkansas River only a few miles from downtown. It has freeways on its north and west side and a major street on the south. On the east side tucked in at the river is a seldom used railroad spur line.
It has at least three pipelines running through it, two major liquids lines and a large diameter natural gas pipeline. There are two major power lines running.In addition there are remnants of oil wells and some abandoned flow lines and remnants of houses.
On its northeast side it has a large sewage treatment plant. Sometimes the aroma wafts up on top of the mountain. Sometimes the parking lot is crowded and you have people with their fleece pajamas walking along the trails smoking, talking loudly on the cell phones on speaker mode.
But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have run and hiked hundreds of miles on its trails. The rude people never get more than a quarter mile down the trails and get bored and leave. For as much use as it gets there is not much litter. Thousands of people love the place and a while ago when an out of state developer proposed putting an outlet mall of all things on a privately owned portion of the park the community got together and said NO!! And then passed a measure to buy the tract from its owners. A couple of Tulsa companies provided the interim financing so the deal could close.
Even on its busiest days Turkey Mountain is big enough where you may see only a few people once you get a half mile down the trails. It gives people space and room to breathe. And the people take care of it.
I’m linking with Skywatch Friday
Urban Wilderness Coalition – A great group of people who led the successful struggle against the Outlet Mall. It looked hopeless at first but they stuck with it and persevered.
Turkey Mountain Web Site – Turkey Mountain is administered by the Tulsa RiverParks Authority. Lots of good info on what is going on.
Miles to go before I sleep… Blog by Trail Zombie – A great guy who also lives on the mountain. Lots of posts about Turkey Mountain in particular and trail running in general.