Red River Journey
The Red River is one of the longest rivers in the United States, flowing from the Texas Panhandle along the southern boundary of Oklahoma to the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana. The river passes through three major geographical regions in Oklahoma, beginning with the High Plains in far southwestern Oklahoma, passing through Red Bed Plains, and the Coastal Plains.
The Spaniards named it Rio Rojo in recognition of the waters reddish cast. A wild prairie river with soft sandy banks, the river frequently changes its course within its wide streambed. It has been both an aid and an impediment to transportation, providing opportunities for navigation (often hazardous), as well as a barrier to be breached for north-south travel. The Red River, including its various branches or “forks,” has played a major role in the history of Oklahoma and the southern plains.
The Oklahoma History Center Red River Journey is a relaxing one-quarter-mile walking tour that replicates the Red River Valley along Oklahoma’s southern boundary. A wonderful exploration of our state’s historical landmarks, the Red River Journey offers visitors a sample of Oklahoma’s diverse terrains as well as our indigenous trees, flowers, and plants.
The Meinders Foundation Heritage Gardens
The history of Oklahoma has been influenced by the various plants, wildlife and geology found across the state. The Meinders Foundation Heritage Gardens interpret some of the trees, bushes, flowers and grasses that are found along the Red River and in other areas of the state. The area also explores geologic features such as the Winding Stair Mountains, Arbuckle Mountains, and Wichita Mountains that strongly influence the people and history of the Southern Plains.
The Red River Botanical Heritage Park is made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, The Meinders Foundation, the Oklahoma City Federation of Women’s Clubs, and The Colonial Dames of America.