Cherokee Trace Drive Thru Safari

by admin on June 9, 2010

in Fun, Zoo and Wildlife Refuges

I’ve often said that I would pay for an experience. Growing up, my family traveled extensively, my folks often took us to important events, historical sites, zoos, museums, etc. Now that I’m a dad, it is my desire to do the same thing for my young son. I drag him around from site to site, museum to museum, zoo exhibit to zoo exhibit and even though he is still young, I have tried to start introducing him to the world around him. One of the experiences I have always dreamed of having is that of going on safari in Africa. I have numerous African friends who have volunteered to take me, but I have as yet, been unable to make to the supposedly dark continent. And while it’s not the same as making the journey to Africa first hand there is another alternative.

Cherokee Trace Drive-thru Safari is located just east of Jacksonville on a three hundred acre wooded preserve. Visitors are invited to drive through the park at their own pace, take photographs, and leave pellets for the animals. If visitors prefer a guided tour, and open air van will take them on a two hour tour of the entire park including areas normally off limits to attendees on self guided tours. Guided tours also offer patrons the opportunity to interact more with the animals primarily by feeding them from the van. There are also designated areas for guests to picnic.

The park features over a dozen different exotic and endangered animal species from several continents. There are of course also domestic animals normally, observed in the wilds of North America. A few of the park’s animal attractions include: the Asian Axis deer, the Indian Blackbuck antelope, the Canadian Wood Bison, the Dromedary Arabian Camel, the Rocky Mountain Elk, the Fallow Deer, found in the area of Iraq and Iran, (my personal favorite), the Highland Cattle, and many, many others.

As a last note of interest, on a five acre corner of the park there are two cabins that serve as a bed and breakfast. They have large porches, fire pits and outdoor grills. Guests can sit on the porch in the evenings and listen to the sounds of the park around them. Overnight guests also have greater access to the park then the general public. To read more about Cherokee Trace Drive- throu Safari, visit their website at

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike M June 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I thought it would be nice to visit Cherokee Trace Safari on a Sunday since we have visited most of the other parks in Texas/Oklahoma and had a good time. The trip was a little over a hundred miles so I checked park times and loaded the family up for another day of what we thought would be fun.

It was a little tough to find since it is out in the country down a few very small roads and after making a few stops I noticed we were pressed for time since according to the website, the last vehicle allowed in the park was at 4:30. We arrived at 4:22 entered the gate and parked our vehicle outside where you enter to buy tickets. My fiancée entered to purchase tickets for the rest of us and promptly came outside to tell me that we missed the cutoff by 1 minute! I looked at my cell phone and vehicle clock and both said we had 6 minutes until 4:30 so I went inside to see exactly what the issue was.

Upon entering, the first thing out of the lady attending the ticket sales area was "We are closed!!" I then simply told her that we have driven over 100 miles and according to all of our clocks, it was only 4:25 and asked her if she could please let us into the park again stressing that we had driven a long way. The next thing out of her mouth was " I DON'T CARE!!"….I was in a little bit of shock. She didn't care?? I have never ever had someone so blatantly rude and uncaring. Her attitude was 100% uncalled for. She pointed out that they go by her clock not by everyone else's. I at that point was pretty steamed yet still tried to see if we could just get into the park. She informed me that she wanted to go home and it didn't matter what I had to say.

My grandfather grew up less than 10 miles from that area and just about everyone in East Texas has always been so friendly yet here was one of the rudest people I have ever met. I told her that I haven't been rude to her and when she said that she hadn't been rude to me I told her that I felt that she had been very rude and that I was going to make sure I let message boards know the experience I had. At this point she said again "I DON'T CARE!" and informed me that she was calling the police and wrote down my license plate #.

I left very upset and did say a couple of choice words I wish I hadn't said but left more in shock at what I just experienced. There are many places to spend your hard earned money and I hope you will think twice before you choose Cherokee Trace.


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