Hiking in Oklahoma
This time of year a common question that we get asked is if there is any hiking nearby or if there is hiking in Oklahoma at all? The answer to both questions is absolutely. While the hiking opportunities in Oklahoma are not as readily available as some of our nearby neighbors (Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado), what we do have should not be overlooked as a fun way to spend some time on the trail. In fact, some of these are downright fun.
For this article, we have chosen to address the first question: Is there any hiking nearby? More specifically, we limited ‘nearby’ to within a 2-hour drive of the shop.
Drive time from Native Summit: 12 min
About the Lake: Arcadia Lake is located just east of Edmond and boasts 26 miles of shoreline and serves as a water supply to the surrounding area.
Arcadia Lake Trail is the primary trail and is a 12.6-mile out-and-back trail. The easy trail is great for all skill levels, and you are welcome to bring your dog as long as it stays on a leash.
Arcadia Lake East Loop is a 1.3-mile loop trail but is rated as moderate. This trail is also dog-on-leash friendly.
We strongly encourage the use of the Arcadia Lake trails and the other opportunities associated with the lake. For one, it is directly in our backyard. But, more importantly, we hope that the public’s use of the park may further push the city to establish more outdoor opportunities around the lake.
Martin Nature Park
Drive time from Native Summit: 16 min
About the Park: Martin Nature Park Center is conveniently located on the southwest corner of Memorial and Meridian near Mercy Hospital. It is more than just a park; it is a hub for nature exploration and education for visitors of all ages. Guided hikes, education programs, and an interactive learning center provide visitors a place to learn about nature and wildlife in a serene, suburban environment.
Martin Nature Park Trail is 2.6 miles of easy hiking on trails that will take you through the woods and grassland. On the hike, you will typically see a variety of wildlife and cross several bridges. Pets are strictly prohibited in an effort to preserve the existing wildlife that resides within the park.
Meadow Trail is 0.5 miles of easy hiking through the meadows of Martin Nature Park. This trail has less shade and more open views. Again, pets are strictly prohibited.
Bluff Creek Park
Drive time from the Native Summit: 19 min
About the Park: Bluff Creek Park is just north of Lake Hefner on Hefner Road between Meridian and MacArthur. It offers both dirt & paved hiking & biking trails that wind through a wooded glen with 3 covered picnic pavilions.
Bluff Creek Unpaved Trail Loop is a moderately difficult 3.4-mile loop. The loop features a river and is open to pets as long as they stay on a leash. The trail is also for mountain biking, so remember to share the trail.
Drive time from the Native Summit: 50 min
About the Park: Lake McMurtry is a mid-sized lake located 10 miles west of Stillwater and just north of Highway 51. There is an abundance of fishing, swimming, boating, disc golf, water skiing, camping, hiking, and much more. There is a small fee to use the lake.
Lake McMurtry West Side Trails (Orange) is a 6.3-mile, heavily trafficked loop trail that features a river and is rated as moderate. Most hikers have noted that they have seen some type of wildlife and enjoyed the changes in elevation. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Lake McMurtry East Side Trails (Red) is a 6.8-mile loop trail that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail is rated as moderate and has some elevation gain and descent. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.
Lake McMurtry West Side Trails (Blue) is a 7.4 mile moderately trafficked out-and-back trail. The well-marked and maintained trail is known for its great views of the lake and for spotting wildlife. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on a leash.
Roman Nose State Park
Drive time from Native Summit: 1 hour 30 min
About the Park: It is set amidst a beautiful canyon, gypsum rock cliffs, and three natural springs. Recreational activities at this state park include an 18-hole golf course, swimming pools, hiking trails, two lakes, trout fishing in season, canoeing, paddle boats, mountain biking, horse stables, and hayrides by reservation. Rentals include canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, and mountain bikes. Swimming in the lakes is not allowed, but fishing and no-wake boating are welcome.
Inspiration Loop Point: 6.3-mile loop trail offers views of the lake and is rated as moderate. The highlight of the trail is most certainly the view from the top and worth the hike through the variety of terrain. The trail has smaller trails you can take that are a little more rugged. Dogs are welcome as long as they stay on leash.
Wichita Mountain Wild Life Refuge
Drive time from Native Summit: 2 hours
About the Refuge: The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, located in southwest Oklahoma near Lawton, has protected unique wildlife habitats since 1901 and is the oldest managed wildlife facility in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service system. This area is fantastic and you can easily make this a day trip or a long weekend trip.
Elk Mountain Trail is a 2.3-mile out-and-back trail that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. On this trail, there is a good chance of seeing longhorns and bison, so keep your eyes open. The trail is not well marked, but you can easily scramble your way to the top. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Narrows Trail is a 2.7-mile out-and-back trail that features a river and is rated as moderate. Areas of the trail require water crossing so be prepared for slippery rocks in some areas. The trail is not well-marked in areas, but you can generally find your way around. Most consider it well-worth the view from the top. It is best used from April through November.
Charon's Garden Mountain Trail is a 5.8-mile, moderately trafficked out-and-back trail that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. Despite its rather small variation in altitude, it is as close to alpine landscape as you are going to get in Oklahoma. The landscape is rugged and rocky but also lush and full of life. Protected from farming due to its inaccessibility and rocky ground, it supports a variety of flora and fauna, including free-roaming bison, elk, whitetail deer... and good number of rattlesnakes, so watch out when scrambling over the rocks. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
There are many other trails in the refuge that are worth exploring.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Drive time from OKC: 1 hour 50 min
Gloss Mountain State Park
Drive time from the shop: 2 hours
Turner Falls State Park
Drive time from the shop: 1 hour 30 min
Red Rock Canyon Adventure Park
Drive time from the shop: 1 hour 12 min