Oklahoma’s Robbers Cave State Park is on my list of top places to visit in the fall, so we headed that direction last weekend. While the leaves had not started turning I enjoyed the cool weather of late September. Being the first official week of fall we started the day out with several layers on and I didn’t make it far before stopping to get the heavy gloves out of the saddle bag. But as the day went on the layers started coming off and by the afternoon it was in the mid 80s making for a great day for riding.
We began on a search for Belle Starr’s grave site, while we found Younger’s Bend Corner and the trail that lead to the grave site we never made it to the grave. The trail seemed doable, but after getting back in the woods a ways the trail fizzled out and we were unsure where to go from there. We were told it was ½ mile from the road, but not knowing which direction we abandoned the effort. The site does have new land owners so hopefully with time they can make the trail easier to follow.
Our final destination for the day was Robbers Cave where legend has it that Belle Starr along with Jessie James, Pretty Boy Floyd, and a few other noted outlaws of the early twentieth century hid out. The cave sits back in the San Bois Mountains of southeast Oklahoma and offered a perfect hiding spot, as there was only one approach to the cave which enabled those in the cave to easily see anyone approaching.
We holed up for the night (little pun there) in one of Robbers Cave State Park cabins. I have to say I was impressed, it appeared the cabins had been refurbished, nice decor and furnishing, which made for great accommodations. We had a one bedroom cabin with complete kitchen, full size frig, stove, microwave. I longed for it to be a little cooler and the burn ban lifted as I desperately wanted smores after being at the cabin office and seeing the smore kits for sale.
We explored the different areas of the park. The cave area has a ramp leading to the base of the rock hide out and a steep trail built by the CCC that takes you to the top and the hide out area. The Nature Center sits on the edge of Lake Carlton and just north of the swimming pool and miniature golf areas we found a neat walkway across the water with a gazebo nestled in the woods.