A Viking Journey?
This display details one
theory of how Vikings could
have reached Oklahoma.
Closer View of the Runes
The mysterious carvings
bring a steady stream of
visitors to the park.
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Heavener Runestone, Oklahoma
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Heavener Runestone, Oklahoma
Heavener Runestone Park & Historic Site - Heavener, Oklahoma
Closer View of the Inscription
There are different theories as to the translation of
the inscription on the Heavener Runestone.
A Relic of Vikings in Oklahoma?
One of the most unusual historic sites in the
South can be found on a mountainside in
Oklahoma. Some believe that Vikings came
here more than 1,000 years ago and left a
sign of their passing carved on the face of a
massive boulder.

The huge rock, now called the Heavener
Runestone, is the centerpiece of a park in
Heavener, Oklahoma.

To say that the theory of Vikings roaming
around prehistoric Oklahoma is controversial
would be putting it mildly. The scientific
community does not consider the Heavener
Runestone an authentic artifact of the Viking
era. Others, however, firmly believe that the
mysterious carving is more than 1,000 years
old.

Public attention was first brought to the
Heavener Runestone decades ago by the
late Mrs. Gloria Farley. She heard of the
unusual inscriptions and arranged for a local
guide to take her to the site. After consulting
with students of ancient languages, Mrs.
Farley became convinced that the carving
had been left by ancient Norse explorers.

One of the leading diffusionists (people who
believe in travel to the Americas by other
cultures prior to Columbus) of her time, Mrs.
Farley went on to write a book outlining her
theories about the Heavener Runestone and
other mysterious carvings around the country.

Mrs. Farley and her supporters came to
believe that the inscription on the stone could
be interpreted to read "Glomesdal" or "Valley
of Glome." Glome, they theorized, was a
viking explorer who claimed the little ravine of
his own centuries ago.

Others firmly disagree. The symbols carved
on the rock are indeed runes, but their
meaning is as disputed as their origin. The
carvings can also be interpreted to read
"Gnonesdal" or "Valley of the Gnomes," and
in fact the beautiful mountain ravine at
Heavener RUnestone State Park looks much
like the kind of place where our ancestors
believed gnomes (small mythical beings)
could be found.

Could the carving have been left by Vikings
roaming around eastern Oklahoma centuries
ago or does it date from more recent times?
It depends on who you ask. Archaeologists
point out that no verifiable Norse artifiacts
have ever been found in Oklahoma. Those
who believe in the runestone's authenticity,
however, point out that a series of similar
carvings have been found in the area.

Whatever the truth, the Heavener Runestone
is a unique cultural artifact that adds a great
deal of mystique to the beautiful mountain.
Waterfall and Footbridge
During rainy weather a very
nice waterfall tumbles over
the rocks and into the ravine.
The Waterfall at Heavener
This is another view of the
waterfall at Heavener
Runestone State Park.
Runes in Heavener, Oklahoma
These strange carvings have prompted some to
believe that Vikings once roamed Oklahoma.
One of the most beautiful state parks in
Oklahoma, Heavener Runestone Park &
Historic Site is located atop Poteau Mountain
in the edge of the Ouachita Mountains that
stretch across the Arkansas - Oklahoma
border.

In addition to the runestone itself, the park
features nature trails, a paved sidewalk that
leads down through the ravine to a shelter
protecting the carving, picnic areas and
beautiful wet weather waterfalls.

The people of Heavener stepped in when the
State of Oklahoma announced plans to close
the park. It is now municipally operated.

The park is located at 18365 Runestone Rd.,
Heavener, Oklahoma. It is open daily
Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Heavener Runestone is now operated by the City of Heavener, Oklahoma