broken bow hiking

15 Beavers Bend & Broken Bow Hiking Trails

Looking to Experience Some of the Best Hiking in Beavers Bend & Broken Bow? 

As lifelong Oklahoma adventurers, we’re here to tell you that nothing quite compares to Beavers Bend & Broken Bow hiking trails. There are multiple hikes of varying difficulty, rusticness, and length. Whether you prefer shaded forest trails, access to the trickle of waterways, or hikes with views of grandeur, you’re going to find a good selection in this neck of the woods. 

Broken Bow, Oklahoma Hiking & Beavers Bend Trails Guide

Beavers Bend State Park merges with the community of Hochatown (now an official town) amidst the Ouachita National Forest. All areas have some pretty amazing hiking trails. Many of the rural areas have Broken Bow addresses even though the city of Broken Bow is about 12 miles south of Beavers Bend State Park.

We’ve grouped trail options based on area and type. You can visit several trails in a day, depending on their lengths and your timeline. 

Short on time? Our top 5 recommended hikes are:

  • Cedar Bluff Nature Trail – has our favorite lookout point but on a shorter hike
  • Tree Trail – easy and family-friendly
  • Friends Trail – the most recent addition to the park, plus it’s family-friendly & has a small waterfall along the river
  • Skyline Trail– longer hike & excellent for those up for a challenge with beautiful views
  • Mountain Fork River Trail – relaxing hike and easy to follow as you hike along the river

Pro Tip: Service can be poor and markings can be difficult to follow so we highly suggest downloading maps beforehand or using an app service that will guide you while offline. This is typical for a lot of the trails in the area. 

Beavers Bend State Park Hiking Trails

1. Cedar Bluff Nature Trail

.9 mile / loop / about 30 min. / easy to moderate 🟦

📍 Cedar Bluff Trailhead Location

This is a great, short loop that gives you a breathtaking view over the river, as well as the woods. The trail has some inclines and rocky ground. It intersects with Skyline Trail and Deer Crossing Trail is nearby.

It’s a great trail for families with kids who are ready for a little bit of a challenge. You will likely see birds, deer, or squirrels. It’s one of my favorite Broken Bow hiking trails.

It’s a good idea to keep an offline app or map handy, as you can easily go off-path. 

📍 Cedar Bluff Trail Lookout Location

broken bow hiking views

2. Skyline Trail

9.5 miles / loop trail / about 4.5-6 hours / difficult 🛑

The views on this trail are some of the best. This trail is a challenge with some steep terrain, rocky footing at times, and water crossings. It is not for beginners. Only skilled, prepared hikers should attempt to hike this full loop. 

Look for Thunderbird Falls along the way! It’s easier to spot after a good amount of rainfall. The water crossings could be dangerous depending on water levels, and paths are not always marked well in areas. 

The Skyline Trail provides the same great view as Cedar Bluff of the Mountain Fork River with varied terrain and chances for wildlife sightings. 

At the end of the full loop, you walk on the road back to the original starting point for about a mile and a half. That’s our least fun part. I would plan for it to take about 5-6 hours total with stops and food breaks.

Offline maps are key because paths are difficult to follow in several areas. We usually use AllTrails. I personally love the less paved trails with nature left as intact as possible. It feels more adventurous even though it can be a little frustrating at times.

hiking in beavers bend state park at broken bow

3. Deer Crossing Trail:  

3.9 miles / out and back / about 2 hours / moderate 🟦

The Deer Crossing Trail has some inclines and steep spots. Expect beautiful wooded views and good chances of seeing…you guessed it… DEER! You might come across other wildlife as well. 

deer in beavers bend state park while hiking
We have seen so many deer on various hikes over the years.

Pro Tip: My favorite ridgetop view can be seen from the Cedar Bluff Trail or the Skyline Trail. It’s a point where they intersect and Deer Crossing is close by.

4. Friends Trail Loop

About 1.5 miles / loop trail / about 45 min. / moderate 🟦

📍 Friends Trail Loop Trailhead Location

The trail begins at Spillway Creek and makes a loop. It has some steep inclines and rocky terrain, but there are some gorgeous views of the river along the trail. You can spot small falls along the river as well.

