Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail – 1 mi

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
On the east side of the trail, near the south end. Cato Creek is off to the right. (Panoramic.)

Buzzard Roost Nature Trail is a scenic 1-mile loop trail along Cato Creek by Lake Tenkiller in northwest Sequoyah County, Oklahoma. It’s a Corps of Engineers public use area, near Cato Creek Landing.

There is a little climbing on the trail, but it is not difficult.

The trail heads generally southwest along a stretch of the creek.

About halfway down the west side of the loop, the trail makes a short detour to the west where it crosses a side stream ravine.

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
The wooden and stone bridge that crosses the stream about midway through the west side of the loop.

Getting to the Buzzard Roost Nature Trail

If you’re coming from Interstate 40, take exit 297 (Vian) and head north on Highway 82.

About 9 miles north of the interstate (after passing through Vian), Highway 82 makes a sharp right turn where it combines with Highway 100.

Stay on 82/100 for 2.7 miles. Then take a left on E 953 Road. There is a “Cato Creek Recreation Area” sign here pointing left.

After a mile, the parking area for Buzzard Roost Nature Trail is there on your left just before the road curves right and crosses over Cato Creek.

CLICK – Google Maps Directions to Trailhead

 

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Trailhead for Buzzard Roost Nature Trail
The Hike

There are no blazes on the trail, but the vast majority of it is pretty easy to follow and walk. In fact, it seems like about two-thirds of the trail is on a road trace. But it is still a pretty scenic trail nonetheless, especially given how most of the trail is to the creek bed.

A short spur is at the beginning of the trail. After about 50 feet, you will be at the loop. I would recommend staying right to take the loop counterclockwise.

At about .1 miles, the trail is starts following pretty close to Cato Creek (on the right in this area). Cato Creek is scenic whether it is a wet time of year or not. It was pretty dry during my November hike.

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Early part of the trail on the west side.

At around .2, the trail turns right and crosses Cato Creek to the west side via a concrete footbridge. (When I did my recent hike, it was a little difficult to see this turn because of overgrowth along the bridge.)

The trail is pretty easy to follow again on the west side. In fact, that crossing was about the only place where I had some trouble following the trail.

The trail climbs some after the crossing. Overall, there is not much climbing on this trail. The elevation change on the trail is only about 80 feet.

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Around .1-mile where the Cato Creek bed comes into view. The trail goes along the creek.

At around .3, there is a cool wooden and stone footbridge (in pretty good shape) at the stream crossing over on the west side. This stream valley is a beautiful area. There are a lot of boulders in the stream bed. (It’s probably even more scenic when water is flowing.)

After crossing the bridge, the trail turns and heads east back toward Cato Creek. Now we are into the southern half of the loop. The stream valley we just crossed and the southern part are prettiest parts of the trail. There is quite a bit of interesting hillside terrain in this area with nice views of Cato Creek.

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
This is where the trail turns right and crosses Cato Creek via a concrete bridge.

At around .6, the trail crosses Cato Creek back to the east side. (No bridge here.)

There are no blazes, but it is not too difficult to see where the trail continues on the other side.

After the crossing, the loop turns and heads back north. Again, the southern part of the loop is very nice with varied terrain and creek views.

At about 1 mile, the loop ends, and you are back at the very short initial spur.

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
The uphill stretch on the west side shortly after crossing the concrete creek footbridge.
Final Notes

The trail overall was in good condition and pretty easy to follow.

I had AT&T cell signal about 60% of the time.

These photos are all from my November 19, 2016 hike. There was some nice fall foliage.

[More photos from that hike are in this post.]

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
I think the southern part of the loop is the most scenic stretch.
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Buzzard Roost Nature Trail, Lake Tenkiller
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Cool boulder in the southern part of the trail on the west side.
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Buzzard Roost Nature Trail, Lake Tenkiller
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
This is where the Buzzard Roost Nature Trail crosses Cato Creek (dry here) at the south end of the loop.
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
At the south end of the loop where the trail crosses Cato Creek (dry here).
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
On the east side of the loop (facing south) toward the southern part. The creek is over to the right.
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
On the east side back near the beginning of the trail.
Photo Gallery

Click below for full-screen photo gallery.

Maps
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Lake Tenkiller Buzzard Roost Trail Contour Map (Click to Enlarge)
CLICK – Interactive Trail Map
Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Nature Trail - 1 mi photo
Approximate elevation profile based on gps data.

Lake Tenkiller: Buzzard Roost Trail

LocationSequoyah County, Oklahoma
Hike Length/Type1.1 mile semi-loop
DifficultyEasy (1 of 5)
Other Permitted UsagePets on a leash.
Gpx file by MikeLink
Date HikedNovember 19, 2016 (and earlier)
DirectionsGoogle Maps Directions to Trailhead
Official Info918-487-5252 Corps Website
Lake Tenkiller Area Association Website

What do you think? (Leave a comment.)