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Loop 3 – High Plains Loop

A visit to the High Plains Loop will expel the perception that the Plains are flat!  The vistas in this Loop, uniquely positioned between the Cimarron and Beaver Rivers, combines the characteristics of desert streams with those of the humid East. Along the rivers narrow strips of cottonwoods tower over scrubby willows in the understory.  Here you will find red-headed woodpeckers, wild turkeys and porcupines.  On the north side of Beaver River bands of sand dunes are covered with a shrub community of sand plum and fragrant sumac (a.k.a. skunkbrush).  Combine sand dunes with bluffs topped by shortgrass prairies along with scattered playas (see description in Loop 2) and the traveler can anticipate this diverse topography yielding up diverse wildlife-viewing opportunities:  orioles, Bell’s vireo and painted buntings breed in the sand dune shrubbery; prairie dog towns with their dependent wildlife such as burrowing owls, ferruginous hawks, badgers and Texas horned lizards live in the shortgrass prairies; and waterfowl, shorebirds, and wading birds enjoy plankton productivity in the playas after a rain.

See the High Plains Loop on YouTube part 1.

See the High Plains Loop on YouTube part 2.

High Plains RC&D:  580.735.2322, http://highplainsrcd.com/

For wildlife information: contact wildlife biologist Larry Wiemers, 405-990-7206.

 

Lodging:  Buffalo: www.buffalooklahoma.com;  Camping & RV Hook-ups:  Doby Springs Park (580.735.2654 or 735.2521). Laverne:  (4) motels, RV Parks (2), www.laverneok.com (click “Businesses”); Camping Fort Supply Lake 

Pack a picnic lunch or enjoy lunch at any of the local cafes in Buffalo or Laverne.

 

Birding Route:  Allow 30 minutes before sunrise to reach the first stop from Laverne.  Travel 18 miles west of Laverne (Jane Jayroe Blvd. / E021 Rd.) and follow signs to Lake Evans Chamber (3-1).  From Lake, turn left and at dead end turn north (left) onto N158 Rd.  Enjoy birding this road.  At Knowles turn east (right) onto Hwy 64 and travel through the town of Gate to Gate Playa (3-4) located 2 miles east of Gate, north on N1670 Rd.  Next take Hwy 64 east for 14 miles, turn north (left) and follow signs to Doby Springs Park (3-6).  Next stop, turn east (left) onto Hwy 64 and travel to Buffalo for lunch.  From Buffalo take Hwy 183 south to Hwy 270 east to Fort Supply Lake (3-2).  Next stop, go west on Hwy 270 to junction of Hwy 46.  Go north (right) to Hwy 149, turn west (left).  Travel approximately 5 miles to the Laverne Slough (3-8).  If at dusk, travel to the Rosston Turkey Roost (3-7) on Hwy 64 east of Gate to watch the wild turkeys come into roost.

 

One-Day Outing:  Fort Supply Lake (3-2) This man-made lake offers extensive opportunities for the outdoor recreation enthusiast. Opportunities include camping, picnicking, boating, birding, fishing and hunting.  There is an attractive Visitor Center located at the Lake Office with displays of animals native to the area, arrowheads and historical artifacts.

 

Guest Ranches

Edgecreek Ranch (3-5) sits just south of Beaver River on a small creek with dozens of springs.  Offers accommodations and camping with RV Hookups.  Contact:  580.837.5377; skitkat@ptsi.net. Hackamore/Maple YL Ranch (3-3) is a 15,000-acre working ranch which will transport a visitor back to the old west setting complete with prairie chicken booming grounds and prairie dog towns.  Contact:  580.323.3964; www.hackamoreoklahoma.com.  Lotspeich Ranch (3-11) is a 10,000 acre ranch along the Cimarron River which offers viewing opportunities for prairie chickens, prairie dog towns, and a huge herd of wild turkeys, to name just a few.  Lodging includes 3 houses. Contact:  www.tlguidedhunts.com 580.921.5813. 

 

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updated June 19, 2012 09:32 AM