Free Places · Outdoor Places

The Best Trails in Tulsa

All right, people: The weather in Tulsa has been nothing short of blissful lately. So why are you sitting indoors reading a blog? It’s time to get out to the trails and run, walk, bike, rollerblade, or unicycle (yes, I have actually seen people unicycling on the trails in T-Town before)!

I for one am super stoked to be running my first-ever full Tulsa Run on Oct. 27 (15K, baby!); therefore, I’ve been hitting the trails pretty hard lately. So, without further adieu, here are some of my favorite places to run in the Tulsa area:

1. Riverside Drive

Even though the Arkansas River is not the loveliest body of water in the world, it has its own rustic charm. And thanks to the Pedestrian Bridge near S. 29th st., you can run in a rectangular fashion – not just the same ol’ boring down and back.

If you start out at the Pedestrian Bridge, cross it to the west side of the River, run to the 21st st. bridge, cross it, and back to the Pedestrian Bridge, you’re looking at approximately a 2.4 mile run. Not too shabby. If, however, you want to get a little crazy, go all the way down to the 11th st. bridge, cross back to the east side there, and you’re looking at approximately a 4.4 mile run.

Because it wouldn’t be a blog post without a fun story, here goes. I was attempting to take the 4.4 mile route across the River last Saturday when I was diverted by men adorned with kilts and hauling bagpipes. I got all the way over to the west side of the River only to discover that the Tulsa Scotfest was taking place, and a security guard politely informed me that I could not continue running my route. (Mind you, I was very disappointed that the security guard was not wearing a kilt). This definitely put a kink into my run, as I was already more than 2 miles in. So, if you take the long route all the way down to the 11th street bridge, you might want to make sure there are no Oktoberfests, ScotFests, Afghanistanifests, or the like taking place.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, Riverside is long. You can literally run, bike, etc. all day on Riverside. In fact, if you feel like biking along the River but don’t own a bike, you can use your credit card to “rent” a bike, courtesy of the bike racks provided by St. Francis. Yes, you will be riding a pink bike, and it’s not a mountain bike by any means, but it’s a fun way to get from one point to another. The bike racks are located at 19th st., 41st st., 96th st., and at the Sand Springs River City Park at 2500 South River City Park Road.

Oh ya, did I mention that the bike rental is free? You just swipe your credit card to check out a bike, and when you return it, the charge is removed! Pretty sweet!

2. Turkey Mountain

People, I’ll be honest and say that I’m still a little intimidated to run the Turk after getting lost up there and accidentally turning a 4 mile run into an 8 mile run, but I still highly recommend it! The trails have THE most scenic views in Tulsa – especially in the autumn! Click here for all the info you need about the trails and more.

3. LaFortune Park

I grew up near LaFortune Park, so I’m a little partial to it. I also have memories of my now-husband and I running there when we were about 15. Charming and adorable, I know.

The route encircling the park is exactly 3.2 miles, so it’s the perfect spot to train for a 5K. It’s also fairly hilly, so it allows for some decent hill training.

4. Creek Turnpike

A challenging trail lies hidden right alongside the Creek Turnpike. The trail is pretty popular among cyclists, and as a runner, I’ve had a few close calls with cyclists while running this trail. I usually start at Hunter Park at 91st between Sheridan and Yale. But there are several different routes you can take on the trail.

Also, INCOG has created an awesome listing of even more trails in the Tulsa area. Click here to see the list and maps too!

If you frequent trails in the Tulsa area, what are some of your favorites?

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