Best Places to Run in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City offers a variety of scenic routes and trails for running enthusiasts. With its mix of urban landscapes and picturesque parks, the city provides runners with ample opportunities to exercise while enjoying diverse surroundings.

Whether you’re a casual jogger or a seasoned runner, Oklahoma City’s best running spots cater to all levels of fitness and experience.

The Oklahoma River Trail, Lake Hefner, and Lake Overholser are among the most popular running destinations in the city. These areas offer miles of trails and paths, boasting beautiful lakefront and riverfront views, making every run enjoyable and memorable.

Additionally, Oklahoma City’s neighborhoods, such as Nichols Hills and Heritage Hills/Mesta Park, feature charming streets and green spaces perfect for runners seeking quieter routes.

In the heart of the city, the Bricktown area is another highlight, with canal-side paths spanning 2 miles.

These paths provide a fantastic opportunity for those who prefer urban running environments while still taking in the sights and sounds of Oklahoma City’s bustling downtown area. With so many options available, runners can easily find their ideal spot to stay active and explore this vibrant city.

Popular Running Locations in Oklahoma City

Lake Hefner

Lake Hefner is a beloved urban lake in Oklahoma City that offers a 9-mile paved loop for runners.

Also known as the Bert Cooper Trails, this running destination provides beautiful views of sailboats and fishermen as you run along the asphalt and concrete multi-use trails.

Oklahoma River Trail

The Oklahoma River Trail is a popular running spot in OKC. It offers scenic paths along the river, allowing runners to enjoy nature while getting their exercise. The trail is a great option for those looking to add variety to their running routine.

Lake Overholser

Located close to Lake Hefner, Lake Overholser also offers some great running paths for the residents of northwest Oklahoma City. This area provides options for those looking for trails near the water, making it an ideal choice for a relaxing run.

Nichols Hills

Nichols Hills is a charming neighborhood in Oklahoma City that offers a great environment for running. The quiet and leafy streets are perfect for those who prefer to run through residential areas as opposed to more congested parts of the city.

Edmond

Just north of Oklahoma City, Edmond offers additional running locations such as Mitch Park and the OCU-Eagle Trail. Runners in the area can enjoy a range of trails that cover both park settings and scenic hills, giving everyone an opportunity to find the perfect running spot.

Trails and Paths for Runners

Oklahoma City offers a variety of trails and paths for runners to explore and enjoy. In this section, we will discuss some popular choices, including the Hefner-Overholser Trail, West River Trail, Eagle Trail, Nature Trail, and River Trails.

Hefner-Overholser Trail

The Hefner-Overholser Trail is a multi-use trail that connects Lake Hefner and Lake Overholser, providing runners with scenic views and paved paths. The trail is popular among runners, cyclists, and walkers, making it an ideal location for an enjoyable outdoor run.

West River Trail

Located near Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge, the West River Trail offers an unpaved path for trail runners looking for a more rugged experience.

This 5.1-mile trail winds through the refuge, allowing runners to enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife that inhabit the area.

Eagle Trail

Bluff Creek Unpaved Trail Loop, known as Eagle Trail, is situated within Bluff Creek Park. This 3.8-mile trail offers a combination of paved and dirt paths, making it suitable for runners seeking varied terrain.

Eagle Trail provides an opportunity for runners to experience the park’s picturesque surroundings, such as its scenic pond.

Nature Trail

For those looking for a peaceful and serene running experience, the Nature Trail at Martin Park Nature Center is an ideal choice. This tranquil trail weaves through a wooded area and features paved paths and gentle inclines, making it suitable for runners of all levels.

River Trails

The Oklahoma River Trails system spans over 13 miles along the Oklahoma River, offering both North and South routes for runners to enjoy. Runners can take advantage of the well-maintained, paved paths that follow the river, providing scenic views of the city skyline and access to several parks along the way. The Oklahoma River Trails are popular among runners, cyclists, and walkers, offering a convenient and picturesque option for outdoor exercise.

Parks and Gardens for Running

Myriad Botanical Gardens

Myriad Botanical Gardens is an oasis in downtown Oklahoma City. This impressive 15-acre park offers a variety of running paths in a beautiful environment. The landscape includes lawns, water features, and diverse plant species, making it an attractive spot for running enthusiastssrc.

Mitch Park

Mitch Park in Edmond is a popular spot for runners in the area. With miles of paved trails, it provides ample space for long runs, as well as shorter walks and jogs. The OCU-Eagle Trail within the park is a favorite among runners, offering a blend of challenging and gentle terrains.

Earlywine Park

Situated in southwest OKC, Earlywine Park has several trails that cater to both casual joggers and avid runners. The park also features a variety of sports amenities, making it a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts and athletes who enjoy incorporating various activities into their training routine.

Joe Barnes Regional Park

Joe Barnes Regional Park is located in Midwest City and is a go-to spot for local runners. The park’s picturesque setting and winding paths offer a pleasant atmosphere, allowing runners to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while exercising.

