Keystone Ancient Forest Preserve
The Keystone Ancient Forest nature preserve is a 1,360-acre park maintained by the City of Sand Springs. Featuring 300-year-old post oaks and 500-year old cedars with wildlife and beautiful scenery, the park is one of Sand Springs's most distinguished features.
The park is open for hiking on select dates from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. No pets are allowed and port-o-potties are available on site.
160 Ancient Forest Drive
Sand Springs, OK 74063.
The City of Sand Springs passed the Cross Timbers Scenic Acquisition proposal in 2001. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation paid $1.4 million in federal funds between 2001 and 2002 to buy the land from private owners. One of the former land owners, Irv Frank, donated $50,000 to the project in 2004.
The park first opened on a limited basis in the fall of 2007 thanks to a $200,000 grant from the State Department of Tourism and Recreation that literally paved the way for primitive hiking trails. In 2008 the Band of America Charitable Foundation donated $20,000 to the preserve.
The Childers Trail is located just off the parking lot. It is 0.6 miles in length, 5 feet in width, and takes about 15 minutes to complete. The trail surface is smooth asphalt and is ADA accessible. It is named in honor of the Sam Childers family that donated land to the conservation effort.
The Frank Trail is 2.8 miles round-trip and takes about an hour to hike. The trail surface is compacted stone and bare soil and is rated as moderately-difficult. It is named for the Irv Frank family.
In 2014 a new one-mile difficult-rated trail titled "The Wilson Trail" was unveiled, extending the total length of park hiking trails to 4.4 miles. The trail is named for Chris Wilson.
Since 2015, the park has hosted a New Year's Day Hike With Your Dog Day and an "Ancient 5K" run.
The Case Community Center's Christmas trees are harvested from within the forest and are typically more than 20 feet tall.
Photos: July 29, 2017.