J.T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve

J.T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve NE of town
Tahlequah, OK 74464

Phone: 918-456-7601
Fax: 918-456-7606
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Description

The J.T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve is the largest privately protected conservation area in the Ozarks.  The preserve was formed in 2000 as the result of a land gift from the John Nickel family and is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Adjoining the Illinois River in eastern Oklahoma, the preserve encompasses portions of four Ozark stream watersheds, and is dominated by pine and oak forest, as well as significant areas of oak savanna and Tallgrass prairie.

The preserve is particularly unique for its extensive, high quality rocky glade communities and pristine water quality. Self-guided trail information is available at the preserve headquarters. Spring-fed creeks meander amid a rugged topography of steep slopes and narrow valleys harboring a mosaic of oak-hickory forest, lofty pine woodland, and a diverse mix of savanna, shrub land and prairie.

The J.T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve is the largest privately protected conservation area in the Ozarks.  The preserve was formed in 2000 as the result of a land gift from the John Nickel family and is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. Adjoining the Illinois River in eastern Oklahoma, the preserve encompasses portions of four Ozark stream watersheds, and is dominated by pine and oak forest, as well as significant areas of oak savanna and Tallgrass prairie.

The preserve is particularly unique for its extensive, high quality rocky glade communities and pristine water quality. Self-guided trail information is available at the preserve headquarters. Spring-fed creeks meander amid a rugged topography of steep slopes and narrow valleys harboring a mosaic of oak-hickory forest, lofty pine woodland, and a diverse mix of savanna, shrub land and prairie.

The preserve provides optimal habitat for a suite of uncommon breeding bird species, including some whose survival requires large blocks of intact habitat. The Nature Conservancy has introduced elk, which have been absent from the Ozarks for more than 150 years. White-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats and many small mammals are also common on the preserve.  Black bears also, after being absent from the Ozarks for over a century, now make their home on the preserve.

Notes:

-  No dogs allowed.

-  No bicycles or motorized vehicles.

-  No hunting, fishing or camping allowed.

-  For groups of 10 or more, contact preserve office before visiting.

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Contact Information
  • General Information: Free admission

  • On-site Activities: Hiking

Day

Open

Close

Sunday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Monday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Tuesday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Wednesday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Thursday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Friday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

Saturday

7:00 am

7:00 pm

The headquarters building is staffed only on weekdays.

From Tahlequah, follow Hwy 51 E about 2 miles to Hwy 10. Turn N and go 10 miles to Eagle Bluff. Turn right on the county road just past the blue and orange flags at Eagle Bluff. Cross over Comb's Bridge, go 1/2 mile and stay to the right at the split in the road. Proceed about a quarter mile and turn left on the county road. Follow this road E to cross through the preserve (about 6 miles).

Primary Contact:

Jeremy Tubbs




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3 comments

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From seikel on 10/10/11

mmm beer tracks.


From Debby on 01/13/11

My husband and I drove through this fall and we saw 1 young elk very near the road.


From Joe Luckey on 12/29/10

This is a beautiful place to visit with boundless photo opportunities. I have seen numerous deer and bird species on every trip I've made here. I have stumbled upon what I believe are beer tracks. I have not seen any elk yet, but I continue to seek them out. I highly recommend this site if you enjoy hiking and photographing nature.


 
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