Category - East Oklahoma

Posts in East Oklahoma including including Robbers Cave State Park, Cedar Lake, and Winding Stair Mountain (Ouachita Forest). Also see East Oklahoma Trails Page.

Billy Creek Trail – South Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 7 mi

Billy Creek Trail - South Loop (Ouachita Forest) - 7 mi photo
Billy Creek

The authors of Oklahoma Hiking Trails, Kent F. Frates and Larry Floyd, say that the east part of the Ouachita National Forest’s Billy Creek Trail is not recommended because it is “uninteresting” and “does not meet any real hiking criteria.”

I disagree with that view. I think skipping the east branch of the trail would mean missing much of the best scenery.

Billy Creek Trail - South Loop (Ouachita Forest) - 7 mi photo
Billy Creek Trailhead, Ouachita National Forest

The Billy Creek Trail is made up of a north loop and a south loop. The north loop crosses the Talimena Scenic Drive and overlaps with the Ouachita Trail. These directions follow the way I did it – hiking the south loop clockwise beginning near the Billy Creek campground. [My review of the north loop is here.]

To get there, get on Forest Road 6020 off of Highway 63, a few miles west of the Highway 259/Highway 63 intersection. Take 6020 north for about a mile, follow the signs, and you will come upon a large sign for the Billy Creek Trailhead.

Continue reading Billy Creek Trail – South Loop (Ouachita Forest) – 7 mi

Tenkiller State Park: Multi-Use Trail – 1 mi (O&B)

Tenkiller State Park: Multi-Use Trail - 1 mi (O&B) photo
View of Lake Tenkiller from Tenkiller Multi-Use Trail

The Tenkiller Multi-Use Trail is, just like the name says, a multi-use paved trail at Tenkiller State Park in northwest Sequoyah County, Oklahoma.

The trail is a pretty easy walk that takes you from the Visitor Center down to the park entrance close to State Highway 100. The trail goes near a number of cabins, a few pavilions, and a fishing pond.

Tenkiller State Park: Multi-Use Trail - 1 mi (O&B) photo
Tenkiller Multi-Use Trail

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Ouachita Trail 01: Deadman Gap to MM 13 (8.0 to 13.0)

Ouachita Trail 01: Deadman Gap to MM 13 (8.0 to 13.0) photo
New footbridge on Ouachita Trail 01-DE

My Memorial Day Weekend hiking adventure turned out to be a misadventure.

I had hiked close to all of (Ernst) Section 1 of the Ouachita Trail. The parts I had not yet hiked were from the Deadman’s Gap trailhead to Cedar Branch (what I call 01-D and 01-E) and from Cedar Branch to Horsethief Trail (what I call 01-F and 01-G).

A long stretch like this with no intermittent access points can be a challenge for a dayhiker like myself.

According to the official mileages (plotted by Tim Ernst), it looked like it should be about 5.4 miles from Deadman’s Gap trail head to Cedar Branch. I had hiked about 8 miles (round trip) the previous weekend. So a 10.8-mile hike to Cedar Branch on a Memorial Day Weekend Saturday seemed perfectly doable for me.

It wasn’t.

Ouachita Trail 01: Deadman Gap to MM 13 (8.0 to 13.0) photo
Approximate Elevation Profile Based on GPS Data

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Lake Wister Hiking Trail – 6 mi (O&B)

Lake Wister Hiking Trail - 6 mi (O&B) photo
Lake Wister Hiking Trail along Lake Wister

I had the day off Monday so I went hiking at Lake Wister State Park. The 3-mile Lake Wister Hiking Trail in many respects is a great hike. (Six miles to the end and back.) It is at a beautiful location along Lake Wister. Elevation-wise, it is not a difficult hike either.

Lake Wister Hiking Trail - 6 mi (O&B) photo
View of Lake Wister from the Hiking Trail

Unfortunately, the trail currently seems somewhat neglected. It is difficult to traverse a number of the areas because of overgrown brush. Also quite a few stretches of the trail are very low-lying and become impassible when there has been a lot of rain (or snow-melt as on Monday). And there is quite a bit of trash along the trail.

Lake Wister Hiking Trail - 6 mi (O&B) photo
Approximate elevation profile based on gps data.

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