Bands Booked, Weather Perfect, Glowhike Ready…This Saturday is BASECAMP!

Get your BASECAMP Passes Here!Music, games, camping, fire, glowhiking, and more will be at the main parking area at Turkey MTN this Saturday! The main thing we’re excited about? Weather forecasts are showing perfect camping weather in store! Get your camping passes here, or read on for more BASECAMP details:

Time/Place: BASECAMP begins at the main Turkey MTN parking lot on Saturday, October 4th, at 2pm for early arrivers. Play games, hike, and set up your tent before music starts at 5:45pm with Green Corn Rebellion. Next up is Ali Harter at 7:30pm, and Grazzhopper at 9:30pm.

Glow HikeGlowhike: One of the most anticipated events at BASECAMP is the Glowhike, featuring over 1,200 glowsticks on a 1 mile course. This event starts at 8:45pm, and is free of charge.

Food: Louie’s DawgHouse is our preferred food vendor at BASECAMP, offering delicious picnic fare and more. We’ll also have water and pop for sale. Want beer or other food? Bring your own…alcohol is allowed, but not sold. In the morning, we’ll have coffee and some breakfast items available.

Cost: If you would like to camp at BASECAMP, you’ll want a permit. One permit is good for one tent and occupants (up to 4 people). We highly encourage everyone to camp out…it’s a once-per-year experience at Turkey MTN! If you would like to simply enjoy the music and glowhike, come on in…it’s free of charge!

Sponsors: We are extremely grateful to our BASECAMP sponsors: Bicycles of Tulsa, TATUR Racing, and RunnersWorld Tulsa. Please support these three local companies the next time you’re in the market for a bicycle, shoes, or 5k race.

We look forward to seeing you at BASECAMP!

Posted in Uncategorized by Matt Carver. 1 Comment

BASECAMP – Turkey MTN’s Only Camping/Music Event is October 4&5, 2014!

Make the short trek to BASECAMP at Turkey Mountain! Set up camp and enjoy food, friends, family, fire, and fantastic music starting on Saturday, October 4, 2014. Get there early for the fun and games, then stake out your spot at the BASECAMP amphitheater to enjoy some chill live music from 7-11pm. Camp Setup begins at 2pm for Early Arrival permitholders and 4pm for all others.

Get more information and buy tent permits here!

BaseCamp, presented by Bicycles of Tulsa, TATUR Racing, and RunnersWorld Tulsa

Posted in Events by Matt Carver. No Comments

UPDATE: George Kaiser Family Foundation Owns 139 Acres of Turkey Mountain; Pledges not to Commercially Develop

GKFF land at Turkey Mountain - credit to Tulsa WorldOn August 27, the George Kaiser Family Foundation announced to several news outlets its ownership and part-ownership in a large swath of Turkey Mountain. In his statement to the Tulsa World, Jeff Stava, COO of the Tulsa Community Foundation, spoke about the land purchases:

“Over the past few years GKFF has been quietly purchasing property on Turkey Mountain adjacent to the city- and River Parks-owned properties to help secure this Urban Wilderness for all Tulsans to enjoy.”

This latest announcement reinforces GKFF’s already impressive efforts to improve the quality of life for Tulsa and the surrounding area. More information will no doubt be gathered in the next few days about the land owned by GKFF.  Get more of the GKFF statement and follow coverage of the story here:

Posted in News and Updates by Matt Carver. 11 Comments

City of Tulsa: Half of Turkey Mountain Potentially Open for Business Development

In an unfortunate development, the City of Tulsa announced Friday, August 22, via press release and map that the entire west half of Turkey Mountain is no longer considered Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness, and can therefore now potentially be considered open for business development:

The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, which includes many public trails that Tulsans enjoy, is not the tract of land identified for any type of retail development.” 

Turkey Mountain, as considered by the City of TulsaThe press release and map goes on to define Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness as only properties held by the City of Tulsa and River Parks. This narrow definition of the Turkey Mountain area runs counter to the public perception of the trail system, which is considered to run from the west bank of the Arkansas River to HWY 75. For users familiar with Turkey Mountain, this means that almost all properties west of the Powerline trail (and some portions of the Powerline Trail) are no longer considered a part of Turkey Mountain. The estimated total trail length will decrease from 45 miles down to 15 miles.

