Editor's Note: Larry Floyd is co-author of the book “Oklahoma Hiking Trails,” which has information about more than 50 hiking trails in the state
With below-zero February wind chills, hiking seems unseasonable. But Oklahoma's moderate late-winter temperatures are just ahead, and hikers can beat both the heat and the bugs with a pre-spring walk in the woods.
For a nice hike without leaving the city, the Spring Creek Trail at Arcadia Lake offers just the ticket for those eager to lace up their boots. The trailhead is located in Arcadia Lake Park, which is maintained by the City of Edmond.
The approximately 7-mile, multiuse trail is an irregular horseshoe around the west side of Arcadia Lake, with the longest section of the trail parallel to Second Street (old Route 66) along the north edge of the park.
The trail can be accessed at several points. The most interesting part of the trail is the section beginning at Spring Creek Park and is best hiked as an out-and-back while choosing your own distance.
For the most part, the trail is relatively flat, well-marked and easily followed. A number of alternate trails splinter off the main route.
Generally, you will want to take the trails that lead you away from the perimeter of the park and into the woods. These trails make for a more interesting hike, removed from urban sights and sounds.
The area is used for mountain biking, so be on the lookout for riders, particularly on weekends. Beginning at the Spring Creek Trailhead, proceed straight ahead through the woods for several hundred yards to a “Y” in the trail. Take the left fork and continue on.
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IF YOU GO
To get to the Spring Creek Trail, turn east off I-35 on Edmond's E 15th Street and go about 2 miles and straight into the park. Just past the entrance booth, take the first left. About 200 yards up the road, the prominent trailhead lies on the left, marked by a large wooden sign on the west side of the access road. Parking is available on the shoulder at $6 per car.