All Persons Enter The Park At Their Own Risk! Owners and Staff of Horse Pens 40 are not responsible for injury, accidents or damage to guests or their property.
NOTICE: This page is being constantly updated during the remaining days leading up to this event. Check back often (and refresh this page each time) to get the latest tips and information to make your visit better.
.. a little background to put you in the mood...
CukoRakko... from the Muskogee language, it means gathering place, stomp ground, ceremonial ground, dance ground. A fitting name for a very special event held in a very unique and special place. Only twice a year, we host this one-of-a-kind gathering held in the same spirit as those that took place here in both the near and distant past. Those spirits of the past are palpable here, from a hint of music from a banjo, mandolin, or dulcimer on the wind, to the low repetitive beat of an ancient hide covered drum coming from deep in the rocks late at night.
Horse Pens 40 is historically both a native American ceremonial and gathering ground, as well as a burial ground at times, and it all still continues to this day. A time-honored place to gather with kin and other kindred spirits and celebrate life and all that it brings, and also to remember both kin and kindred spirits who have gone before...
Tips and info to make your visit more enjoyable:
ARRIVE EARLY - There is a limited amount of parking, campsites, and fire rings, and they are all available on a first-come basis. Pre-placement is allowed a couple of days early to keep your campsite reserved. (Above ground fire bowls are always welcomed.) Please limit the area you take up, as there will be a lot more folks coming in as the weekend progresses, and space is limited. Only use the space you really need, and allow room for new neighbors when they arrive. They're here for the same reason you are...to have a GREAT time!
BRING CASH - There will be limited debit/credit card processing available at this event. While some vendors may be able to accommodate credit and debit cards, the limited cellular service up here means that sometimes plastic is a no-go. Always bring cash if you want to have all options open. I know that some vendors do not have the ability to accept cards for payment, and thus will only accept cash. In addition, all HP40 prices already include a 10% discount for cash that cannot be obtained by any other means of payment. Event admissions, parking passes, food and etc. from vendors, and more may REQUIRE PAYMENT IN CASH ONLY as there may be no credit card machines available at any given time. The nearest ATM is 5 miles away at I-59 exit 166...So BRING CASH or enjoy the ride. It is a very nice drive...
PLEASE CARPOOL - Parking space is limited, and the fields used for parking are the same areas used for summer feed for our horses. Vehicles have a heavy impact on the park, the campground, it's parking areas, and the environment, so please reduce your overall footprint, and share your trip here with some friends. It'll be a LOT cheaper, and more fun, as well !
Many of our more 'back to nature' guests will pack light, and carry their gear to their campsite on their backs. Some others will want to drive to their campsite to unload and then park out in the front field (see below for details). Others (hopefully few) will want to keep their vehicle at their campsite. Details covering these options are outlined below.
When you arrive, continue on down 'Horse Pens 40 Blvd.' until you reach the middle gate. Do not turn right into the parking area until you get to the admission gate. Stay on the main road until you get to the gate, and the entrance of the parking area will then be on the right.
PARKING - There are two types of parking available at this event:
Front Field parking - Parking is available in the field just outside the middle gate. The $10 Field Parking Fee is intended to recover some of the costs of parking (maintenance, preparation, clean-up, etc.), to offset the loss of usable summer grass, and to encourage early arrival and carpooling. Please do not litter or pollute this area, as our horses will need to be eating there again as soon as the grass recovers. For that matter, you really shouldn't litter or pollute anywhere else either...yanowatimeen?
Unloading at your campsite - Campers who wish to unload at their campsite must purchase a $50 Campground Parking Pass, DRIVE CAREFULLY and SLOWLY to their PREVIOUSLY CHOSEN campsite, unload their gear, and return CAREFULLY and SLOWLY to the front field parking area, returning the campground parking pass at the front gate for a refund of $40. ($50 less the $10 field parking fee). There is an approx 45 minute window for this to take place and still get your refund.
Campsite parking- Campground parking space is very limited, (and thus expensive..). If you feel you must have your vehicle in your campsite, you will need a campsite parking pass. The $50 campsite parking passis designed to greatly reduce the number of vehicles taking up room in the campground, and to make up for the space used by those who do. A single vehicle can take up as much room as a couple of tents and several people, and endanger everyone around if operated improperly. This completelyrevocable pass is also intended to prevent any driving around after alcohol has been consumed, for everyone's safety. With children and tents everywhere, and folks sleeping on the ground, any careless vehicle movement can be very hazardous.
This is a restricted and revocable parking pass, not a 'driving around in the campground' pass. There are limited turn-around areas when we are crowded, so park on the edge of the road in the campground, walk around until you find the site you want, then take your vehicle there. Once you reach your previously chosen campsite, you must park and remain parked. THIS PASS DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE AROUND INSIDE THE CAMPGROUND OR TO PASS IN AND OUT OF THE GATE. If you drive around (such as to the restrooms or camp store) or leave the campground, your parking pass will be revoked and you will have to park in the front field, or purchase another if axailable.