5. Tree Trail (Forest Heritage Tree Trail)

1.2 miles long / loop trail / about 30 min. / easy 🟢

📍 Begin at Forest Heritage Center Location

The Tree Trail has easy terrain and is great for kids and hikers of all ages. It meanders along Beaver Creek and loops back to the Heritage Center. You can spot white paint on some trees as markers, but it can be difficult to follow. It’s a great family and kid-friendly trail. Be prepared for slippery rocky surfaces and shallow water crossings as pictured below.

hiking in beavers bend at broken bow

6. Lookout Mountain Loop

2.2 miles / loop trail / about 1 hour 10 min. / moderate 🟦

The Lookout Mountain Loop has some steep climbs and rocky parts that make for uneasy footing at times. Expect creek crossings and uncertainty on the trail path at times. It provides beautiful wooded views of the area. Note that there isn’t one particular “lookout” spot.

7. Lookout Mountain Trail

1.5 miles / out & back / about 1 hour / moderate 🟦

This trail has the same trailhead as Lookout Mountain Loop, but is out and back instead. It has several rocky patches and inclines and declines and can be difficult to follow. It has pretty forest views amidst the trees but no actual lookout point.

You might spot some deer or unique birds. Expect to come across a creek that is fun to explore. Several mini trails can be explored along the main path. An app to keep you on track is useful. This hike is fantastic for cardio!

8. David Boren Hiking Trail

12 miles / mix & match possibilities / out & back / difficult 🛑

This conglomeration of trails consists of 7 separate trails and can be combined in various ways, depending on your preferences. Those included and described below are:

  • South Park Trail
  • Beaver Creek Trail 
  • Deer Crossing Trail 
  • Cedar Bluff Nature Trail
  • Beaver Lodge Trail 
  • Skyline Trail 
  • Lookout Mountain Trail 

The trail does not loop. Expect spectacular views from ridges, through forests, and over creek beds. It’s a very popular combination of hikes! The trail name honors former Governor David Boren.

broken bow hiking

Recommended Nature Trails in Beavers Bend

9. Pine Ridge Trail

.75 mile / loop trail / about 15 min. / easy 🟢

This is a quick, easy trail. There is a small stream and lots of opportunities for seeing native animals and plants. It’s a great short hike for nature enthusiasts of all ages.

10. South Park Trail

About 1 mile long / out & back / about 30 min. / easy 🟢

The South Park Trail is one of the trails in the David Boren Hiking Trail. The trailhead begins by the Acorn campground at the southern end of the park. It has some hilly spots and stretches to Beaver Creek. It’s a peaceful, pretty trail. You can take it out and back or continue on down Lookout Mountain Trail or Beaver Creek Nature Trail.

11. Beaver Creek Trail

1 mile / out & back / about 30 min. / easy 🟢

The Beaver Creek Trail is mostly flat and begins near the Nature Center in Beavers Bend State Park. You can also access it off of the Tree Trail.  It follows the creek until it meets up with the South Park Trail.

12. Mountain Fork River Trail:

2.6 miles / out and back / about 50 min. / easy 🟢

South of Broken Bow Lake, this trail runs alongside the Mountain Fork River. It’s a pretty leisurely hike with shade and is pretty easy to follow. It has beautiful views of the river with ample opportunity for spotting wildlife. You might see woodpeckers, squirrels, deer, or eagles, to name a few.

view on Broken Bow hiking trail

Beavers Bend Lodge Hiking Trails

The Beavers Bend Lodge (previously known as Lakeview Lodge) resides on the edge of Broken Bow Lake. The area has a trail with 3 loops available close by for visitors to explore. Other Beavers Bend Park trails are on the other side of the river and are about 20+ minutes away from the lodge.

13. Lakeview Lodge Trail:

3.8 miles / 3-loop trail, about 1 hour & 20 min. / easy 🟢

The Lakeview Lodge Trail begins near Beavers Bend Lodge. The trail boasts beautiful views of the lake and is composed of 3 loops varying in length to fit your needs (short, medium, & full length).

It’s conveniently located near the lodge so residents can have quick access to a well-maintained hiking trail nearby. Watch out for occasional rocky patches and some hilly spots. A map app will help you stay on track on the trail.

Ouachita National Forest Hiking Trails

14. North Cedar Creek Waterfall Trail: 

.8 mile / out and back / about 15 min. / easy 🟢

This short hike is just north of the Cedar Creek Golf Course area in Beavers Bend State Park. The trail begins as a road. Expect rocky footing in places and possibly lots of mud. It’s best to go when there’s been plenty of rain or you might not see any waterfall flowing.

