North Anadarche Trail -Lake Murray State Park is a 6.3 mile out and back trail located near Ardmore, OK and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.
Deep hardwood forests, beautiful views and several lake crossings The trail head is located at the entrance to Dukes Forest Camping area in Lake Murray State Park. Park on the side of the road since parking/driving on any unpaved surface is prohibited in the park. The marking for the trailhead is small so be careful not to drive past it (hint-use your GPS). Trail is narrow in most places and meanders through heavily wooded areas. For the most part, the trail conforms to the Lake Murray shoreline and the lake is often visible as the trail crosses it in several places via footbridges. Wildlife viewing is optimal in early morning/late afternoon. Trail is great for night hiking! I saw deer, coyotes and fox during my night hike with my Petzl head lamp. Great trail to bring a small packable fly rod along since lake access is good and fishing in Lake Murray is incredible. Keep a watchful eye out for MTB's since the trail is shared with our mountain biking brethren and is very popular. Pack water as none is offered at trail head.
Good running trail. Not much traffic.
Pretty hard wood forest next to the lake. Some fallen trees across the path. Minimal trash on the trail.
Good trail for a quick ride when on a time crunch. It would be great if they would do a better job marking the trail. though there are quite a few fun obstacles.
Certain times of the year you can see deer. Parts are primative and easy to lose the trail
, but it's a beautiful lake.
I started at the north trail head on the west branch by the ranger station. I will say this, the trail is great. It starts off slow, but once past the pecan grove, the trail is excellent. There were some great scenic views, excellent switchbacks, climbs, descents, and challenging rock gardens. there is something for everyone and all skill levels.
I saw some previous posts regarding bugs and this wasnt an issue. I also saw postsregarding the trail maintenance. There were a few fallen trees, but I thougjt of these as obstacles. The only maintenance issue was leaves, but its "winter" so it is par for the course and I considered it fine.
My main criticism is that the trail is poorly marked besides yellow mile markers once off the trail heads. It was so bad for example at certain splits in the trail someone went through and hand wrote on plastic sheets and zip tied to posts "long way, short way" or "easy way, hard way". A few sign posts on the trail would make the trail a 5 star.
The race loop was great! I also ran into two biker groups from ardmore who were extremely nice and helpful. Overall great ride.
As of this year, the park system worked with the Cartography department of ECU Oklahoma and the trails have been remapped with much greater detail. The new maps have been posted at trail heads and the State Park Office is working on providing the same map in booklet form.
Due to the drought, many of the areas along the eastern shore are dry where there used to be marshes. Kinda sad to see.
Awesome trail for biking. Has some challenging Rock climbs for the novice rider and great forest trails. Very fun ride.
These trails are great. They offer some great jumps, drops and other obstacles. The trails flow well with few switchbacks. The only bas thing about these trails is that they are not the best marked. There are many off shoots from the main trail and none of them say where they lead. Plus, the trail map is almost pointless because it doesn't show any detail. But as long as you stick to the main trail you should be fine. There are a few hard climbs but it's mostly fast downhill or flat. The are definetly some of the best trails in southern Oklahoma.
My brother and I took the trail just a few days ago and enjoyed what parts we could hike. We started at the north entrance (North Anadarche trailhead located just a few hundred feet from the Lake Murray Park Office) and took the 1.92mi "hiking" trail as indicated on the map at the trailhead (there was a shorter 1.4mi "cycling" trail, but we wanted the one for hikers.. turns out the MTBers use all of the trails regardless of indicated use).
The Pecan Grove picnic area was where both trails ended and a separate "Pecan Grove trail" ran from the picnic area to the North boat ramp. The picnic area doesn't provide water (as far as we could tell), but did provide a restroom stop. The Pecan Grove Trail ran another 0.78mi before we had to head back due to time constraints. We look forward to doing the Duke's Campground trail next year as it is 5mi with a 1mi return by the "cycling" trail.
Total distance on our hike was 5.17mi (2.06mi for the N. Anadarche hiking trail, 0.88mi for the Pecan Grove trail, 0.84mi return by main road to the picnic area and 1.39mi back the N. Anadarche cycling trail). We were passed by 3 mountain bikers and saw no other hikers. The hike ran from 1:25pm to 4:15pm.
Note that the previous review mentioned fallen trees. We saw a few places where the path was redirected around fallen trees and heavy overgrowth (which may explain the slightly different distances per my Garmin watch) and there was no obstacles when we hiked it.
(I can't edit this trail entry, but a map of where the Anadarche and Buckhorn trails are located can be found here: http://www.outdoorsok.com/General/Map/Murray . All other trails can be found on very basic maps provided by the Park Office.)