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Top 10 Trails to Run in Oklahoma City

Map of top 10 places to run in OKC!

Oklahoma City, affectionately known as OKC, is a fantastic location for runners to explore on foot. This city has everything from exciting routes near its top attractions to offroad nature trails in a stunning oasis of plants and animals. Check out these top 10 trails for running next time you’re in Oklahoma City.

1. Bert Cooper Trails

A lighthouse, family, and sailboat on Lake Hefner.

Also called Lake Hefner Trails, the Bert Cooper Trails offer 9.8 miles of asphalt and concrete multi-use trails surrounding OKC’s much-loved Lake Hefner. While you run, you’ll likely see plenty of sailboats and fishermen out on the lake, as well as people, paddle boarding, and kitesurfing. It’s a popular area for runners, but you’re also likely to see many cyclists, parents pushing strollers, and walkers out on these trails at all times of the day, so be ready to share the path! A small portion of the trails also circle the dam road and have some vehicle traffic.

Tips: If you need to refuel after your run, head to the east side of the lake, where you’ll find several restaurants serving delicious fare.

2. Bricktown District

Bricktown at dusk.

Bricktown is one of the most popular districts in OKC. It’s known for its nightlife, old warehouse buildings full of character, and a beautiful 1.6-mile canal bustling with activity. Explore this exciting area on foot via the Bricktown River Walk Park, which follows both sides of the canal. This district is full of restaurants, coffee shops, specialty shops, and more, and the wide sidewalks make it easy for runners to navigate the area. If you enjoy city views, sounds, and having lots of people nearby as you run, you’ll love exploring the Bricktown area on foot.

Tips: You can get some additional miles here with an easy connection to the Oklahoma River Trail or by running along the surrounding area’s city sidewalks.

3. Hefner-Overholser Trail

Bridges on Lake Hefner.

The Hefner-Overholser Trail is a 7.8-mile trail that connects two of OKC’s most popular reservoirs. The route runs from Britton Road at Lake Hefner Drive to NW 39th Street at Overholser Drive. It’s a popular running spot due to its proximity to Overholser Park, Lake Hefner, and the surrounding amenities. Some of the route also runs along the edge of the Wiley Post airport, so you’ll also catch views of planes taking off and landing. From the Hefner-Overholser Trail, you can also directly access the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, a 1,000-acre forested area popular for hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

Tips: The Hefner-Overholser Trail also connects to Bert Cooper Trails, Overholser Trail, and West River Trail for plenty of additional mileage if you want it.

4. West River Trail

West River trail at dusk with view of skyline of OKC.

The West River Trail is a scenic 7.5-mile asphalt trail that begins at NW 10th Street, follows the Canadian River, and ends at SW 15th Street and Meridian Avenue. It’s very smooth and flat for runners of all skill levels. Although it’s a multi-use trail open to runners, cyclists, parents with strollers, and walkers, it tends to be a quiet place for a run. In addition to its beautiful river views, this route also offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife and birdwatching, which is perfect for nature lovers.

Tips: The West River Trail also connects to the Overholser Trail, providing an easy way to extend your run.

5. Nichols Hills

Aerial view of Nichols HIlls.

Nichols Hills is a charming residential suburb of OKC if you prefer running through residential areas. It features quiet, low-traffic streets with views of large, impressive homes and beautiful yards. As you enjoy the scenery, you can also run through an area known as Grand Boulevard Park. The park is a small, curvy, 1-mile running path in the middle of NW Grand Blvd. It’s a concrete path with benches shaded by trees and is broken up into three sections (separated by two roads). Just make sure to use the bathroom before you head out for your run because Grand Boulevard Park doesn’t have any public facilities.

Tips: Many of the residential streets in this area don’t have sidewalks, but it’s a relatively low-traffic area, so many runners feel comfortable running on the road.

6. Dolese Youth Park

Section of the Dolese Youth Park.

