The Northeast part of Oklahoma, starting near Tulsa, is known as Green Country. Named Green Country for the rolling hills, beautiful hardwood trees, hidden bluffs, and tucked away rock outcroppings. There are incredible places to explore near Tulsa, Oklahoma, off the beaten path. If you are looking for outdoor adventures, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to discover the best hiking trails near Tulsa, Oklahoma!
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We have rounded up some of the best hikes in Oklahoma close to Tulsa. All of the trails below make for excellent day hikes and half-day adventures! Continue reading to discover the best hiking spots near Tulsa!
Close to Keystone Lake State Park, the Keystone Singletrack (Big Loop) Trail is an enjoyable hike 15-20 minutes from downtown Tulsa. This is a lovely hike close to the city if you want to get outdoors for some fresh air and a change of scenery.
The trail meanders through rolling hills and dense woods along with scattered rock outcroppings. One of the rock outcroppings is named Dragon’s Spine. There are a few trickling stream crossings to hop across.
The trail is marked with blue spray paint or blue arrows. The path loops back towards the Arkansas River to the top of a hill, where you will be greeted with views of the Arkansas River.
There is moderate traffic, including hikers, mountain bikers, and dirt bikers. Overall a quiet and peaceful hike near Tulsa.
The Keystone Ancient Forest Trail is located about 20 minutes west of Tulsa. The trail has moderate traffic, the area is well maintained, and the path is well marked. The trail wanders through the woods, part of it is graveled, and part is just dirt. Overall, the trail is open and easy to follow.
Hiking the Keystone Ancient Forest Trail makes for a great morning or afternoon adventure!
The Keystone Ancient Forest is home to 500-year-old Cedars and 300-year-old Post Oak trees. This forest is listed as a nature preserve with The Nature Conservancy.
Lake Bixhoma is 40 minutes from downtown Tulsa near Bixby, Oklahoma. It is one of the most remarkable trails to hike close to the city! The area gets rural pretty fast on Leonard Mountain, making the hike around Bixhoma Lake one of the Tulsa area’s best hikes.
Hike the Bixhoma Lake Loop counterclockwise or clockwise – you choose. Stop and see the waterfalls at the end of your loop downstream of the dam.
The trail follows a dirt road some of the way around the Lake, then tapers into a single track through the trees. There is one stream crossing on the south side of the Lake, which feeds the reservoir. The stream crossing consists of large rocks to skip across.
There was little foot traffic during the hike, but one could tell the trail is used. The leaves covering the path were trampled, making the trail easy to follow.
Incredible highlights of the Bixhoma Lake Loop trail include breathtaking views of the Lake, a quiet nature feel, and armadillos roaming the woods!
Towards the northern part of the Lake, a goat and donkey grazing restoration project is underway, so you might even meet some furry friends!
Enjoy the hike, views, and tranquility in Oklahoma Green County! This is one of the best hikes near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Located 35 minutes from downtown Tulsa, the Claremore Mountain Bike Trail System is a local hidden gem. Tucked in the woods against Claremore Lake, the community has built an excellent trail system for hikers and bikers.
Sawtooth Loop Trail is an easy loop to walk and enjoy the area. There are multiple loops to trek (or bike) around on. The trails are marked by red, yellow, purple, and blue colors. After hiking, drive around Claremore Lake for more views and perhaps a picnic!
From Tulsa, you can opt to drive Route 66 to Claremore for the more historic scenic route. Be sure to stop at the Blue Whale, a darling roadside attraction. Claremore Lake is just to the east, a little way off of Route 66.
Natural Falls State Park is located about 1 hour and 15 minutes east of Tulsa near the Oklahoma and Arkansas border. Visiting the park makes for a beautiful weekend day trip.
Hike the Dripping Springs Trail, Oklahoma’s famous 77′ waterfall. Some of the trail is paved, there are stairs, and then you will wander a single dirt track to a small lake beneath the bluffs.
The Dripping Springs waterfall was featured in the film Where the Red Fern Grows, based on Wilson Rawls’ novel.
After your hike, head-on to Siloam Springs, Arkansas, to have lunch! Siloam Springs is a cute town.
If you’re interested in planning a 2-day road trip from Tulsa, OK to the Arkansas Ozarks, plan your next trip with our guide Camping in the Ozarks!
The Red Bud Valley Oxley Nature Preserve is located roughly 30 minutes northeast of Tulsa. This Nature Preserve is part of The Nature Conservancy.
Start the hike on the main trail near the main parking area. You will wander uphill through the Oak and Hickory trees. The main trail will fork after a while, and you can choose to adventure along the Bluff Trail. We highly recommend hiking along the Bluff Trail!
The Bluff Trail gets more rugged, and you have to watch your step. You’ll hike along a limestone ridge with rock outcroppings, a cave, and a trickling stream before going back downhill towards the parking lot. Watch your step and have fun!
Since the Red Bud Valley Oxley Nature Preserve is only open on weekends, it gets a decent number of visitors. The trails have moderate traffic.
The Prairie Earth Trail is roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes north of Tulsa. Don’t let the proximity from Tulsa detour you. It is one of the best hiking trails near Tulsa!
The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest tallgrass prairie in the world and is home to over 2,500 free-ranging buffalo. While driving to the trailhead, which is close to the visitor center, keep your eyes peeled for buffalos!
You’ll see the trail sign once you get close to the visitor center. Start on the Nature Trail, then the trail branches to trek further along the Prairie Earth Trail.
You’ll wander through vast open tallgrass prairie; then, the trail will take you back into the trees near Sand Creek. Enjoy wide-open spaces with views for miles. The prairie is incredibly breathtaking and remarkable for walking meditation and clearing the mind.
