Rising above the west bank of the Arkansas River, River Parks’ Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness is an untamed oasis in the heart of the city. Encompassing over 600 rugged acres, the park’s thick canopy of native trees watch over winding trails, serene ponds and ancient boulders. Secured to remain a public park in perpetuity, the Wilderness is a one-of-a-kind regional destination that continues to grow in popularity.

Plans are now underway for a community-driven Turkey Mountain Master Plan that will address the park’s management, preservation and programming. River Parks Authority will oversee the planning process, with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates providing professional guidance to establish a vision, assuring the Wilderness will offer the best in outdoor recreation for current and future generations.


No group is better equipped to share insights, practical experiences and passion for the Wilderness than the park users who have championed Turkey Mountain over decades. Community input is essential to crafting a plan for this well-loved public space. Through the eyes of regular park users, a better understanding will be gained of:

  • How the Wilderness is used now and how areas of expansion might be used
  • How the landscape and park features contribute to the Wilderness experience
  • How visitors are presently navigating the area and interacting with nature

Identifying the unique and valued aspects of the Wilderness experience will inform an array of best practices for specific elements of the Master Plan.

A thoughtful management plan will enhance the park experience, with a focus on ecology, public safety and the preservation of the park’s unique features and character.

The diverse ecosystem of the Wilderness is not in its optimal state. Preservation efforts with attention toward environment restoration and rehabilitation will protect Turkey Mountain within its urban setting.

Ensuring a great experience for visitors to Turkey Mountain will build on the foundation of current features and activities, while exploring further enhancements in balance with preserving the park’s natural attributes and beauty.