OKC is full of beautiful parks for running, but Dolese Youth Park is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Located in northwest OKC in Warr Acres, this modest park has a few basic amenities like a disc golf course, baseball field, picnic areas, and a walking path. The paved 2-mile trail features mile markers every quarter mile, so it’s easy to track your pace as you run. The large, beautiful pond is a lovely backdrop for any run and often features ducks, turtles, and fishermen waiting on their next catch.

Tips: The restrooms here are only open from April to October.

7. Myriad Botanical Gardens

Myriad Botanical Garden greenhouse.

The 15-acre Myriad Botanical Gardens is a stunning oasis of native plants, trees, and flowers in downtown OKC. It features a smooth, paved 1-mile path that weaves through the beautifully-landscaped gardens and even offers stairs and ramps for a little extra challenge. Admission to the outdoor portion of the gardens is free, and there’s even an off-leash dog park, children’s playground, and outdoor ice rink in the winter. The Myriad Botanical Gardens is also just a short walk from several other popular OKC attractions, including the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Scissortail Park, the Bricktown district, and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Tips: This vibrant, green space in OKC also hosts fun seasonal activities like concerts, movies, classes, and more. Consider checking out one of these events with a friend or family member if you’re in the area while it’s ongoing!

8. Martin Park Nature Center

Path at Martin Park Nature Center.

Martin Park Nature Center is a 140-acre nature park home to 2.5 miles of woodland trails in a serene, suburban environment. It features three hiking trails, a bird observation wall, and a watch tower for nature lovers to enjoy. The trails will lead you around a large pond, along Spring Creek, and through wildflower meadows and woodlands for a stunning escape from the bustling city. As you run, you’re likely to see plenty of local wildlife, including beavers, armadillos, deer, foxes, and coyotes, among other furry creatures that call the nature center home.

Tips: General admission to Martin Park Nature Center is free, but if you want to organize a large group run here, you’ll need to schedule it in advance through the center.

9. Joe Barnes Regional Park

Runners at Joe Barnes Regional Park.

Located in the midwestern part of OKC, Joe Barnes Regional Park is home to about 3 miles of paved paths. The routes follow Soldier Creek and are well-maintained for a great running experience every time. At night, the trails stay lit, so you can feel comfortable running here after the sun goes down, and the restrooms at the park are always open. The park has several other amenities, including picnic areas, soccer, baseball, softball fields, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts, and a playground.

Tips: At the northwest corner of Joe Barnes Regional Park, you’ll also find Fred Quinn Happy Tails Dog Park. It has separate sides for large and small dogs and a small swimming pool area for pups who enjoy water play.

10. Earlywine Park

Female runner at Earlywine Park

Earlywine Park is located in southern OKC and features a paved loop trail that’s about 1.5 miles long. This route has an elevation gain of about 29 feet and is a flat, easy trail for runners of all experience levels. While running at this park, you will most likely see other runners or families walking together. There are plenty of great amenities to take advantage of before or after your run, including a swimming pool, tennis center, playground, large pavilion with picnic tables, and ball fields.

Tips: If you prefer a running space free of cycling traffic, this park may be an excellent option! It’s a bike-free trail.

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Sources:

  1. https://www.okc.gov/departments/parks-recreation/trails
  2. https://downtownokc.com/bricktown-canal/
  3. https://greatruns.com/oklahoma-city-bricktown/ 
  4. https://www.traillink.com/trail-maps/hefner-overholser-trail/
  5. https://www.traillink.com/trail/west-river-trail-(ok)/
  6. https://greatruns.com/oklahoma-city-nichols-hill/
  7. https://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.2271
  8. https://myriadgardens.org 
  9. https://www.okc.gov/departments/parks-recreation/martin-park-nature-center
  10. https://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.4852 
  11. https://www.midwestcityok.org/parksrec/page/joe-b-barnes-regional-park
  12. https://www.okc.gov/Home/Components/FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/16/2846 

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