According to the City of Tulsa, the following trails and landmarks are no longer considered Turkey Mountain:

  • Any properties west of Powerline trail, excluding the corner of S. Elwood/61st
  • 90% of the Pink trail
  • 1/2 mile of the Yellow trail (north Spider turnaround)
  • Pepsi Lake
  • Snake trail
  • Fairy Dust trail
  • Pipeline Trail
  • The Westside YMCA
  • 30 miles of smaller trails/iconic features, including: the Washing Machine, Rock Garden, Jelly Legs (among others)


What Does This Mean for Turkey Mountain?

Eagle NestThis release constitutes one of the first conclusive statements regarding Turkey Mountain property lines from the City of Tulsa. Many users had publicly voiced the hope that the City of Tulsa/River Parks was in the process of acquiring some west-side plots for preservation purposes. At this point, that does not seem to be the case.

Without a doubt, this is an upsetting development. With the 53 acre Simon Outlet Mall building/parking lot complex in development, the City of Tulsa seems willing to entertain the prospect of further development down the 61st Street corridor. Individuals familiar with the Turkey Mountain area anticipate the following effects:

  • Rapid and continued development along the S. Elwood/61st Street corridor
  • S. Elwood/61st Street converted to 4 lanes
  • Loss of “Lipbuster” trail, upper parking lot, and portions of Snake/Pink trail due to street expansion
  • Development of supporting retail and commercial properties along 61st Street (additional strip malls, pharmacies, gas stations, etc.)
  • Loss of wildlife habitat, including eagle nesting areas
  • Potential loss of more land, as the City of Tulsa/River Parks may consider development within their property boundaries.


What Should Turkey Mountain Users & Enthusiasts Do?

It is the opinion of many that the City of Tulsa and River Parks need to focus on working together to conceptualize a Master Plan for Turkey Mountain. The failure to acquire any additional lands on the west side in the 30+ year existence of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness would speak to this conjecture. Most would agree that the citizens of Tulsa would benefit from the following:

  • Missed Tourism Dollars - Turkey Never Mentioned on City of Tulsa websiteA master plan for the Turkey Mountain area, focused on preserving as much of the area as possible.
  • Initializing a new view of Turkey Mountain, not as land prime for development, but as an important quality of life and health improvement metric for the entire Tulsa area
  • Pursuing local donors and corporations to take a public role in promoting Turkey Mountain as a unique-to-Tulsa large-scale green space attraction, similar to The Gathering Place model
  • Promotion of eco-tourism to Turkey Mountain – currently, Turkey Mountain is mentioned precisely ZERO times on the entire City of Tulsa website
  • Working with landholders on the west side of Turkey Mountain to conglomerate preservation efforts under one City agency. River Parks would appear to be in the best position to take on that role.


What next? If you feel that Turkey Mountain is a place that needs preserved, PLEASE share this information. To make your voice heard, it would be highly beneficial to contact some/all of the following:
Email/Call as many city councilors as necessary
Email/Call the Mayor of Tulsa
Email/Call Simon Property Group
Sign the Ongoing “Keep Turkey Green” Petition 

Additionally, you may share the link to this post on your preferred social media outlets. If you haven’t visited Turkey Mountain and would like to know what the fuss is about, download a trail map here.

Posted in Uncategorized by Matt Carver. No Comments

Turkey Mountain is the Wrong Place for an Outlet Mall

Turkey Mountain is the Wrong Place for an Outlet Mall

Turkey Mountain is the wrong place for an outlet mall. Rarely does a city have an outdoor treasure like Turkey Mountain within its city limits, and that uniqueness is what attracting record numbers of locals and out-of-towners alike. One recent event welcomed over 7,000 competitors to Turkey, many from out-of-state. Overall, visits to the area have increased by an estimated 1000% in the last 10 years, due primarily to the construction of  multiple trailhead improvements funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. Hikers, families with children, mountain bikers, athletes-in-training, and average Tulsans are all present…and in growing numbers.

