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.
Tulsa River Parks Trails
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 including the states largest downhill mountain bike trail, the Boomtown Trail. This trail is 0.5 miles long with features like jumps, berms and a fabricated metal bridge.
Midland Valley Trail
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.
Osage Prairie Trail
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.
Bales Park Trails
Whether you’re looking for a secluded ride through nature or scenic views of downtown Tulsa, Bales Park Trails offers the best of both worlds. With four unique trails with varying degrees of difficulty, this multi-use trail system provides fun rides and exciting challenges to expert riders and novices alike.
Directly from the parking lot you can access Lookout Ridge, a 0.4-mile beginner-level trail that will take you to the centralized hub on the east side of the park where you’ll have access to the rest of the trails. Lookout Ridge runs 0.4 miles along the east side of the park and features breathtaking views of downtown Tulsa as well as the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, a 300-acre area of rolling hills and tall trees along the Arkansas River full of hiking and bike trails. Once you’ve reached the end of Lookout Ridge, you can easily hop on the other beginner-level trail, Little Rock, which runs from east to west on the Northernmost part of the park.
The hub also offers access to Bootlegger, an intermediate-level trail that runs through 0.3 miles of rollable hills, fast-flowing berms and elevated landscape. The trail ends at the intersection of Little Rock and Blackjack, the park’s longest and most challenging trail. Bending and winding over wooden boardwalks and rock gardens through the park’s southern half, this 1.9-mile trail provides a fun challenge for skilled riders. Bring your own bike or rent one nearby at Tom’s Rivertrail Bicycles. Once you’ve finished your day of riding, refuel at one of the many restaurants conveniently located nearby the park like the Linda Mar Drive-In or Arnold’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers.
Lubell Park Trails
Just down the road from Bales Park Trails, you’ll find even more trails surrounded by the natural beauty of one of Tulsa’s premier biking destinations at Lubell Park Trails. This 40-acre multi-use trail system features two trails with unique riding experiences and is located just a short trip from downtown Tulsa.
The beginner-friendly trail, Mary’s Loop, is a 2.2-mile-long trail with clear terrain and bermed corners which makes for a smooth ride. As you ride Mary’s Loop, you’ll find access to Hoke Hill, a 0.3-mile intermediate-level loop where riders can access the park’s jump line with multiple rollers that provide shifts in elevation to add some excitement to the ride.
Once you’re back on Mary’s Loop, make your way to the southern area of the park to find the skill features. These unique sections of the trail provide an exciting challenge for more advanced riders. Elements include wooden rollables with fast changes in elevation, tabletops set at the perfect height for jumps, and much more.
For a detailed Tulsa bicycle map, click here.