“explore a piece of ancient history”
Shrouded in mystery, the Heavener Runestone is not to be missed when passing through Choctaw Country. Much speculation surrounds the origin of the inscription on the stone and its meaning; however experts believe it is most likely an old Viking language, elder Futhtark, used between 3 A.D. and 900 A.D.—well before Europeans inhabited North America. Come enjoy a scenic nature walk down to the stone, then pop into the gift shop for a history lesson on the area, and to browse unique gifts and runestone memorabilia. You’ll want to take in the surrounding Heavener Runestone Park on your visit. The 55 acre park holds picnic areas, a playground, plenty of areas to hike and explore, scenic outlooks and so much more! The Park also hosts a Viking/Celtic Festival the 2nd weekend of both April and October, where the outdoor amphitheater fills with the carrying melodies of folk music. During the celebration, the Vikings descend and demonstrate traditional fighting and blacksmithing. Visitors are encouraged to dress the part and embrace the experience.
There is no evidence of a pre-Columbus Viking settlement in Heavener Runestone Park and it is is very unlikely that any Europeans were in the area of Heavener Runestone Park during the Viking era. The only evidence of short term Viking settlements in Northern America are located in the northern tip of Newfoundland. Experts do not believe that the runes on the rune stone are an old Viking language. The rune stones are most likely produced by 19th-century Scandinavian settlers. it is near to impossible that Vikings traveled 3000 miles on foot through hostile Indian territory from Newfoundland to Oklahoma.
The nature in the park may be beautiful, but the historic aspect is just a marketing scam.
Great educational activity for our kiddos. The runestone isn't that far from the parking area but it is down a bunch of sandstone stairs, some with no railings. Park manager was very friendly and explained the history of the park to our kids. It was a great experience and we wish we could have stayed longer and walked the nature trail.
Very interesting place. Very beautiful. Was a nice place to visit on the way to Branson, Missouri.
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