Awesome Butterfly Kit
Oklahoma Hiking Trails
This site is designed to provide quick, organized access to informative Oklahoma hiking websites. Private hiking enthusiasts like you have created excellent web pages on Oklahoma hiking trails -- then posted those pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.
- General the "OKhiker" website, dedicated to Oklahomans who are interested in the Outdoors
and to Outdoor enthusiasts interested in Oklahoma. Good for those interested in joining outdoorsy groups, but also excellent site to troll for info.
- General This is rare: I'm providing a link to a Sierra Club site. Usually these groups are so political, they have completely lost sight of their origins and reshaped their mission to the point of lunacy. But the Oklahoma version seems a lot more level-headed than most. Although they have their politics, the Oklahoma chapter makes a real effort to get outdoors and actually do things. So if you're interested, here it is. Grudgingly.
- Gloss Mountain Area NW Oklahoma, Major County. Page on the Gloss Mountain Outfitters website which provides a starting point for exploring this region, including places like Alabaster Caverns State Park, Boiling Springs State Park, Canton Lake, Castle Rock Scenic Drive, Gloss Mountain State Park, etc.
- Greenleaf Lake Trail This is a page about "The Trailman," an old coot who lives in a blue tent and does his Thoreau thing along the Greenleaf Lake Trail, dispensing wisdom and soaking in the surrounding beauty 24/7. (Someday I may do the same when I achieve old cootdom.) Found it on the kotv.com website.
- Ouachita National Recreation Trail This is the "Friends of the Ouachita Trail" site. The "FoOT" is a group of trail users who help out with maintenance and generally champion the cause of the 223-mile Ouachita National Recreation Trail.
- The Jean Pierre Chouteau National Recreation Trail follows the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System from the Port of Catoosa downstream to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, near the confluence of the Arkansas, Verdigris and Neosho (Grand) Rivers. If it were maintained, it would be Oklahoma's longest continuous trail. As it is, the trail is disused and frequently hard to find. This link goes to a very admirable site run by Gray Strickland, who is trying to rally interest in preserving the trail. Well worth a look.
- Ouachita National Recreation Trail the trail begins at Talimena State Park on U.S. Hwy. 271 near Talihina, Oklahoma. The eastern boundary is south of Perryville, Arkansas on Hwy. 9. Another 32 miles of trail, located on private and other public lands, extends to Pinnacle Mountain State Park, 15 miles west of Little Rock, Arkansas. Elevations range from 600 to 2,600 feet as the trail passes through forested mountains, across sweeping valleys and near clear-running streams. This is the Feds official website.
- Quartz Mountain State Park This is a general info, overall intro type page. Lots of good stuff here. Two well known and popular hiking trails, although this link doesn't provide a ton of information about them, it will help you find your way around. Nice photos too. Site by lasr.net
- Robbers Cave
State Park park info, trail info, what-how-where-why stuff. Fun page to read! Written by Lin Stone.
- Robbers Cave State Park this is a bouldering page written by John Hogge, with some other helpful info.
- Robbers Cave State Park not a hiking site, but some cool climbing photos by Evan Anderson.
- Santa Fe National Historic Trail Loosely preserved corridor from Missouri to New Mexico bisects Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado. It is frequently viewed from the comfort of an automobile, but numerous sections can only be hiked. This page is part of the Kansas Heritage site, and is about the most comprehensive. Other useful links include the official National Park Service site, as well as the more comprehensive Santa Fe Trail Association site. Another helpful guide to get you started is this site, which focuses on Colorado & New Mexico.
- Wichita Mountains This is Charles Ellenbrook's site. Imagine if there were a website done by the guy who "wrote the book" on the Wichita Mountains. Well, here it is; need we say more? Yes? Well, alright then, we've had a link to his book below for a while, now he's gone and submitted his site to us. It would be kind of silly if we had a link to Mr. Ellenbrook's book but not to his site. So here's the link. And if you decide to purchase his book, be sure to come back HERE, to the good old slackpacker, and click our amazon link below. Why? Well, the thirty-five cents we'll receive will help fund this website, that's why! We would like nothing better than to have hundreds of people click on to Charlie's website from this one, decide that he's obviously an incredible source of info on the Wichita Mountains, but instead of ordering the book through his site, click back here to use our link! Ha! We'll outsell him on his own book! Just to make it easy, here's our link to Wichita Mountains Guide on Amazon. Take our word for it, the ones on Amazon are better!
- Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge Main Site operated by the US NWR folks. The usual information and lack thereof.
- Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge this is a downloadable trail map in .pdf format on the US NWR website. You can find this on the link above, or use this link to go directly to the .pdf trail map.
- Wichita Mountains this is an intro type page on the North Texas Explorer website. They freely admit that the best outdoor hiking and climbing in North Texas is in, uh, Oklahoma. Do the other Texans know about this? Is it true that "Texas" is just a nice way to say "Baja Oklahoma?" Did you hear the one about Billy Bob, the nice Texas boy, and his sweetheart, Lurleen, from Oklahoma City? They got married in Oklahoma City, then drove to Dallas to catch a plane to the Caribbean for their honeymoon. As they crossed the state line, Billy Bob swelled with Texas pride, and decided to put his hand on Lurleen's knee. Lurleen cozied up to Billy Bob and purred, in a real sultry voice, "It's ok, we're married now, you can go farther!" So Billy Bob drove to Austin.
Wild Bull Rider
Oklahoma has the dubious honor of being one of two states to have a "decommissioned" National Park. In the early days of the Park Service, Congress created a handful of National Parks as a result of pork barrel legislation riding on other, more legitimate bills. In 1906, an area of hot springs modest scenery was set aside as Platt National Park in honor of Sen. Orville Hitchcock Platt. During the 1930's, the Civilian Conservation Corps built pavilions and roads, laid out trails, invented waterfalls, and planted half a million trees and shrubs. Despite this combination of natural and engineered scenery, it still wasn't "up to snuff" in terms of a National Park.
In 1976 Platt National Park was combined (a euphemism for downgraded) with Arbuckle Recreation Area and additional lands to create Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Although it is no Yellowstone, it is still a fine spot to visit and explore, and its gentle beauty makes it a worthy destination for any National Park enthusiast.
Incidentally, some of the other National Parks created in the same manner were Sully's Hill (decommissioned), Wind Cave (ought to be downgraded to Monument status), and Lafayette, which has since evolved and is now the very worthy Acadia National Park.
The ultimate guidebook to hiking in Oklahoma has yet to be penned. In the meantime, you might try
Oklahoma Off The Beaten Path by Barbara Palmer, Kendra Fox, Carole Drong. It's about as close as you'll get to an overall guide to scenic areas, but it is NOT a hiking guide. The world needs one, so if you happen to be the guru of Oklahoma hiking and know how to write, get to it!
An excellent hiking guide is available for the Wichita Mountains specifically, called
Outdoor and Trail Guide to the Wichita Mountains of Southwest Oklahoma by Edward Charles Ellenbrook. Awesome book, just awesome! We ought to get this guy to write the state-wide book.
-- Rick Bolger
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