Beech Creek National Scenic & Botanical Area Trail System
The Beech Creek National Scenic & Botanical Area is comprised of 7,500 acres in southeast Oklahoma. This beautiful area of land also offers 32 miles of hiking trails including the Beech Creek Trail, Turkey Snout Loop and Walnut Mountain Loop. Though the area is busiest in the spring and fall when most of the foliage and plants are on display, the scenic area is open year round for daytime hiking, nature viewing and scenic driving. Of course, there's no better way to enjoy this amazing area than getting up close and personal with nature, so grab a compass and come hiking.
Beech Creek Trail to the Cascades (GPS N 34 35.785, W 94 29.977): This nine mile round-trip trail is recommended for intermediate to expert level hikers, because it requires a creek crossing and has a handful of ill-defined areas that will require you to climb over obstacles or plant life. The hike is worth it for the fantastic views of the Cascades, a small section of rushing water dotted with moss-covered rocks. Bring along a camera for a great photo opportunity.
Turkey Snout Loop (GPS 34 35.785, W 94 29.977): At just over four miles, this easy to navigate trail is perfect for beginners. Beginning at the same area as the Beech Creek Trailhead off of Forest Rd K68A, follow the Beech Creek Trail for roughly two miles. When the Beech Creek Trail veers off to the right, turn left and continue following the trail in a counter-clockwise fashion.
Walnut Mountain Loop (GPS 34 35.785, W 94 29.977): The Walnut Mountain Loop is the most difficult trail in the Beech Creek National Scenic & Botanical Area Trail System by a long shot. Though the trail offers beautiful views of beech trees, hikers will have to face a slow hike over rough terrain to get there. Begin at the Beech Creek Trailhead heading south. You will pass both an intersection with the Turkey Snout Trail and an intersection with the Beech Creek Trail heading to the Cascades. After the second trail intersection, you will want to go east and follow the trail. Many areas are difficult to navigate because of fallen trees and overgrown plants. The 10.5 mile round-trip trail also features a moderate climb over Walnut Mountain.