Hiking is one of the best activities to do when looking to enjoy nature. You not only get to be outdoors but you get to explore places not accessible by bicycles or motor vehicles. Before the weather gets too hot this summer, we found 9 trails you must try if you love the great outdoors. So if you’re ready to explore Oklahoma’s diverse terrain, grab your water, hiking boots and compass (or iphone) and check out these fun trails in the Sooner State.
1. Ouachita National Forest, Talihina
Located in southeastern Oklahoma, the Ouachita National Forest is one of Oklahoma's most breathtaking places to visit. The Kerr Arboretum and Botanical Area is open for hiking, sightseeing, bird watching, horse back riding and much more. The total trail within the forest spans 192 miles, but you can catch several short arms of it from the Kerr Nature Center.
2. Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa
The Redbud Valley Nature Preserve is located in Oxley Nature Center on the north side of Tulsa. It is a beautifully preserved area that is open for hiking and enjoying quiet spots in nature. It houses many plants and animals that aren't found anywhere else in northeastern Oklahoma. Oxley has over 11 miles of trails that will take you through many different habitats and terrain. Each trail ranges in length from a half-mile to one-mile, and can be connected for longer hikes.
3. Turner Falls, Davis
The hiking trail around Turner Falls is nestled in the spectacular Arbuckle Mountains. The trail is a 3.5-mile loop that is heavily trafficked. The trail is considered a moderate level and is accessible year-round. If you're looking for a scenic hike, you'll definitely want to take this one.
4. Lake Murray State Park, Ardmore
The oldest state park in Oklahoma is also home to many great hiking trails. With over 10 miles of trails to choose from, there is a hike for almost every skill level. For an easy 1.4-mile (point to point) trail, try the Buckhorn Hiking Trail that follows the lake and crosses a bridge. Even Fido can join you on this hike, as long as he is on a leash.
5. Keystone National Forest, Sand Springs
Keystone National Forest is a quiet, 1,360-acre nature preserve in northeastern Oklahoma. It is home to century old trees, some as old as 500 years old. The preserve overlooks Keystone Lake and is home to several primitive hiking trails. For an easy but enjoyable hike, try the Frank Trail, a 1.4-mile trail that is surrounded by breathtaking wilderness views.
6. McGee Creek State Park, Atoka
Located in beautiful southeastern Oklahoma, McGee Creek State Park offers all the outdoor activities, including hiking. This 2,600-acre park is situated around McGee Creek Reservoir and offers visitors 64 miles of shoreline. Hiking trails range in length from 1-20 miles, so there is a trail length for all levels of hikers. The area is known for some of the best hiking in the state.
7. Martin Park Nature Center, Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City is home to the peaceful Martin Park Nature Center - 140 acres of recreation, nature and wildlife in urban Oklahoma City. Visitors can enjoy three hiking trails totaling 2.5 miles of wooded trails within the nature center. Guided hiking tours can also be arranged for groups wanting to learn more about nature.
8. Greenleaf State Park, Braggs
Greenleaf State Park is a hidden gem in the wooden landscape of northeastern Oklahoma. The Greenleaf Park Trail System consists of three trails for an enjoyable hiking experience. The Family Fun Trail is 1.5 miles long and is a paved, wheelchair-accessible beginner level path. The Greenleaf Lake Hiking Trail is an intermediate to advanced trail consisting of an 18-mile loop. The Deer-Run Trail is the shortest, at just 1 mile long. The Deer-Run is a great trail for most skill levels as it takes you into the hilly, wooded areas to observe the beauty with the park.
9. Quartz Mountain Nature Park, Lone Wolf
If you're looking for a great place to hike in southwestern Oklahoma, head out to Quartz Mountain located along the shores of Lake Altus-Lugert. The area offers many recreational activities, including rappelling, rock climbing and ATV riding. For those seeking a little less adventure, there are multiple designated trails for hiking. Choose from easy to advanced hikes and everything in-between, for an incredible hiking experience in the beautiful Quartz Mountains.