Top 10 Hiking Trails In Oklahoma (2022)
Oklahoma has a fantastically diverse landscape. There is a diverse range of conditions to discover! Whether you want to explore almost desert-like conditions or deep forests, you have it all here. Doesn’t that make this place a great location for a hiking trail? Just bring some water, a trail map, and get ready to enjoy some of the best hiking trails located in Oklahoma.
Top 10 Hiking Trails In Oklahoma
Here is a list of some of the best hiking trails in Oklahoma:
1. Friend’s Trail Loop:
The parking lot for Friend’s Trail is conveniently located near the trailhead. The trail includes some steep climbs. Parts of the trail run alongside the Lower Mountain Fork River. The trail is the newest and best maintained in Beavers Bend State Park. It is even considered as one of the park’s most popular trails.
2. Clear Bay Recreation Area Trail System:
The Clear Bay Recreation Area Trail System provides 18.5 miles of hiking trails for hikers and mountain bikers of all levels of experience on the southern side of Lake Thunderbird. Each of the five trails is interconnected, and they can also be hiked as a loop on their own. The 1.5-mile Green Loop and 1-mile Yellow Loop are ideal for beginners, while the 1.25-mile Red Loop and 4.75-mile Blue Loop are ideal for intermediate hikers. The Gold Loop, with its 10 miles of steep climbs, should only be attempted by experienced hikers.
3. Turkey Mountain via Yellow Trail:
Turkey Mountain, located 10 minutes from downtown Tulsa, has two excellent hiking trails with short interconnecting trails. The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness is one of northeastern Oklahoma’s unique recreational treasures, encompassing over 300 acres of rugged park land only a few miles from Tulsa’s vibrant downtown. Visitors are surrounded by a thick canopy of trees, which also includes the native Hickory, Redbud, Post and Blackjack Oak, and other species, creating a sense of being far from city life. Turkey Mountain’s highest point, rising 300 feet above the river, is within the park’s boundaries. Turkey Mountain has miles of winding dirt trails and two large ponds, both of which were present long before the land was purchased for public use. Three covered pavilions, as well as children’s climbing boulders, are nearby and available on a first-come, first-served basis. The entrance is enhanced by two bronze wildlife sculptures, “Rio Grande Turkeys” and “Rocky Mountain Bighorn”.
4. Tree Trail:
This hiking trail begins and ends at the Forest Heritage Center Museum. The scenic path winds past a large Native American sculpture, along the Beaver Creek floodplain, across a bridge, and back to the Forest Heritage Center, with informational signs along the way explaining the area’s history. To keep you on track, trees are marked in white. This is a simple trail, except for a few points that require climbing.
5. Cedar Bluff Nature Trail:
Cedar Bluff begins from Dogwood Campground and near the Lower Mountain Fork River’s miniature golf and kayak rentals. The hiking trail is a relatively easy walk past the Mountain Fork River, with a total elevation gain of about 200 feet. To stay on the trail, follow the blue trail blazes. The intersections of Deer Crossing and Skyline Trail are marked with red tree blazes.
6. Elk Mountain Trail:
Elk Mountain Trail System in Oklahoma consists of two trails. The first takes hikers through the Charon’s Garden Wilderness Area and ends at the Post Oak/Treasure Lake parking area, while the second takes them to the summit of Elk Mountain. Hikers will have a stunning view of most of the refuge from the pinnacle of Elk Mountain. Another trail connects the Quanah Parker Lake dam and the summit of Little Baldy Mountain, and a side trail from the Doris Campground connects to the trail on the lake’s western edge.
7. Roman Nose State Park Trail:
The Roman Nose State Park Trail System in Oklahoma includes four interconnected trails: Two for just hiking and mountain biking and two for hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian use. This is a trail system for beginners to intermediates. The Lake Loop Trail, which is only accessible by hiking and mountain biking, begins on the northwest side of Lake Watonga near Cedar Cove. Mesa Loop Trail is suitable for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. Mesa Loop Trail begins just southeast of the Lake Watonga Dam and winds around the east side of a mesa before ascending to the top of the mesa, also known as Inspiration Point, where you can enjoy views of the lake and the rugged landscape. Lakeshore Loop Trail is another trail that is open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. This trail explores the southeast corner of the lake’s property. The Black Loop Trail begins at the southeast corner of the Lakeshore Loop Trail and is only for hiking and biking. This trail offers more difficult terrain in and around a canyon. Continue southwest from Lakeshore Loop, following a relatively straight path as the elevation rises.
8. Beavers Bend State Park:
Beavers Bend State Park is in southeast Oklahoma’s mountainous region, along the shorelines of the Mountain Fork River and Broken Bow Lake. Inside this state park, visitors will find adventure, beautiful scenery, and plenty of activities as they travel down the winding roads through the forests of pine and hardwood trees. Beavers Bend State Park is one of Oklahoma’s most popular destinations due to its scenic beauty. This state park is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with towering trees, crystal clear waters, and rugged terrain. Hiking, biking, fishing, water skiing, boating, canoeing, nature center activities, river float trips, horseback riding, and other activities are available to visitors to Beavers Bend State Park.
9. Turner Falls Park Hiking Trails:
Turner Falls Park in Davis, Oklahoma, is a fun and family-friendly yearly destination in the Arbuckle Mountains. Turner Falls Park has something for everyone, from the 77-foot waterfall to Dr. Collings’ Rock Castle. With picnic areas, RV hook-ups, and camping areas, it’s also a convenient and entertaining stop for those passing through. So make your way down to Turner Falls Park and enjoy the cool springs and rugged wilderness activities.
10. Greenleaf State Park:
Greenleaf State Park, located in the hills of eastern Oklahoma, offers an amazing scenery and is a family-friendly state park. Greenleaf Lake, along with cabins, family recreation facilities, campgrounds, and nature hiking trails, are all part of the park. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the lake cabins and other facilities at Greenleaf State Park in the 1930s. The original buildings, made of native stone, stand as an enduring and beautiful memorial to those who built them. The park has 16 cabins, each with a bathroom, a kitchen with full-size appliances, and heat and air conditioning. There are also dishes, cooking utensils, linens, and towels. Ten of the cabins have fireplaces. Satellite television is available in all cabins. The cabins measure approximately 350 square feet. The park also features the “Cabin on the Lake,” a handicapped accessible cabin that is designed to meet the needs of the physically challenged. Pets are permitted in all cabins but for a nightly fee. Firewood can be purchased, but it is not provided to the cabins.
Now that you know all the popular hiking trails in Oklahoma, be sure to visit them with your family and friends, and have the time of your life.