Dolese Youth Park

Another favored location for Oklahoma City runners is Dolese Youth Park, nestled in northwest OKC. The park’s wooded areas and serene environment provide an ideal running setting for those seeking tranquility during their workouts.

Eldon Lyon Park

In northwest Oklahoma City, Eldon Lyon Park offers a combination of green spaces and paved paths that attract runners and cyclists alike. With multiple trail options, runners can choose routes that best suit their preferences and skill levels.

Each of these parks and gardens provide unique settings and terrain options for runners in Oklahoma City, making the city a great place for those who enjoy outdoor fitness activities.

Running in Historic Neighborhoods

Heritage Hills

Heritage Hills is a lovely historic neighborhood in Oklahoma City that provides beautiful scenery for runners. The area is known for its well-maintained sidewalks and large trees that provide shade during the warmer months. While exploring this neighborhood, runners will enjoy charming architectural styles, including classic mansions dating back to the early 20th century.

Mesta Park

Adjacent to Heritage Hills is Mesta Park, another picturesque historic district in the city. This area also features stunning homes and charming streets, making it an ideal location for a peaceful and scenic run. The neighborhood is part of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon route, providing runners with an opportunity to retrace the steps of a popular city event.

Midtown

Midtown is a bustling district with a mix of new developments and historic areas. Located just north of downtown Oklahoma City, the neighborhood is known for its preserved houses and buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Running through Midtown, you’ll pass under the shade of massive trees and experience vibrant colors during the fall season.

Nearby areas like Warr Acres offer additional options for runners seeking to venture beyond the historic neighborhoods. Overall, Oklahoma City’s historic districts provide a stunning backdrop for an enjoyable and memorable running experience.

Outdoor Experiences and Wildlife

Oklahoma City offers a variety of outdoor experiences for runners who enjoy being surrounded by nature and encountering wildlife. In this section, we will cover three popular running locations: Martin Nature Park, Soldier Creek, and Bert Cooper Trails.

Martin Nature Park

Martin Nature Park is known for its beautiful nature trails, providing runners with an opportunity to immerse themselves in a serene environment.

The park features diverse wildlife, including deer, birds, and butterflies, giving runners a chance to observe and appreciate natural habitats as they run. The elevation in the park is mostly gentle, making it suitable for runners of all levels.

  • Wildlife: Deer, birds, butterflies
  • Elevation: Gentle
  • Trail Type: Nature trails

Soldier Creek

Soldier Creek, located near Nichols Hills, offers a variety of nature and river trails for runners to enjoy. The area is home to various species of wildlife such as beavers, egrets, and cormorants. Runners can expect a more challenging run in Soldier Creek, as the elevation varies along the trails.

  • Wildlife: Beavers, egrets, cormorants
  • Elevation: Varied
  • Trail Type: Nature and river trails

Bert Cooper Trails

Situated around Lake Hefner, the Bert Cooper Trails offer stunning lake views and opportunities for both running and wildlife spotting. This area also includes Dolese Park, a popular location for observing geese and other waterfowl. The paths at Bert Cooper Trails are well-maintained, with a mix of paved and unpaved trails for different preferences.

  • Wildlife: Geese, waterfowl
  • Elevation: Mostly flat
  • Trail Type: Paved and unpaved

Each of these locations offers unique outdoor experiences for runners, combining the excitement of wildlife sightings with the beauty of nature. Whether you prefer the tranquility of Martin Nature Park, the challenge of Soldier Creek, or the lake views at Bert Cooper Trails, Oklahoma City has something for every runner to enjoy.

Admission and Accessibility

In Oklahoma City, there are several great locations for running that offer a variety of admission policies and accessibility features.

Lake Hefner is a popular destination for running enthusiasts, featuring a scenic waterfront trail. The admission is free, and the trail is easily accessible, providing a perfect spot for those looking for a tranquil run near the water.

Similarly, Lake Overholser offers free admission and features another picturesque route for runners to enjoy. The area has paved and well-maintained trails, accommodating a wide range of accessibility needs.

For those interested in running through upscale residential neighborhoods, Nichols Hills provides a pleasant experience. The roads are accessible to the public, and there are no admission fees required for running in this area.

A little north of Oklahoma City, in Edmond, Mitch Park is a favorite among local runners. Boasting both paved and natural surface trails, the park offers free admission and is well equipped for all levels of runners.

Located near downtown Oklahoma City, the Botanical Gardens offer a unique and serene running environment. Admission to the public outdoor sections of the gardens is free, while the indoor conservatory requires a fee. The garden paths are generally accessible, allowing for a wide range of mobility options.

In the suburb of Bethany, Eldon Lyon Park is another excellent spot for running, featuring a 1.6-mile asphalt trail. The park is open to the public and has free admission, making it an accessible and affordable option for runners of all levels.

By providing an array of locations with various admission policies and accessibility features, Oklahoma City ensures that locals and visitors alike have many opportunities to enjoy running in different settings, catering to their unique preferences and needs.

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