Muskogee

Overview

Introduction

Muskogee is known to most people as the place where folks don't smoke marijuana (and don't do a lot of other things, either), claims made in Merle Haggard's late-1960s hit "Okie from Muskogee." It's the home of the Five Civilized Tribes Museum, which is housed in a restored Indian Agency building. It documents the cultures of the tribes who were exiled to Oklahoma from the southeastern U.S. More Indian artifacts are on display at the Ataloa Lodge Museum on the Bacone College campus. Muskogee's War Memorial Park is home to the USS Batfish, a World War II submarine. The park is open mid March-mid October. In April, Muskogee hosts its annual Azalea Festival, where you can see more than 70,000 of the flowering plants, plus roses and irises.

Mountain-bikers will want to stop at Sequoyah State Park, north of Muskogee, and ride the state park system's first mountain-bike trail. In Fort Gibson (just east of Muskogee), you'll find the Fort Gibson National Historic Site, which was at one time the nation's westernmost stockade.

Sallisaw (40 mi/65 km southeast of Muskogee) was the home of Sequoyah, the Native American leader who developed the 84-character Cherokee alphabet in 1823, making it possible for much of the Cherokee population to become literate within a few weeks' time. The site of his home has been preserved, and there's an interpretive center depicting the full story of his remarkable life.
Spiro Mounds Archaeological Park, southeast of Sallisaw, is the site of 12 Native American burial mounds from the 1200s and 1300s. Muskogee is 130 mi/210 km east of Oklahoma City.

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