Oklahoma’s second largest city has long been celebrated as a mountain biking hub for outdoor enthusiasts, but for city dwellers looking for in-town adventures, Tulsa offers a variety of paved cycling routes surrounded by both metropolitan allures and beautiful landscapes.
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Whether you’re seeking a short ride around the block or a more challenging trek through the city, check out these three Tulsa trails for dynamic urban cycling options.
Take a shaded, waterfront ride near some of Tulsa’s most treasured attractions on the River Parks Trails. Two trails running north and south along the scenic Arkansas River provide excellent views, and with multiple bike rentals throughout the area, you don’t need to own a bike to enjoy a ride here. A bridge connects these point-to-point paths, so make a day of exploring both sides of the river.
The East Bank Trail runs from the 11th Street bridge at Riverside Drive to 101st Street. Start your ride at the bridge and head south. You’ll soon pass Tulsa Spotlight Theatre, one of the city’s many Art Deco gems among other historic homes and charming buildings. Be sure to find the trail’s direct link to The Gathering Place during your ride. Cross S John Williams Way and enjoy a detour through this award-winning, riverfront park or continue on Riverside Drive to log more trail miles.
The West Bank Trail runs eight miles between the 11th Street bridge and 71st Street. This route contrasts the urban bustle of its neighboring trail with a more serene atmosphere. Cycling south, you'll glide next to glistening river views and several city parks, including River West Festival Park, which provides ample space for a relaxing picnic. At the south end of the trail, you’ll find a connection to Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area for off-road biking adventures.
To feel like you’ve left the city without traveling far, bring your bike to the Midland Valley Trail. This well-maintained, three-mile route adjacent to downtown Tulsa is lined with concrete and surrounded by eastern Oklahoma’s distinctive woodlands. With amenities like a rest area, drinking fountains and ample lighting, the trail safely accommodates all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts.
The official trailhead is located at the connection to the River Parks East Trail. Head northeast through Pine Valley Park, curving around the outside of The Gathering Place. Continuing north, cyclists will ride in close proximity to attractions like the opulent Harwelden Mansion and scenic Veterans Park. At around the halfway mark, the trail passes through Maple Park, then curves northeast and back north next to the Art Deco-style Tulsa Fire Museum. Make Centennial Park your final stop to enjoy picturesque landscaping, skyline views and relaxing water features.
Mixing city, suburban and country landscapes, the Osage Prairie Trail features over 14 miles of paved road linking Tulsa’s Oklahoma State University campus to the town of Skiatook in the north. This former railroad corridor is now an easy trail equipped with bike racks, water fountains, parking areas and benches.
Start your ride on the south end at East Independence Place and North Greenwood Avenue, just south of Greenwood Playground. Riding north, you’ll pass multiple city parks and cycle under shaded, tree-lined areas. The middle and northern parts of the trail feature quaint, rural locales. Approaching the Delaware Creek, you’ll pass scenic fields of grazing cattle and horses. This area during migration season has fantastic bird watching opportunities. As the trail passes through the town of Sperry, cyclists will see its charming downtown area. Continue north to finish the trail into Skiatook, with a final stop at Skiatook Central Park.
For a detailed Tulsa bicycle map, click here.