Hiking is a great way to get outdoors, exercise and enjoy nature, and many may not realize the state has some great trails to explore, from our northernmost corners to the Texas border. Here are some popular hiking destinations in Oklahoma:
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
Located in southwestern Oklahoma, this refuge offers hiking trails that range from easy to difficult, taking hikers through rugged terrain – including the famous Mount Scott, which provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area
If you’re looking for a lush canopy of native Oklahoma trees, a good spot for birdwatching, winding trails, serene ponds and ancient boulders, Turkey Mountain is the place to be. The 600-acre park is in the Osage Hills near the Arkansas River. Some trails may be closed due to an improvement project, so be sure to check out the website for maps, safety tips and park rules.
George M. Sutton Wilderness Park
In need of an easy trail? George M. Sutton Wilderness Park has just what you need. Visitors can enjoy the 1.4-mile loop trail with a small lake, gazebo and paved walking/jogging path. You can also fish and bird watch.
Beavers Bend State Park
Whether you’re looking for a 1- or 12-mile hike, Beavers Bend State Park in southeastern Oklahoma has a variety of paths for you to explore. Named in honor of a former Oklahoma governor, the David Boren Trail includes seven smaller trails that can be mixed and matched to suit your time limit and skill level. The trails offer vantage points of the park’s lakes and wildlife.
Gloss Mountain State Park
Gloss Mountain State Park, known for its Cathedral Mountain Trail, provides hikers with panoramic views of prehistoric mesas and buttes. It’s about 1.5 miles round trip with a slight elevation, and if you’re looking to capture the scenic view, the best time to go is during sunrise or sunset.
Elk Mountain Trail – Charons Garden Wilderness Area
This 2.3 mile hike concludes with vistas of the Wichita Mountains and Charon Garden Wilderness. There are many boulder scrambling opportunities at the top and lots of wildlife present throughout – including the colorful boomer lizard.
Turner Falls Park Trails
The Turner Falls area has a bevy of trails that all lead to the pièce de résistance: a 77-foot waterfall with numerous caves. Stick around for castle ruins and plenty of beautiful spots to sit and take it all in.
Travertine Creek Trail – Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Connecting the Travertine Nature Center and Pavilion Spring, the Travertine Creek Trail is a fairly easy trek for beginners, offering a mostly level pathway with gentle slopes. This is also a pet-friendly area.
Remember to check the weather and trail conditions before setting out on any hike, and always bring plenty of water and snacks. If you’re looking for more trails to explore, visit alltrails.com to find locations, maps, difficulty levels and more.