DISTANCE/DIFFICULTY: 8-mile loop; strenuous
SPECIAL NOTE: 1.5 miles of this hike is on a roadway
TRAILHEAD GPS READING: N 34° 08.709’ W 94° 41.412’
TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS: From U.S. Hwy 259 take 259A east 3.5 miles to Beavers Bend State Park. Continue one mile to the Forest Heritage Center, where you turn left. When the road dead-ends, turn left again and proceed past the fly shop and the miniature train. The trailhead on your left is marked by a green wooden sign for the Beaver Lodge Trail. The trail starts beyond a gate at the northwest end of the parking lot.
The Skyline Trail overlooks the Mountain Fork River on the David Boren Hiking Trail at Beavers Bend State Park. The river flows out of the south end of Broken Bow Lake.
HIKE NARRATIVE: The trail starts down a wide double-track across a bridge over the river. Follow the trail northwest for about half a mile to the trailhead for the Skyline Trail. The trail is well marked. Cross over the wooden bridge on your left and immediately begin a steep uphill climb. At little more than one mile the trail meets a gravel road. After you travel down the gravel road to your right a few hundred yards the trail exits to the left.
At three miles you cross Bee Creek three times: across, back, and then across again. During most of the year you can cross on rocks. When the water flows in the spring you may have to wade. Just on the other side of the last crossing is an extremely steep climb: steps have been constructed in the side of the hill. After six miles you come to a beautiful overlook and an intersection with the Cedar Bluff Nature Trail, which is on your left. Take this trail to the trailhead on Hwy 259A. The Cedar Bluff trail is marked with blue blazes. From here turn left and walk 1.5 miles back to the trailhead parking on the road. This walk along the road is a pleasant hike through pretty scenery back across the Mountain Fork River.
The Mountain Fork River is known for its great trout fishing, particularly in winter, when the water is cold. Both rainbow and brown trout have been stocked in the river, and avid flyfishers migrate here from all over the Southwest.
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The affiliate groups of Oklahoma Hiking Trails have been chosen for their promotion of hiking, outdoor recreation, conservation and maintenance of state trails. We invite our visitors to learn more about these groups listed below: