Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain -Tulsa’s Urban Wilderness


A view of Turkey Mountain from across the River.

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.


That is downtown Tulsa in the distance. Along with a pipeline and a powerline to boot.

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.


The poop plant in the foreground and Instate I44 crossing the river.

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.


I love sunsets on the mountain. At this time of day the mountain is deserted.

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.


That is son on the left during a Fall hike years ago.

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.


23 thoughts on “Skywatch Friday – Turkey Mountain -Tulsa’s Urban Wilderness

  1. Eileen

    Hello, it is great having a nice trail for running or hiking. I like the river scenery. I am a worry wort and would be worried all the time about the pipelines leaking. Happy Easter, enjoy your day and the weekend !

  2. Magical Mystical Teacher

    How nice to have a place to “get away from it all” so close to the city.

  3. Peter B

    I love to hear stories where the developer doesn’t win (it doesn’t happen often) and keeping nature “natural”!! Great photos.

  4. Pat

    I’m glad your community was able to stop the outlet mall from being built on Turkey Mounatin, Yogi. I know how much you like jogging there. Everyone need some nature in their lives,

    Hope you and your family have a very Happy Easter!

  5. DeniseinVA

    What a very special place to walk. I remember your posts about the developers wanting part of this beautiful mountain. So glad to hear they didn’t get their way 🙂

  6. Gaelyn

    I remember that fight to save Turkey Mt. So glad you won. Every city should have a “wilderness” no matter the size. (Even in national parks people don’t get more than about 1/4 mile from their cars on trails. Sad really. But good for us.)

  7. Alana

    All cities need something like that. We need green to sustain us, and nature to take away our cares, if only for a few minutes.

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