Occasionally, it’s difficult to explain to casual observers why this place needs to be preserved. In order to fully understand the value of this large-scale greenspace, one must begin looking at what truly makes a city special. Surveying great cities across the United States, a emphasis on preserving large open areas is clear. From the south of Texas, to New York, and across California, visionaries in these areas pushed ahead in creating places where individuals surrounded by traffic and noise could find a peaceful and necessary escape. Although controversial at the time, the forward thinking of the above city planners and philanthropists has paid off plenty-fold. How? These large parks soon became the reason that people wanted to move into their cities. Property values around and surrounding such areas improved. The health of the average citizen improved as outdoor opportunities expanded. In the big picture, there is clear value in LITTLE or CAREFUL development of an area that uniquely improves a city.

Turkey Mountain is one of these precious areas. Unfortunately, Simon Outlet Malls has purchased approximately 50 acres to build an 800,000 square feet outlet mall at Turkey Mountain. To be clear, the land in question is private property, and the owner is allowed to sell to whomever they wish. Additionally, an outlet mall brings jobs and amenities to our area; by most accounts, the upcoming construction is a win for Tulsa. However, there are Tulsans who want to give voice to concerns about encroaching upon this great place known as Turkey Mountain. These are people who run, bike, hike, walk, and view wildlife with their children, family, and friends. These are people who see value in NOT developing this area. These are people who want Tulsa to be something special, something to tell others about…and Turkey Mountain is a part of that unique landscape.

To be clear: this isn’t a choice between Tulsa having/not having an outlet mall. This is a choice whether or not to build an outlet mall at Turkey Mountain. Please call/email your city councilor, mayor, and other contacts listed below to tell them: “Simon Outlet Malls is welcome in Tulsa, but Turkey Mountain is the wrong place. Where else can we welcome this developer while preserving this unique Urban Wilderness?”

What next? If you feel that Turkey Mountain is a place that needs preserved, share this information. To make your voice heard, it would be highly beneficial to contact some/all of the following:
Email/Call as many city councilors as necessary
Email/Call the Mayor of Tulsa
Email/Call Simon Property Group

Additionally, you may share the link to this post on your preferred social media outlets. If you haven’t visited Turkey Mountain and would like to know what the fuss is about, download a trail map here.


Posted in News and Updates by Matt Carver. 79 Comments


July 12th Turkey workdayBud Light, Keep America Beautiful, the Metropolitan Environmental Trust, and River Parsk are presenting a trail cleanup and beautification event at Turkey MTN on July 12, 2014, from 8am to 12pm. A free lunch and beverages will be provided to all volunteers afterwards. Ages 21+ only, please.

Please contact River Parks at 918-596-2001 or get more info and sign up here!

Posted in Uncategorized by Matt Carver. Comments Off


The Great Tulsa Campout on November 2nd, 2013The Great Tulsa Campout is November 2nd! For the first time ever, River Parks is inviting families, music fans, and camping aficionados to come to Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness for a full day (and night) of great music, adventures for all ages, and sleeping out underneath the Tulsa stars.

View the main Campout page for info »

Posted in Trail Running by Matt Carver. 2 Comments

Trail Clean-up Day – June 29th

Turkey Cleanup DayIt’s that time again! We’ve got a bumper crop of trashed water bottles, protein bar wrappers, downed trees, and overgrown trails at Turkey. We hope you can join us for the quarterly Trail Maintenance Day on Saturday, June 29th at 9 AM.

We’ll have several volunteer opportunities:

  • Trash pickup (that’s the big one)
  • Weed-eating
  • Chainsaw work
  • Trailbuilding

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Trail Conditions and Maintenance by Matt Carver. 5 Comments

REMINDER: Clean-up Day January 12

Turkey Cleanup DayWe need YOU! The first Turkey clean-up day of 2013 is on January 12, at 9 AM. We’ve got some trail maintenance, some trash pick-up, and other items…we’d love to see you out there. Hammerhead Bicycles and Tatur Racing will be providing food/snacks/drinks and more! Thanks, HH & TATUR !

Posted in Uncategorized by Matt Carver. 2 Comments

Turkey MTN Volunteer Clean-up Day – January 12!

Trail CleanupRound up the shovels and pack the trash bags; we’re having another Turkey MTN clean-up day! Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 9am, Turkey MTN volunteers (that means you!) will be working together to keep our mountain in tip-top shape. This includes some trail construction headed up by David Ridilla, some trash pick-up around the main parking lot, and a lot of tree trimming, maintenance, and painting. Please join us! Questions? Look us up on

Posted in Trail Conditions and Maintenance by Matt Carver. 2 Comments