Grand River and the Prairie-Plains Peninsula

View across primary terrace of the Grand River in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The river runs along the bluff in background. Photo by Don Wyckoff.
White River Valley
White River valley, Ozark Highlands, northwestern Arkansas. Photo by Dee Ann Story.

The Grand River in eastern Oklahoma, a south-flowing tributary of the Arkansas, drains a transitional zone—called the Prairie-Plains Peninsula—that separates the Ozark Highlands on the east and the Southern Plains on the west. This zone, about 50 miles wide, consists of scattered patches of open oak-hickory forest amidst mixed prairie and short-grass prairie habitats and occasional sandstone outcrops. In historic times, Osage Indians found the Prairie-Plains Peninsula a rich environment for hunting and small-scale agriculture.

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