The Tallgrass Prairie is part of The Nature Conservancy.
From Tulsa, head north towards Bartlesville. The drive will take about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to Osage Hills State Park.
To hike to the Falls, park near the swimming pool in Osage Hills State Park. The trail sign is right behind the parking area. For a short hike, you’ll walk toward the water to see the famous falls.
Depending on the time of year you hike, you may or may not be able to see the falls! We hiked in mid-March after a big rainstorm, and the falls were pretty washed out.
In case the falls are washed out, there are a few other trails to explore in the area with neat rock outcroppings. Don’t miss the cliff views from the group camp bunk houses!
The state park has quite a few hiking trails to explore. You might also enjoy the Osage Hills Red Trail, Osage Hills Lake Trail, and the hiking loops around the campgrounds.
Pack a sack lunch, enjoy the Park, then head to downtown Pawhuska or Bartlesville to explore the historic main streets! We just adore both of these towns!
If you head into Pawhuska, be sure to stop at The Pioneer Woman’s famous Mercantile.
The Skull Hollow Nature Trail is tucked next to Oologah Lake. From Tulsa, it takes roughly 30 minutes to drive to the trailhead. There is plentiful parking before the trailhead.
The Skull Hollow Nature Trail is well marked with roadside markers, and the beginning of the path is marked with a rustic wood sign.
Along the trail, you’ll wander through the woods before coming to the first rock outcropping and tree clearing with incredible views of Oologah Lake. Stop, have a snack, and enjoy the beautiful lake views!
Continue trekking the loop (you’ll see a trail marker that says Long Loop), which wanders along the Oologah Lake shoreline.
Along the trail, wood signs point out the different types of native trees such as Mockernut Hickory, Sugar Maple, and Black Walnut. Keep your eyes peeled for armadillo!
The Skull Hollow Nature Trail is one of our favorite trails to hike near Tulsa making it on our list of best hiking trails near Tulsa! It is quiet and full of beautiful lake views.
The Mary K Oxley Nature Center Loop is located close to Tulsa on the north side of town. Hiking trails are accessible from Mohawk Park daily from 7 am to 9 pm. There are a few hiking trails to choose from besides the Loop Trail.
To do the Loop Trail, begin on the Coyote Trail. You’ll loop towards the Lake. This is a beautiful trail system that meanders through the Oklahoma woods. Keep your eyes peeled for the next trail sign to pick your adventure.
Be sure to check out the Mary K Oxley Nature Center map before you go and choose your hiking route!
We love the Oxley Nature Center as it provides excellent nature walking trails near Tulsa.
One of the community’s prized gems, the Tulsa River Parks Trail system offers 26-miles of paved asphalt trails along the Arkansas River. The Tulsa River Park system provides some of the best walking trails in Tulsa.
Hike, run, walk, or bike along this beautiful system of trails with ample opportunities to see wildlife, bird-watch, get fresh air, enjoy the gardens, and experience the Gathering Place.
Close to midtown, you don’t have to go far to the city’s best place for outdoor recreation.
Head to Tulsa River Parks before or after work, on the weekend, or if you’re just passing through!
If you’re looking for a place to hike in Tulsa, the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is perfect.
With roughly 45-miles of dirt trails, Turkey Mountain has some of the best hiking trails near Tulsa. The Wilderness Area includes over 300 acres located close to downtown Tulsa.
Choose to hike the Red Trail (0.8-mile loop), Blue Trail (1.5-mile loop), Yellow Trail (4.4-mile loop), or paved trail, which connects to the Tulsa River Parks Trail System. The area also allows mountain biking.
Check out the Turkey Mountain Hiking Trail map to plan your adventure. This is a beautiful area to get outdoors right in Tulsa and get out for an afternoon outing.
The trails are accessible year-round making it a perfect escape from city life.
Below is a quick summary of some of the best hikes near Tulsa, in case you just wanted to skip through the article!
Hiking tip: We like to use the AllTrails app to download maps of hikes!
The best time of year to hike in Oklahoma is definitely outside of the hot summer months. The weather is beautiful, not humid October through May, there are fewer bugs, and the trees and brush aren’t as dense. Spring, fall, and winter make for the best times of the year to explore hiking trails near Tulsa.
While hiking, do you enjoy viewing wildlife, birds and identifying the local trees? If so, below is a little more information on the wildlife, birds, and trees to keep your eyes peeled for while hiking.
While hiking, keep your eyes peeled for spotting the following animals:
We love bird watching while we are hiking! While you’re out on the trails, you might be interested in watching for the following birds:
We enjoy having guidebooks to look up different species of plants and animals while we hike!
The beautiful hardwood trees are part of what makes hiking near Tulsa so awesome!
Below is a common list of species you’ll see along your adventures.
Below are items we always take hiking and highly recommend!
Check out our page with more information and resources on practicing environmental stewardship in the backcountry.
We hope you find this article on the best hiking trails near Tulsa helpful and that it sparks your wanderlust to explore Oklahoma!
Thanks for reading.
Ashlee & Pablo
You might also enjoy our other articles about Tulsa and the Oklahoma area:
Arkansas is so close to Tulsa!
How about some Arkansas inspiration:
Have you done any of these hiking trails near Tulsa? Which was your favorite?
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I’m a travel and outdoor recreation writer with dreams to inspire happiness through an outdoorsy lifestyle. I want to help people live their best life by sharing free adventure guides. The USA has been my backyard most of my life, and it’s the place where you’ll find most of our escapades! I’m married to an expat Argentine, chihuahua Mom, and am passionate about the environment. I hold a BS degree in Biology and MS in Environmental Policy & Sustainability. We camp in our Aliner often, love road trips, hiking, and SUP’ing!