Tulsa, OK is not the first place that comes to mind when we think about hiking or being outdoors, but you’ll be surprised what Tulsa and its surrounding area have to offer. If you live in Tulsa or are there for a visit, you might want to check out the incredible must-do hiking trails near Tulsa.
Tulsa area is known for its rolling hills, hidden bluffs, hardwoods, and rock outcroppings! So, if you live near this place, you can enjoy many outdoor adventures close to you without traveling far.
Check out these 20 must-do hiking trails and their notable highlights!
Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area Trail System (multiple trails)
Length: 49.7 miles
Highlights: 78 to 994 feet elevation gain, loop route, 10 hiking trails, hidden waterfalls
The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness is seven miles away from the downtown area, and there are so many hiking trails you can walk there. Some of the trails are the yellow, pink, blue, red, River parks West Bank, Power line trails, and others looped together.
The yellow trail is one of our favorites in this system, and we are sure you’ll like it. The terrain varies from steep to flat with moderate difficulty. The trails are marked, but it is good to carry a GPS, just in case.
Some trails have hidden waterfalls, wildflowers, a wilderness feel, and small walkways. So, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture beautiful views for keepsakes.
Keystone Singletrack (Big Loop) Trail
Length: 4.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Highlights: 285 feet elevation gain, loop route, Arkansas River view, wildflowers, rock outcroppings
Apart from visiting the Keystone Lake State Park to relax and rewind, you can also hit the singletrack trail there. You can get some fresh air in nature here and shake off the city stress.
This trail loops to the Arkansas River and the top of a hill. The trail is somewhat rocky, so ensure you wear appropriate hiking boots with good traction. There are also some rolling hills, dense woods, and scattered rock outcroppings along the trail.
The path is usually moderately crowded with other hikers and mountain bikers. Finally, the trail is marked with blue paint and arrows, so it is easy to follow the path. And the best part is you can be at the trail in 20 minutes or less if you’re driving from downtown Tulsa.
Keystone Ancient Forest Trails in Keystone State Park
Length: 6.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Highlights: 59 to 534 feet elevation gain, loop route, multiple trails, Keystone Lake view
An excellent place to enjoy and relax in nature is the Keystone Ancient Forest trails. Located in the Keystone State Park, the Keystone forest houses 500-years old Cedars and 300-years old Post Oak trees.
You can hike the six easy trails here, each with its own highlights. You can hike the Fire Road, Childers, Frank, Wilson, Falls, and “Less Traveled trail”. Yes, that’s the name.
The newest and the most popular is the “Less Traveled trail”, so try that first. The terrain varies from gravel to dirt, to wood, so it’s pretty easy. Enjoy the forest feels here if you’re yet to!
Bixhoma Lake Loop Trail
Length: 3.3 miles
Highlights: 150 feet elevation gain, loop route, lake view, forest, wildlife, waterfalls
Check out the Bixhoma Lake loop trail, a 40-minute drive from downtown Tulsa, near Bixby, Oklahoma. Even though it’s close to the city, you can still enjoy the forest vibe on the trail.
In about 1h 26m, you can cover the area and return to your base when you get to Leonard Mountain. The terrain changes to rural, and the trail loops around Bixhoma Lake.
At the end of the loop, you’ll see the waterfalls which go to the dam. The road to the lake is a bit dirty, but there are trees lined up, so it feels like you’re in the wild. You even get to see some armadillos while out there!
You’ll enjoy peace and quiet here because there is not a lot of traffic..
Sawtooth Loop Trail Part of Claremore Mountain Bike Trail System
Length: 2.1 miles
Highlights: 102 feet elevation gain, loop route, lake view
For a quick hike, the Sawtooth Loop trail is one of the hiking trails near Tulsa. It’s an easy hike appropriate for all levels and will only take 55 minutes to cover.
The atmosphere is serene and quiet during most times of the day so that you can enjoy some solitude on the trail. The trail is marked in red, purple, yellow, and blue to guide hikers and bikers around the loop.
You could stop by Claremore Lake to rest and maybe picnic if you would like to. You can take your dog with you on the trail but don’t forget to put it on a leash.
Dripping Springs Trail in Natural Falls State Park
Length: 1 mile
Highlights: 144 feet elevation gain, loop route, spring, waterfall, lake
The Dripping Springs trail offers you a quick hike with lots of eye-catching nature. The track is a loop that you can cover in 32 minutes and be on your way back to the city. The route is easy for all levels, with some good views.
Located in the Natural Falls State Park, the trail features a 77ft waterfall, spring, bluffs, lake, creek, and more. Some parts of the trail are paved stairs with railings, while the others are dirt or grass.
The place is always beautiful irrespective of when you visit, and you can take your time to appreciate the natural beauty.
Red Bud Valley Oxley Nature Preserve
Length: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Highlights: 105 feet elevation gain, loop route, cave, river
Enjoy the beautiful nature of the Red Bud valley with just a 33 minutes hike in the Nature Conservancy. This trail features rock outcroppings, limestone ridge, cave, stream, Oak, and Hickory trees. It connects with the Bluff trail, slightly more rugged than the accessible Red Bud Valley.
Ensure you watch your step while you’re out there. The trail is crowded sometimes, so be prepared for that.
Prairie Earth Trail in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve
Length: 2.9 miles
Highlights: 226 elevation gain, a loop route
The Prairie Earth Trail is another easy hiking trail near Tulsa. This trail features some of the largest tall grasses and has lots of free-ranging buffalos.
