Contrary to the rumors, the state of Oklahoma is not a boring expanse of dusty plains, but rather a diverse landscape of grass-covered prairies, wildflower meadows, woodlands, wetlands, low hills, and even mountains. The Sooner State has much to offer hikers, and to help you explore the best parts we've consulted Trails.com to focus on five of the best trails in Oklahoma. Enjoy!
Black Mesa Summit
A scenic 4.2-mile trail takes hikers to the summit of Black Mesa (4,973 ft), a massive geological formation that spans three states and is Oklahoma's highest point. From the top of Black Mesa you'll have clear views of a terrain unlike anywhere else in the state, where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountain foothills and scrub oaks, juniper trees, and cholla cactus abound.
Turkey Mountain Trails
More than 25 miles of marked trails (and another 25 miles of unmarked trails) are open to hikers throughout Turkey Mountain, a mix of undeveloped private and public lands known as “Tulsa's Urban Wilderness” and a sanctuary for nature lovers looking for an escape from city life. While exploring the trails on Turkey Mountain hikers are treated to views of the Arkansas River the city of Tulsa.
Roman Nose State Park Trail System
Four interconnected trails (Lake Loop Trail, Mesa Loop Trail, Lakeshore Loop Trail, and Black Loop Trail) take hikers through the rough, rugged terrain of the Roman Nose State Park. This trail system leads hikers around Lake Watonga through rocky areas thick with cacti and cedar trees to the top of the mesas, which is called Inspiration Point.
You can hike up to 46 miles of the Ouachita Trail, the longest maintained path through the Ouachita National Forest, within Oklahoma’s state borders. The Ouachita Trail takes hikers through the Talimena State Park and Winding Stair Mountain Recreation Area and past Potato Hill and Deadman's Gap before crossing into Arkansas.
Clear Bay Recreation Area Trail System
There are 18.5 miles of well-marked trails that make up the Clear Bay Recreation Area Trail System, which allows hikers to explore the beautiful south side of Lake Thunderbird in Norman, Oklahoma. This system is made up of five interconnected hiking trails that vary in length and difficulty and can be done independently or as a loop.