Red Bud Valley Oxley Nature Trail is a 1.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Catoosa, Oklahoma that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
--Numbers refer to features noted on the trail map-- Besides some very basic improvements, we have left the trails rough and rugged. They are steep in places, rocky in others, and frequently muddy and slick after rain. Use extra caution as you walk through the area. We encourage you to stay on the trails. The soil on the top is very thin and excess traffic causes long-term damage. On the hillsides, erosion is a problem, especially where people short-cut between trail sections. Currently, the main trail system at Redbud Valley consists of one loop trail, approximately one mile in length. The trail is steep and rugged in spots, and is faint or braided in others. The trail can be very rough in a few areas. Use caution and be sure of your footing, especially on slopes. The trail begins at the parking lot (1) and goes west up the steep slope. From the top of the rock outcrop (2), the trail winds through a stunted woodland of Post Oak, Blackjack Oak and scattered Texas Hickory. Soon you will begin to notice scattered Prickly Pear Cactus in the clearings. There is Fragrant Sumac throughout this area, and a few small trees of Chittamwood, or Gum Bumelia. The trail forks (3) at which point you may decide whether you want to choose the Prairie Fork or the Woodland Fork. Either trail will lead you to the same spot. The Woodland Fork winds through a forested area, while the Prairie Fork will take you through a section where the soil is so thin that few trees grow. (If this is your first visit, we recommend the Prairie Fork.) Here you will find much more cactus and many grasses and flowers typical of a dry prairie habitat. Look carefully for the small Mammalaria cactus found here, as well as for Yucca. Other interesting plants in this area are Smoke Tree and Deciduous Holly. This are is sometimes burned as a management tool. Eventually the two forks rejoin at the top of The Ravine (4).This break in the cliff allows the trail to drop down to the base of the cliff face. The environment here is radically different from the uplands, being cooler and much more moist. Notice that several types of fern grow on the limestone rocks. In spring you may find Columbine growing here. Turn right at the base of The Ravine (5). Not far is a good size cave, and after that, an active spring (6) emerges from the base of the cliff and feeds the ponds below. If the weather has been dry, the spring may produce barely a trickle, but after a good rain, the spring will run with surprising force. Look for Sugar maples which are common in this area. You will pass several more small caves before the trail begins to drop down the hillside to the bottom of the slope (7). Just past the bottom of the hill the Bluff Trail begins, an alternate and rugged route back to near the parking lot, following the limestone ridge. Climbing up above the bluff and taking "shortcuts" down the hillside kills rare plants and causes erosion. From the bottom of the hill, the main trail wanders through the flood-plain of Bird Creek, in a habitat much more typical of northeastern Oklahoma. Still, the hillside to the south has unusual plants, especially Dutchman's Breeches, which can proliferate in early spring. The trail winds around large limestone blocks which have slipped to the bottom of the hill. One of these is now surrounded by trees and large grape vines. (This section can be very muddy in wet weather.) The trail continues around the hill and returns to the parking lot (8). Also, Snakes are not uncommon. Most are non-venomous, but copperheads have been found here, and rattlesnakes are possible. On the uplands, tarantulas and scorpions live among the rocks. The area can also have an abundance of ticks in season, and of course, chiggers, wasps and bees are common. Certain trail portions have some poison ivy. None of these things should deter you from visiting, but you need to be aware that they are here and take appropriate precautions
Loved this short hike. The place is definitely a hidden gem. Hiked this with my 3 year old in early December and he really enjoyed it as well. First part of the trail goes through woods, there's some open fields as well. Second half goes through rocks and caves. This was my son's favorite part.
Lots of wildlife to view on the trail. I like to bike in this area to avoid vehicles. It is not located in the best part of town so be aware especially if alone.
Short hike for the family. They have some caves and rocks,so wear good shoes and maybe walking stick. Also they have odd times they are open so might check when they are open before you go. We saw some dear on the boardwalk. They also have bathrooms and picnic table.
Nice little hike, but some trails I would say are not suitable for all.
Very quiet. I would usually walk before noon and there were only a few others there, and you never really saw them aside from in the parking lot. Great views and many trails.
Very peaceful and random beautiful place that many don't know of.
It was amazing! Just break some rules, and it's an amazing trail!
They don't allow dogs. Lame.
Sooooo much fun great family fun.... Pretty cool rock climbing kinda easy but still family friendly
Just be prepared to have your mosquito repellent on! We went right after a rain so trail was muddy & mosquitos were out. Other then that it's a great little hike. The bluffs were fun to explore :-))
It certainly isn't the Ozarks or Ouachita but it's a great little trail for being right in our backyard. We'll worth the ride out.
This was pure bliss, there's hardly anyone, its super easy, This was my first trail 10/10
This was such a great place to hike around with beautiful scenery. We were fortunate enough to see a group of water moccasins, geese, turtles, fish, and a few beaver dams. The nature center at the trail head was very informational with a map and held regular classes for those interested in the surrounding wildlife.
Very nice little trail. Perfect weekend outing.
needs more parking. but it's a nice place to just get out of town and walk.