Hop on a mountain bike and hit the trails at Bluff Creek Park for a day of outdoor adventure.
This park offers picnic pavilions, open field space for various sports, free parking and trail access with two different trail options; the 1-mile asphalt loop for running or walking only and the 3.5-mile network of dirt trails for off-road mountain biking. We've included a first-hand perspective on what to expect and what you can experience on Bluff Creek Trail.
As I entered the park located just North of Lake Hefner I was immediately struck by the well-manicured location of the Bluff Creek Trails. Stacked split rail fences and native landscaping zigzag back and forth to mark the start of the trail entrance. There is a short length of wide cinder trail on the way to the trail entrance, but first I stopped at the map to better understand the trail system. After snapping a picture, in case I got lost, I headed off to start my ride.
The singletrack starts just past a wooden sign that assures you are in the right place. Bluff Creek is carved into the sign, and the warnings that surround it will make you realize that you're in for a good time. Just behind the signs is where the single track begins; it is dry, dusty and well worn. This is a sure sign that there are plenty of riders that frequent this trail, and as I leaned into my first turn, I began to feel that rush of excitement from a new trail.
The trail itself is mostly hardpacked and fast despite the exposed roots and tight switchbacks. As I passed through the first section, I was greeted with a narrow bit of trail, and the builders intentionally left a fair amount of trees on either side to challenge those of us with wider handlebars. As I started to settle into my ride, I begin to take in the fact that I felt much further away from the city than I was. There were only a handful of times that I noticed how close I was to civilization; even though this trail system is surrounded by neighborhoods.
Riding further along on this trail I noticed that there was water all around me and at times it was right next to the trail. The singletrack had been cut into and on top of the ledges that border the creek and surrounding watershed. When you find yourself that close to the water you eventually have to climb back out, but the climbs on this trail are short and punchy. The biggest challenge to these climbs is that almost all of them have roots to navigate.
There is something about this short 4-mile trail, something that was quite unexpected, and it made me wish that I had given it a chance a lot sooner. It has a bit of everything and even though it is listed as “Intermediate”, I believe riders of all skill levels will find this to be a fun trail to ride. I am absolutely a fan, and I will be back to experience this one again soon.
This is just one experience you can have in OKC by mountain bike. For more off-road trails, check out the City of Oklahoma City's guide to outdoor recreation and their list of off-road trails throughout the metro.