Wondering around Woodward
People ask me all the time about my favorite place or road trip. Of course, it’s an impossible question to answer, but the one I most often give is, “where I am right now.” It’s a bit cliché I know, but I’m a firm believer in living in the moment, and that every single place I visit has something special to offer.
I was driving east through Oklahoma and decided to stay in the small town of Woodward for a few days. One of the reasons for this decision was that Woodward was a finalist in the Rand McNally and USA Today’s 2011 “Best of the Road” rally, and vied for “most friendly” small town in America. I know the “Wynns,” the travel blogging duo, who visited Woodward for the rally—I reached out to them to get their thoughts on the area…their comments were nothing but good, so I solidified my plans.
When you arrive in Woodward, at first glance you might think it an ordinary small town, but once you begin to peel back the layers, you soon discover that there are many exciting things to see and do. For starters, Woodward is rich in history and played an integral role in the Civil War. There is also a number of wonderful recreational areas…including parks, lakes, sand dunes, an alabaster cave, museums and much more. I was really surprised with how much there is to do in this relatively small town.
Woodward has been blessed with natural resources, such as oil, gas and wind energy, so they’ve had a bit less struggle during the economic downturn than other areas around the country. The success of the energy sector has enabled the community to thrive over the past few years, including the development of a top-notch conference center.
During my visit I was able to check out the following area attractions:
- Fort Supply Historic site – An important post during the Civil War. You can tour the fort and many of its restored historic buildings. Several times a year they even have reenactment events.
- Little Sahara State Park – This place is simply amazing…miles of sand dunes with hills, trees and trails for off-roading…it’s nirvana for the ATV’er! Unfortunately I did not have my own rig to go and play…but if you do, I have no doubt you’ll get lost in a euphoric sea of sand.
- Alabaster Caverns State Park – I’ve been to a number of caves before, but this was the first “Alabaster” cave.” The area is surrounded by a park so folks can picnic or camp in the area. Daily tours inside the cave are offered for a modest fee.
- Fort Supply Lake – This lake is perfect for camping, fishing, boating, skiing and more. I was told that on the other side of the lake are sand dunes in which folks take their ATV’s.
- Crystal Beach Park – This park encompasses a few different venues…it’s huge and offers an array of activities…from the water park, a baseball field, rodeo grounds to a small recreational lake for canoe or kayaking.
- Boiling Springs State Park – This was one of my favorite places…it’s a large park in which you can camp, take nature walks along its many trails, canoe on a small lake, play sports in the large grassy areas, or just relax in a hammock and listen to the birds sing you a lullaby.
As a big fan of Discovery Channel shows such as “American Choppers,” and “Biker Build-off,” I was thrilled by the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes tour of Covington’s Customs, a custom bike and car restoration shop that won a “biker build-off” a few years back. These guys are more than just a custom shop; they also produce their own line of parts and accessories.
When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in a small town in southern Idaho in which I spent a lot of time during the summer months. Woodward reminds me a bit of my childhood, with its open space, farms and friendly people. One evening I drove just outside of town to get some footage for the video above; I ended up sitting on the back of my truck for a while enjoying the peacefulness of the moment. The sun was setting, casting an amber glow across a grass field. There was a light breeze that caused the grass to make a subtle sound that reminds you that you’re in the heartland of America—where the cowboys still roam and the kindness of others reigns.
If you’re from, or have ever visited Woodward, Oklahoma, please leave a comment below and let my readers and me know what is your favorite thing in town to do. For more information on Woodward, OK, visit: GoWoodward.com