Greenleaf Lake State Park
From the 1986 edition of A Guide to Birding in
Oklahoma published by the Tulsa Audubon Society. This account was partially reviewed and updated in 2007.
Follow US 62 east from
Muskogee across the Arkansas River; turn right on SH 10 for 16 miles to
reach this park. Immediately after crossing a sizeable expanse of water
(the Little Greenleaf Creek arm of Webber's Falls Lake) turn left off
the highway at the park sign and proceed up the hill to the
Adjacent to the park on
the north, the Cherokee Game Management Area consists of about 25 square
miles of open grasslands interspersed with wooded creek bottoms. This
area, combined with Greenleaf and Webber's Falls lake, provides a
variety of habitats which attract an equally varied bird population.
At Park Headquarters the
road branches three ways: north to the Youth Camp and Park Lodge and
from there on a rough, rocky road along the lake toward the Gruber area;
south to the picnic area; and east past the cabins down to the lake.
Going straight ahead, east, the road winds down the hill about
three-fourths mile to the lake shore. This is the most congested part of
the park, with a campground, boat dock, swimming beach, parking area,
and a cafe. This is a good place to park and do some birding on foot.
There is a fine trail
leading north from the cabin area through good birding territory and
overlooking the lake. Another productive walk is south along the shore,
through the campground, and up the wooded hillside to the picnic area.
Actually, most of the park can be investigated without getting off the
During the winter months,
Bald Eagles can often be seen cruising back and forth over the lake or
perched in trees on the opposite shore. Also at this time ducks are
plentiful, dabblers in the shallow grassy edges, the diving species
farther out in the deeper water. Other regulars of interest are Ospreys
during migration, Fish Crows and Black Vultures throughout the summer.
In past years a pair of Roadrunners has nested in the caretaker's yard
next to the Youth Camp.
Greenleaf Lake State Park,
one of the state's most scenic parks, has often been the location of the
Oklahoma Ornithological Society's spring meeting, held annually in late
April or early May. Birds listed during the spring meeting totaled about
125 species including some twenty species of warblers.