In an hour and 19 minutes, you can be done with your hike, leaving you with a lot of time to explore the city if you’re on a visit. In addition, there are a lot of wide-open spaces for you to practice some walking meditations and clear your mind.
Sand Creek Falls (Osage Hills Falls) Trail in Osage Hills State Park
Length: 0.5 miles
Highlights: 16 feet elevation gain, out and back and loop route, river, waterfall, forest
Visit the famous Osage Hills fall and enjoy 30 minutes out and back or a one-hour loop hike. However, whether or not you’ll see the waterfall depends on when you go.
You can go after a rainstorm if you want to see the waterfalls, so plan your visit between March and October for the highest chances. This trail is popular, and there is heavy traffic of hikers and fishermen.
Skull Hollow Nature Trail
Length: 1.2 miles
Highlights: 108 feet elevation gain, loop trail
Another place you need to tick off your must-do hiking trails near Tulsa is the Skull Hollow Nature Trail. This place is next to Oologah Lake and is a 30-minute drive from Tulsa.
The trail features woods, rock outcroppings, lake view, armadillos, and native trees like Black Walnut, Mockernut Hickory, and Sugar maple. But, of course, your trek around the loop isn’t complete without awesome pictures, so don’t forget that!
Mary K Oxley Nature Center Loop in Mohawk Park
Length: 2.6 miles
Highlights: 6.5 feet elevation gain, a loop route
The Mary K Oxley Nature Center loop is about an hour long. The trail goes through the Oklahoma woods, and you can start from the Coyote or Meadow trail in Mohawk Park from 7 am to 9 pm.
Since the trail is well marked, you can let that guide you through the loop. Check out the views of lake Sherry while you’re out there.
Tulsa River Parks Trail System
Length: 9.6 miles
Highlights: 157 feet elevation gain, point to point route
These are some of the best hiking trails within Tulsa. They are paved, easy, and very family-friendly; however, it’ll take you a couple of hours to cover.
This place is close to the city, but you can still enjoy the wild, watch some birds, get fresh air and admire some beautiful flowers along the trail.
La Fortune Trail Loop
Length: 3.2 miles
Highlights: 121 feet elevation gain, a loop route
Explore the La Fortune Trail loop in Tulsa in less than two hours. It’s a straightforward trail, suitable for all levels, and is kid-friendly. In addition, you can check out the golf course the trail loops around while you’re out.
The trail is paved and urban and not the forest experience you might be looking for but it within the city. However, the area is usually crowded, so you might want to prepare for that. Also, there’s no shade to protect yourself from the sun; therefore, you should probably plan to go towards sundown.
Power Line Trail
Length: 2.9 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Highlights: 436 feet elevation gain, out and back route, river, wildflowers
Check out the out and back trail in Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness. This trail is moderately challenging and not suitable for newbies unless, of course, you go with an expert. The terrain is rocky and has an incline, so be a bit careful out there.
You should take a map with you, so you don’t get lost in the way. If you go at an average pace, you should be done in an hour and a half.
Lynn Lane Reservoir Loop
Length: 2.6 miles
Highlights: 22 feet elevation gain, loop route, lake, wildlife
Don’t leave Tulsa without hiking the Lynn Lane Reservoir loop. The trail is flat, paved, and easy. It’s usually very busy with other hikers, bikers, and runners.
While out here, you can watch the water with ducks and waterfowls swimming in it. The trail is smooth, so you can be sure that you won’t trip and fall.
Midland Valley Trail
Length: 3.3 miles
Highlights: 170 feet elevation gain, out and back route, lake
Visit the Veterans Park and hike the Midland Valley trail. It’s a paved asphalt trail that’s easy for all levels. You can complete the hike in a couple of hours, but if you want to spend more time hiking, you can check other trail connections near the river park.
The place is often busy, so you’ll meet other users on the road. You can visit with your dog at any time of the year; it’s always beautiful!
Lake Yahola Loop
Length: 3.6 miles
Highlights: 62 feet elevation gain, loop route, lake
This trail lets you enjoy the amazing Lake Yahola. You should hike here if you want to take those nature trips. There are no trees here to shade you from the sun, so plan towards going before sun up or at sundown.
You’ll meet other explorers like you on the trail, but don’t let that discourage you!
Creek trail to Hunter Park
Length: 4.7 miles
Highlights: 253 elevation gain, a loop route
The Creek trail to Hunter Park is beautiful scenery to enjoy. It features paved terrain, tall colorful trees, and a wide-open field to stop and relax.
Generally, the route is easy, and it takes about two hours to complete. You’ll get to see birds, squirrels, and other animals. Practice some walking meditation here; however, the route can get busy.
Haikey Creek Park loops
Length: 2.3 miles
Highlights: 26 feet elevation gain, a loop route
If you’re near Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, you should visit the Haikey Creek Park loop. The path is mostly gravel with minimal elevation, so it’s very easy for beginners. It takes about an hour to hike on this trail.
Haikey Creek is very popular for trail running, walking, and hiking, so prepare to meet other outdoor lovers like you.
Kelly Lane Park Loop
Length: 2.1 miles
Highlights: 59 feet elevation gain, loop trail
Another popular must-do hiking trail near Tulsa is Kelly Lane Park Loop. It’ll take an average of 53 minutes to cover the trail. It features a pond, bridge, wooded, and play areas. Enjoy an easy hike with your dog and take note of the beautiful scenery around you.
Most hiking trails near Tulsa are easy and beginner-friendly, so you can explore some of them while you’re there. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the area, you should check trail markings and take a map. Find more hiking guides in Oklahoma and other states in our Hiking section.
Take some nice pictures and have fun while on the trails. Happy hiking!
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