I was in Oklahoma last week, and stayed in my ‘go to’ place: Robbers Cave State Park, located in the southeastern part of the state, not far from the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line.
My grandfather was one of the early day settlers in the town just 5 miles from the park, coming to Indian Territory as the first English teacher in the area. My mother was born in Wilburton, as was I, and the state park became a favorite spot throughout our youth and adult years to visit. We’ve held family reunions, private get aways, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, and summer vacations, in this scenic place, swimming in the lake back in the 40s and 50s, and walking the trails as we got older.
Robbers Cave was named because of the rough terrain and a cave atop a hill that is believed to be the hideout of bands of thiefs in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Bad men such as the Cole brothers, and the notorious Belle Starr were reported to evade law enforcement among the rocks with its high elevation that served as lookout vistas.
The cabins were part of the CCC program during the Great Depression, and are still rented. Air conditioning, heating, and modern bathrooms have been added, but the exterior rock cabins are full almost every weekend during the year.
I thought I would share some pictures I took while there this trip as I climbed up the rocky paths attempting to find the cave I’ve explored in the past. To my embarrassment, I couldn’t find the cave even though I thought I followed the marked trails. I think I was more interested in not falling than I was in my search. But I did get to enjoy some nice views from atop the hills.
Carlton Lake is on the property, not a big one, but some say the fishing is pretty good. I have some pictures taken in the past that I’ll also share. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of one of the cabins. Not certain if I have trashed them, or just have never taken any. My next visit I will remember to get some shots.