Great Hiking Trails in North Texas:
Look Just North to Beavers Bend Resort Park
Author: Marcia Drewitz
If you are looking for great hiking trails in North Texas, consider Beavers Bend Resort Park in southeastern Oklahoma. It is just 3 hours from the Dallas/Fort Worth area (the Metroplex) by car. Beavers Bend Resort Park includes Beavers Bend State Park which offers free admission. The resort offers serious nature lovers the chance to hike along ridge tops, over creek bottoms, through tall stands of timber, and into areas so remote one can almost experience what early-day explorers must have felt upon seeing the area for the first time, at its pristine best.
McCurtain County features some of the most beautiful territory in the country. The Ouachita Mountains rise and fall dramatically along the lower reaches of the Oklahoma-Arkansas line, which is densely covered with one of the oldest short-leaf pine forests in the world, as well as heavy populations of hickory and oak. Unlike most American mountain ranges, the mountains run east and west, not north and south. Cursing through those rugged ranges are several lakes and rivers, the Little, Mountain Fork, Upper Kiamichi, Poteau and Broken Bow.
The area was named by LIFE magazine as one of the "100 Places To Visit in Your Lifetime" and Dallas Observers voted McCurtain County the "Best Getaway from Dallas."
You can pick up trail maps at the park's nature center. There are seven trails you have to choose from, one for every skill level - from serious stroller to avid trekker.
Trail #1: Take-it-easy route. The South Park trail. 1 mile. For those who want to stay on level ground. Watch eagles fly overhead and wildlife scatter as you stroll by.
Trail #2: The Easy-Does-It Hike. The Junction with South Park. 1 mile. Also a good choice for those who want a less intensive hike and want to get "back to nature" but just a little while.
Trail #3: Beyond Beginner. Beaver Creek Crossing. 1. 5 miles. A bit more challenging. Several steep climbs.
Trail #4: Beyond beginner but not intermediate. Deer Cross - Cedar Bluff. About 2 miles. Some climbs, but not extremely steep.
Trail #5: Walk on the wild side. Cedar Bluff - Beaver Lodge Trail. 6 miles. Lots of steep grades. Designed for the more serious hiker.
Trail #6: Born to hike. Skyline. 6 miles. Steep terrain. Experienced hikers only. If you don't have time to take the longest route (see below), the Skyline is the next best option. More challenging to some than the Cedar Bluff, nevertheless, you'll need to be able to withstand elevation hiking. But the views you'll see will be well worth the climb.
Trail #7: The extreme challenge. The David Boren Hiking Trail, named after the U.S. senator and former governor of Oklahoma. The David Boren Trail offers 16 miles of hiking Trails with 4 miles of multi-purpose ( mountain bike) trails that wander along ridge tops and over creek bottoms. The 12 mile Boren hiking trail runs from south to north. Starts at the low-water dam at the south end of Beavers Bend and then connects with the Beaver Lodge Nature Trail, full of steep grades. The trail is well defined and is a narrow, one-person trail - which means no bicyclists to watch out for.
Where do you stay if you travel to the Beavers Bend Resort Park? Glad you asked! The park is home to the forty-room Lakeview Lodge, and there are forty-seven different Beavers Bend cabins. Is camping more your style? The park also offers RV and tent camping. In McCurtain County, your weekend hiking getaway can include almost any kind of lodging - from a rustic cottage to elegantly-appointed log cabins nestled in the towering pines to a unique bed & breakfasts, modern motels and luxury resorts.
So, if you are looking for great hiking trails in North Texas - either for yourself or to accompany your family or that special someone - the Beavers Bend Resort Park is a great option. With many trails to choose for everyone from beginners to seasoned hikers, this is a great option that is only 3 hours away from the Metroplex by car.