Heading to Fort Sill? If you are, prepare yourself for wide open skies and the perpetual echo of artillery. You probably already know you’re in for hot summers and icy winters. But you might not know that this southern Oklahoma post was built during the Indian Wars. That means it’s now considered a National Landmark and there’s history everywhere you turn. If you’re stationed here, there are lots of historical and outdoor activities to enjoy. Many of them are great for the whole family.
Fort Sill’s official name is the Fort Sill Fires Center of Excellence (FCoF). Its mission is to train artillery soldiers and train them well. To do that, they are trained day and night to put “steel on target.” Fort Sill’s three-pronged approach to training and preparedness makes it one of the best training posts in the Army. It comprises the Field Artillery School, the primary training facility for field artillery soldiers and marines worldwide; the Field Artillery Training Center, home of basic combat, one-station unit training, and advanced individual training; and is the largest field artillery complex in the free world.
Here are 8 spectacular things to do at Fort Sill
Activities on Fort Sill
Rucker Park was once used as the Army Equestrian Team’s training ground back in the 1930s. Now, it’s a peaceful, wide-open space right on post. Between the trees and the old stone structures that were once used to train horses, it’s a beautiful spot to gather with family and friends, have a picnic, and play some outdoor games.
Field Artillery Park is an outdoor collection of artillery that is impressive to adults and children alike. The display includes more than 20 pieces of artillery, plus plenty of Army equipment to feast your eyes on. Many have been painted in bright colors and include a description of their history. The park is adjacent to the Artillery Museum located at Fort Sill, which is also worth checking out.
Nature, nature, and more nature
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a vast, mountainous area home to American Bison, Rocky Mountain elk, longhorn cattle, white-tailed deer, and so much more. In about 30 minutes, you’ll be far enough away from Fort Sill that you can’t even hear the artillery range. Lovers of the outdoors will have a blast exploring the area, whether they’re hiking, birdwatching or tracking various types of wildlife.
Medicine Bluff is a strikingly beautiful area near Fort Sill. It was once a sacred place for Plains Indians, where they held ritual healing ceremonies. Legend has it that back in the late 1800s, an Apache leader and medicine man named Geronimo rode off a bluff on horseback as soldiers chased him. As he plummeted to his death, he screamed, “Geronimooooo!” You can visit his grave in Fort Sill.
Looking for a way to relax while you call Fort Sill home? This gorgeous park and recreation area includes almost two miles of dog-friendly trails, lots of picnic areas, and a partially covered playground for the kids. It also boasts a no-wake lake to enjoy water sports like swimming, kayaking and more. You can even camp here if you’re looking for a couple days of peace in nature.
The Holy City
Nestled into the Wichita Mountains is the jaw-dropping 66-acre region known as The Holy City. It’s just a short drive from Fort Sill but it feels like you’ve traveled back in time. Learn about Biblical history while walking through this impressive stone-made city. Don’t forget your camera, because there are photo ops at every turn.
Medicine Park Aquarium
Medicine Park Aquarium includes sections indoors and outdoors to check out a variety of different animals and fish. Inside, you’ll find tanks filled with mainly freshwater fish. Outside, check out the alligators, snakes, turtles, sea otters and more. Their outdoor section even has a mountain lion and a wolf. All military families enter at a discounted rate.
Museum of the Great Plains
For a deeper look into the history and culture of the Great Plains region, head further afield from Fort Sill and take a trip to the Museum of the Great Plains. The museum includes interactive elements that will keep the kids entertained. Its outdoor area showcases an old fort, a train and farm equipment. All military families get admission at a discounted rate.
Want to find out more about Sill? Check out this video of the oldest trainee in Ft. Sill’s history!