In the fertile northeastern corner of Oklahoma, there lies a well-kept secret. Quiet retreats and state parks pepper the Caves and Prairie eco-region, seasoning the serenity of the lush landscape, while historic centers transport the visitor to a time of military importance and native vigor.

Also known as the Central Irregular Plains, this area of Oklahoma’s Green Country houses many different activities for and relaxation. The Western Hills Guest Ranch and adjoining Sequoia State Park is an ideal home base for those seeking all the amenities of the modern world, but in a rustic, peaceful setting. Horseback riding, lakeside vistas, and chuck wagon cookouts are only a few of the highlights on a weekend or week-long long retreat at the ranch. Contact: 800-368-1486.

From there, state parks abound, offering travelers everything from Honor Heights Park, a haven of native greenery, to Greenleaf State Parks hiking trails and shimmering shores. Situated on a peninsula, the beautiful Sequoyah State Park offers wonderful activity areas for outside recreation and is a great place for lunch amid the rolling hills and scenic woodlands. A Nature Center with an on-site naturalist educates as well as entertains guests interested in the flora and fauna of the area.

A great historical day trip is located in nearby Muskogee at Five Civilized Tribes Museum and Center for Study of Indian Territory. Here, groups can take tours of the area and learn about the peoples that once inhabited the area: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes, from which the area took its name. Authentic arts and crafts, as well as various other activities, are presented throughout the year. For more information on seasonal activities, contact or 918-683-1701.

With a touch of history, and a splash of outdoorsy charm, this untainted backwoods retreat offers a taste of pioneer country at its best. Rest and relaxation are on the menu of the day, and you will not go home without a heap of both, plus a whole new appreciation of western tranquility.