Oklahoma "Ankle Express" Trail is a 12.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Braggs, OK that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Tucked away in the hills of eastern Oklahoma, Greenleaf State Park offers spectacular scenery and is a family-friendly state park. The park includes Lake Greenleaf as well as cabins, campgrounds, family recreation facilities and nature hiking trails. The trail is designed for overnight backpacking, however day hikers/bicyclists also enjoy it. This 18 mile loop crosses uneven terrain with some steep grades and rock surfaces. The south loop is easier while the north loop is primitive and more difficult with technical and rocky sections.
I enjoyed the trail as I have not been to Greenleaf State Park in a number of years. Campgrounds are clean and friendly. Although, you should have a "camp shovel" with you to remove the ash from the fire pits around the tent camping sites.
The ankle express trail does need some maintenance as there is some debris across the trail. Usually volunteer groups help with trail maintenance. My son and I only hiked (according to my pace count) 10 Km of the trail. From the trail head to the swinging bridge 4.5 Km, and then we hiked to the "2 mile" marker / post, and turned around.
I did use some trail marking tape to establish the 100 meter pace marker's & informed some of the other hikers of its use. Overall, the trail is in good condition but needs maintenance. Also, I saw too many family hikers ill equipped having no additional water or trail snacks. As with any expedition, failure to plan accordingling can cost you dearly. Be advised to always carry a survival kit with you on the trail.
using west side of trail to mary's cove was fun. well marked and very few trees or debris. cutting across to east side of lower trail was difficult due to many downed trees and inadequately marked trail. finally got to west side of lower trail only to find many trees down and once again very poor blazed trail due to many trees down. we ended up backtracking the trail and leaving by the west trail because we were unable to safely proceed down the east side of the lower trail called the park and ask if anyone had walked the trail after the severe storms we had several months ago and was informed that no one had hiked the trail after the wind storms. just seems like it wouldn't cost much to have someone hike the trail after storms and assess damage done to trails in hopes that the trails were safe for all levels of hikers i am not trying to be critical of the hard working people that help all of us to enjoy our state parks but there was alot of damage done to the lower part of this trail by oklahoma storms.. hard job and probably not alot of money. just please get the blazes and the trail looked at after storms?? some people do this trail as their first attempt at backpacking and it isn't an easy trail to follow at this time.
The trail was fairly well-marked and easy to follow from trailhead to the Mary's Cove primitive campground on the west side of the south loop, albeit due to a well-trodden path. Campers I met at Mary's Cove campground mentioned that doing the north loop at this time would be very difficult due to fallen trees that had still not been cleaned up. Plus, it was getting late, so I opted for the cut-through and back down the east side of the south loop. This too proved very challenging, because many trees were down and appeared to have been down for over a year. I ended up getting lost (again due to downed trees and rare markers) but was lucky to find the #11 mile marker, where the east part of the loop restarts. From there I proceeded south, getting lost again even before #12 mile marker. I ended up venturing back west and rejoined the west branch of the south loop. and simply retraced my steps. I would rate the trail itself as "easy" but only 2 stars for the poor signage, multiple downed trees, and overgrown areas. I certainly expected better from a state park where the trail claims to be maintained by the "Oklahoma Ankle Express". There's nothing express about the clean-up and maintenance of this trail. On the positive, I managed to get in a great cardio workout going 12 miles in total (per my Samsung Gear Fit 2). Especially due to the areas overgrown with tall grasses, I would recommend long hiking pants with good hiking boots and tick repellent.
nice trail, but lots of trees across the trails and lots of seed ticks.
Well marked to the swinging bridge. Will visit again and go beyond the bridge to explore the entire 18 miles.
Hiked 3-4 miles out and back from the park side. Not a hard trail to hike. Oklahoma mountain bikers might consider it technical. I was bored with it. Overgrown with only a few views of the lake. Trail dumps you out on the highway where you walk over the bridge and then pick the trail back up again on the other side. Bug spray is a must. Horse flies, chiggers, the works. Just wasn't a fan of this one.
Awesome trail, I got to do the whole thing. I would recommend wearing a hat for the bugs. They loved to dive bomb me in the head. Also, there's a lot of thorny brush especially on the east side of both loops so pants are a must.
excellent trail, the south loop, in my opinion, is well maintained and easy to follow especially the west leg from the bridge to Mary's cove. We did the tail ccw and did the east leg to the primitive camp first which is fairly strenuous. There is plenty of water along the trail. and some great panoramic views. All in All will definitely do it again.
Went hiking/camping. It was great!!
Beautiful weather and scenery. We enjoyed seeing the dam and spillway, and crossing the suspension bridge. We brought our dog here for her 5th birthday and she had a great hike! We enjoyed it so much we are thinking of coming back to camp. The walk across the highway bridge was a little confusing but we jogged it to avoid too much traffic.
Quite a few hikers out today. Water crossings were dry. I recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise so you're fresh for the hill climbs as the east side of the loop is more strenuous. Lost the trail a couple times due to fallen trees and an abundance of leaves in the northeastern part of the loop ( I went clockwise which made it more difficult to spot the trail while ascending). Actual mileage from TH in the State Park was 13 miles.
We did an over night trip, 5 star for sure unless your name is Nate Moseley
When hiking with boys (cub scout to boy scout age) there needs to be a since of adventure and 'danger.' This trail, even the hike to the bridge and back is fun. Keep in mind during Youth Deer Gun Season, Muzzleloader season, etc the WMA access is closed. We also camped for a few nights at the state park and had a blast. The park was very busy, but it didn't interfere with our fun.
I forgot to mention the snake I saw swimming at the bridge was a moccasin, so keep that in mind if you decide to go near the water.
I love this trail. From the main trail head to the swinging bridge is about 5.5 miles, and you have to walk on the highway for a small portion of it. Just watch for the blue blazes and arrows. if you go past the swinging bridge the trail gets a bit more grown over in areas. I usually wear pants for that reason, and also the fact that I've gotten poison ivy every time I've been on this trail. So watch for that. If you do find some, there is also jewelweed right on the trail to apply anywhere that might have come into contact with the urushiol. The trail is mostly shaded in the summertime.
In 5 or 6 visits to this trail I have seen a deer, bobcat, wild boar, a snake swimming in the lake, & lots of squirrels and frogs.
My wife and I hiked this trail from the Trailhead to the swinging bridge and back to the trailhead on Saturday July 11. We got a late start so the swinging bridge was as far as we went. the trail is well marked and maintained . We saw one deer and several squirrels. Looking forward to going back in the Fall or Winter when its Cooler and a lot less people.