READ THE PARK RULES - All park rules are strictly enforced to protect the park, our guests, and all of the natural creatures and features that abide here. These rules have been developed over the years through hard experience. Following these rules will make everyone's visit more pleasant, and it is necessary for the protection and preservation of Horse Pens 40 for future generations. We appreciate your cooperation with this. It will help us all keep Horse Pens 40 beautiful for many years to come.
NO GLASS - No glass is allowed (outside your vehicle) anywhere on HP40 property. Glass is very dangerous to children, horses, those who go barefoot and those who sleep on the ground. And to make matters worse, each piece must be picked up by hand. (Want to be a billionaire? Invent a magnet that works on glass!) What remains in your vehicle is not our business, but any glass seen outside will become the property of HP40 Security and will be taken up and disposed of at our discretion. NO EXCEPTIONS - NO EXCUSES - NO WHINING.
NO PETS - We love all animals. especially loving and faithful pets, but we cannot accommodate pets at an event such as this. We came by this rule the hard way, and we can make no exceptions. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO BRING YOUR PET INTO THE PARK!!! There is always someone who tries to bring their pet, and then they have to turn around and make a special trip to take it back home. Save yourself the trouble, and LEAVE YOUR PETS AT HOME! Due to the many rare, threatened, protected, and endangered species that live here, we have to be very strict on this issue at all times. If your pet were to get loose and damage one of these federally protected species, it could result in large fines and even jail time!To avoid such problems, LEAVE YOUR PETS AT HOME!!!
Please follow the fire safety directives below:
No fires of any description will be allowed along the wooded outside edges of the campground, in areas that have limited water access, areas that have leaves on the ground or in other areas that present an elevated danger of a fire spreading. The opinion of the HP40 Park Ranger is the final authority on this and his decision will be the last word on the subject.
All fires must be attended at all times. If we see an unattended fire, we will have to put it out...No apologies, no excuses, just cold wet ashes. Keep an eye (or several) on your fire, all the time, or put it out.
Fires should be limited in size and duration, and used primarily for cooking.We can allow small open fires (IN EXISTING FIRE RINGS ONLY!), fire bowls, charcoal or wood grills/smokers for cooking purposes. Someone must be using it or attending to it at all times. (Please don't expect to get a trailer load of firewood into the park...)
Thoroughly extinguish all coals before going to sleep. Don't take any chances. The wind often picks up at night. Make sure your fire is completely out before you go to sleep.
We encourage you to bring and use fire bowls, fire pans, grills, and other methods that are safer and are raised up and do not burn the ground. Please manage the ashes by wetting them after putting them in an existing fire ring or asking HP40 staff to help you find a place to put them. We will be glad to help.
Campfires - There is a limited number of actual fire rings available, so sharing is both essential, economical, and "eco-logical". Can you imagine a thousand or so guests, and every 4-5 on average having their own campfire? Over 200 fires going at once in the park? Now that is a heck of a carbon footprint! We can reduce that by sharing fire pits all year round, and especially at events such as this one. Set up your tent a little ways back, in order to make a shared area around the fire pit. Go in together with your neighbors on some wood to save $$$, and take turns cooking or share the space. Everybody helps keep the fire going, and it works out well for all.
A very important point here is that ALL CAMPFIRES MUST BE BUILT IN AN EXISTING FIRE RING. (Your fire bowls and charcoal grills are allowed and even encouraged especially during dry or crowded conditions.)If you move fire rings, take the stones from another ring, or build fires where there isn't already a ring, YOU WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE, AND NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN.HEED THIS WELL.Campfires have the potential to do a lot of damage if not managed properly. Be very careful around the fire pit and don't let anyone else get hurt.
We encourage you to bring and use fire bowls, fire pans, grills, and other methods that are raised up and do not burn the ground. Please manage the ashes by putting them in a fire ring or asking HP40 staff to help you find a place to put them. We will be glad to help.
FIREWOOD - You are welcome to bring insect- and disease-free natural limbs or split firewood to burn in the park. No pallet wood, treated lumber, plywood, building scraps, or any type of wood with nails, glue, paint, chemicals, etc. is allowed, for safety and environmental reasons.
We also sell firewood and deliver it to your campsite at below market prices (usually around 50% or less than what you would pay at the local market, convenience store, or other retail source). Approximately 50% of the proceeds from the firewood sales goes to support the horses in the equine rescue program here at HP40.
Cell Service? - Verizon works well up here in almost all areas of the park. Others? Well.. not so much. Some service is available for most carriers, but in limited areas, and in limited signal strengths. Solution? -- Bring a friend with you who has a Verizon phone.
Horse Pens 40 has Security on duty 24/7, 365 days a year. The 24 hour Security and assistance number is on the rule sheet, in the store alcove, and is posted throughout the park. Please call us first in the event of any problem or need. We can get you into a locked vehicle, help you find what you are looking for, give you a ride if needed, and provide general assistance in most situations. Don't hesitate to call us if you have a need or if a problem arises.
Horse Pens 40 is a "Leave No Trace" Nature Park. This standard is strictly enforced. Please do your best to leave it as good as you found it.