Created in 1995, Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area, located near Frederick in southwestern Oklahoma, offers 7,120-acres of wildlife recreational opportunities. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, along with many conservation-minded partners, restored this legendary wetland, creating a vast mosaic of wetland habitats for prairie waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent birds. Upland areas of native sunflowers and cultivated fields interspersed with mesquite have become one of the state’s premier dove-hunting destinations. Open for scheduled events, the modern Hackberry Flat Center offers interpretive guidance for wildlife enthusiasts, students and educators.
With the completion of the Hackberry Flat Center, this wetland area now offers wetland classroom experiences for school children, meeting facility for workshops, programs and presentations and a place to offer skill development workshops such as waterfowl identification, bird identification and hunter education classes.
The Hackberry Flat Center is open on every second Saturday of the month and for scheduled events. Restrooms are available year-round and a pavilion offers a shady place to have a picnic. Before taking the walking trail to a wildlife-viewing blind, look for the information booklet, "Experiencing the Wetlands" on the back porch. This booklet contains a map of the area, the driving route and the official checklist of birds on the back porch. The booklet also explains how the wetland is managed for wildlife.
Walking the nature trail below the Hackberry Flat Center and enjoying the rest of Hackberry Flat Wildlife Management Area requires a valid hunting or fishing license or the conservation passport for each person unless exempt under the normal license exemptions. However, visitors that stop at the Hackberry Flat Center to use the facilities or get information from the message boards are exempt from this license requirement. Additionally, participants that attend programs and events such as the Saturday programs, Hackberry Flat Day and school field trips that take place at the Center are exempt from this requirement. This conservation passport is valid for all other Department -owned lands not just for Hackberry Flat WMA, such as Gist Wildlife Management Area.
To get to the Hackberry Flat Center, from Frederick, take U.S. 183 south for one mile, then go east on Airport Road for three miles. Follow the blacktop road south and continue six miles. Watch for signs to the center.
Lodging, restaurants and shopping are available in nearby Frederick. Visit www.frederickokchamber.org to learn more about the town.
Hackberry Flat is just one destination on the Hackberry Flat Loop of the Great Plains Trail of Oklahoma. The road-based wildlife viewing trail is made up of 13 different western Oklahoma driving loops.