Follow the signs when you get to the creek to find the easiest way to cross it. It was difficult to find at first, but you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful waterfall at the end if rainfall has been adequate.

15. “Off-Road Hike” to Falls on Carnasaw Creek

Difficult 🛑

That’s our given name to it anyway.

Tucked amidst the Ouachita National Forest and Southeast of the Carnasaw Lookout Tower, these falls are along Carnasaw Creek, just south of Rock Pile Trail. We parked along the trail road and then hiked on foot through the forest until we found the falls along the creek.

We passed a baby water moccasin, lots of chiggers, steep inclines, rocky areas, and tall grass. However, the experience was more than worth it. We loved the adventure of finding an unmarked gem.

It would be a little more time-consuming since there’s no trail to follow. It’s a go-with-the-flow kind of exploration. Look for large rock boulders and the falls reside within them!

There are so many hidden surprises in the Beavers Bend, Hochatown, & Broken Bow areas, making perfect opportunities for exploration! (As long as it’s on public land.)

waterfall at carnasaw creek
hiking at carnasaw creek
hiking at carnasaw creek waterfall

Pro Tip: Dogs are usually welcome on hiking trails but must be on a leash.

Are There Waterfalls in Broken Bow?

There are some fantastic falls in the Beavers Bend State Park, Hochatown, and Broken Bow areas. You can see some on the trails mentioned earlier, but we’re listing a noteworthy one below.

Presbyterian Falls

One of the most famous falls in Beavers Bend State Park is Presbyterian Falls on the Mountain Fork River. You can rent kayaks from local companies to experience going over the falls firsthand! 

There is no designated parking place to get to the falls but you can hike to it on your own.  

📍 Google Maps: Presbyterian Falls

Are There Bears Near Broken Bow?

Yes, black bears are in Southeastern Oklahoma, but we’ve never seen one while there. If you see a bear, keep your distance and follow safety protocol. 

Things to Do While in the Hochatown, Beavers Bend, & Broken Bow Areas

Our top 5 favorite things to do besides hiking, while in the area are:

  • Dining: We are foodies. There are lots of great options, but Grateful Head Pizza in Hochatown is a favorite. It’s a local staple and has created quite a name for itself. It serves delicious pizza in a beautiful setting. We prefer their outdoor patio for seating, just because of the ambiance and atmosphere. Waits are to be expected. It’s pretty popular! 
  • Kayaking: If the weather and season allow, we love to kayak down the Lower Mountain Fork River. You can take 1-2 hour trips, or half-day trips, depending on your preferences. There are multiple companies to choose from.
  • Breweries & Wineries: Several have fun activities like cornhole and one-of-a-kind unique drink options to try.
  • Hochatown Rescue Center & Petting Zoo: Its purpose is to care for, rescue, and rehabilitate a variety of animals in need, as well as educate visitors about animal welfare and conservation.
  • Shopping: There are so many eclectic and quaint, incredible shops in Hochatown. 

Tips for Hiking in the Beavers Bend, Hochatown, & Broken Bow Area

  • Wear sturdy, waterproof hiking shoes.
  • Many trails are not marked well so be prepared with a map or an app. The Heritage Center is a wealth of information & has a good selection of maps available. Check them out!
  • Pack plenty of water, snacks, bug spray, a first aid kit, and sunscreen.
  • Leave no trace! Pick up any trash you bring and leave the area the way you found it.
  • Hike in pairs or groups. 
  • Take breaks as needed.
  • Layers of clothing, depending on the season
  • Hat or beanie, whichever is weather-appropriate
  • Travel games for picnics & breaks along the way

Wrap-Up: Best Beavers Bend & Broken Bow Hiking Trails 

Hiking in Beavers Bend State Park, Broken Bow, and the surrounding area is easily one of my favorite pastimes while visiting. We never have the same experience twice. There are always new elements to enjoy and take in.

The towering pines and deciduous hillsides provide the perfect landscape for both beginner and seasoned hikers. To top it off, the area’s steep ridgelines host some of the best scenic views in our state. Its varied terrain and opportunities for adventure are true gems for hikers and visitors alike. 

Looking for more hiking opportunities in Oklahoma? Check out another one of our experiences here.


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