Whether you're visiting Oklahoma for the first time or want to rediscover its charms, a spin around the state's capital city reveals vibrant neighborhoods, historic architecture and tree-lined parks.
Continue reading below
For those new to it, urban biking can seem daunting. Thanks to Oklahoma City’s interconnected, multi-use trail system, cyclists can safely explore the city on two wheels. From downtown views to unexpected detours into nature, discover the many faces of OKC with these three trails for bike riders of all levels.
Oklahoma River Trails offer a great opportunity for getting acquainted with the city. Outlined by scenic views, this 13-mile route mingles with some of the most popular downtown spaces. The area is comprised of two trails beginning from Meridian Avenue (north trail) and Portland Avenue (south trail).
To take the north trail, start at the west end and ride east through the Oklahoma Boathouse District, which features exquisite architecture and a wide array of outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting and ziplining. The trail joins the Bricktown Canal Trail at Regatta Park, leading to Bricktown Entertainment District’s thriving nightlife scene.
To take the south trail, start at the west end to cycle through Historic Stockyards City, known for Old West authenticity and historic appeal. Continue east toward Wheeler Park, marked by the picture-worthy Wheeler Ferris Wheel. Cyclists will also encounter the Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park, a 26,000-square-foot outdoor sports park for skaters and adrenaline junkies. Near the same area on Robinson Avenue South, catch a view of the SkyDance Bridge, OKC’s distinguishing landmark that lights up to greet visitors each night.
If a breezy ride through floral scenery is more your speed, choose the Will Rogers Trail for your city cycling excursion. Connecting the south side of Lake Hefner and the Oklahoma River, this route guides cyclists through the beautifully landscaped grounds of historic Will Rogers Gardens.
Start your ride from the north side of the Oklahoma River Trails at S May Avenue. Proceeding north, you’ll pass charming historic neighborhoods, including the Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival homes of Linwood Place. At the four-mile point you’ll enter Will Rogers Park, which holds Will Rogers Gardens. One of the city’s oldest parks, this land was purchased in 1912 and named after Oklahoma’s favorite son in 1936.
Enjoy a leisurely ride surrounded by seasonal blooms and lovely greenery. Be sure to stop at the iconic Ed Lycan Conservatory, a glass-enclosed Lord & Burnham greenhouse inspired by 19th-century Victorian architecture. After your cycling adventure, have a picturesque picnic under the shade of the trees. The Will Rogers Trail also connects at its north end to the popular Bert Cooper Trail system at Lake Hefner.
For a cycling route packed with exciting stops along the way, take a ride down the Katy Trail in northeast OKC. Named after the historic Katy Railway Line that was part of the larger Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railway in the late 1800s, this lesser-known route includes over seven miles of paved surface to explore.
The trail begins at Deep Fork Creek, near Interstate 44 and Grand Boulevard. History buffs can learn more about the state’s train history at the nearby Oklahoma Railway Museum, situated in a former railroad depot.
Continue southeast on Grand and you’ll soon enter Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, home to some of the state’s most popular attractions. Make a full day of your cycling trip by visiting the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Science Museum Oklahoma or the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. This fun-filled district also includes Remington Park Racetrack & Casino and several other unique museums and venues.
Cyclists will also pass the scenic Northeast Lake on Remington Place and 50th Street. Also known as Zoo Lake, this is a great spot for bird watchers and anglers. Katy Trail continues on NE Grand Boulevard, passing through spacious Lincoln Golf Course. At the trail’s end, cyclists can wrap up their biking trip with some outdoor recreation at Douglass Park, home to playground space, a basketball court and the Douglass Recreation Center.