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I consider this more of a walk than hike. Quick, easy, and informative historic sites.

The road was closed so we hiked the 1.5 mile to the trailhead but honestly it was just lackluster. It was all gravel access roads.

I was a little disappointed with this trail. I hiked the Rough Canyon Tail before and even though it was a much shorter hike, it was more enjoyable.

This was stated in another review but I will say it too: "Don’t use the trail maps provided by the State Park they are in no way accurate with the trails." I started at Deep Ford Campground and followed the blue blazes. I was very quickly off from the state park map. Blazes were easy to spot and follow though so I continued on. Took me to the Lake Carlton overlooks but I never got close to Lake Wayne Wallace so my way back, I attempted to stick more to the state park map. Following the yellow blazes (horse trail) kept me closer to the lake but even those did not follow the state park map. It did get me to a very nice overlook over Lake Wayne Wallace but I got turned around in a few places and had to bushwack a few times to get back to the blue blazes or I would of ended up on the wrong side of the lake and nowhere near my car.

Regardless, that is not the reason for my low rating. I don't mind getting a little lost. The trail was loud - walking near Lake Carlton, you can hear the highway the entire time. The overlooks were not that great in the sense that you never really felt completely surrounded by nature. You could see the campgrounds, cars, bridges, buildings...

Total at the end was 8.6 miles for me.

Really enjoyed this hike. Most of it was smooth, prime place for fall foliage. We got off track according to the app and climbed a very steep ridge to find the primitive trail. That section is everything that previous posters have said. There is an 8ish foot drop off a bluff that was covered in moss and very slick. We made it, and had a good time, but I’d advise treating this hike as an out and back. Hike to the turn off to the river, then turn around and head back to the trail head.

My husband and I had so much fun on this trail! There are plenty of large boulders to climb and see amazing views, rock formations, and two waterfalls. We took our time with this trail because we were enjoying going off the trail and doing our own thing.
There are multiple places where the trail is a little difficult to follow, and the trail map doesn't help a whole lot. Also, there are some places that would be very challenging for elderly people or children. Overall, so much fun!

From the trailhead at 270 to about half mile past the pond, is good and open trail. Past that it was walking through the woods. About 2 miles worth. Briars everywhere, maybe cause it was the end of summer, but I haven’t cussed that much in forever. Dwarf oaks were cool though. I finally made it to the peak. If I ever go back, it’ll be when the forest is thinner. Like spring.

I started later in the day I wanted to...it got hot out there! I started from Sunset and took the trail south all the way to the Post Oaks trailhead. The trail was easy to follow to the boulder field and I saw two deer on the way. I didn’t realize there is supposed to be a trail around the right (west) side of the boulder field so I climbed over the boulders in the way down the trail. If you’re not careful you can slip and fall and get hurt, so make sure you stay within your abilities.

Once I left the boulder field the trail started to become hard to follow at times. There are a few side trails and no markings at all. I had a tool map and limited gps reception on my phone, so once I ended up off course for a way I would backtrack and find the right path. That turned out to be the theme of the day. I saw what I assume to be parts of a buffalo skeleton in a small creek. Once I neared the Post Oak falls the trail(s) kind of went all over the place. I knew if I continued to follow the creek downstream I would end up at the other trailhead.

Overall, this is a rewarding hike and it offers unique opportunities that you won’t get in other parts of Oklahoma. Make sure you’re familiar with the trail before you start and keep an eye out for the landmarks to remember where you’re headed!

Nice trail. Gorgeous view.

You would think your in Colorado. Great views, rock formations.

trail is very overgrown with underbrush. many fallen trees. I'd rate this trail as hard. Made it to 1/4 mile from the end and couldn't continue unless we felt like rock climbing or had brought a machete. Other than that a fun hike. Spanish Cave was cool but riddled with graffiti.

walking
3 months ago

This easy hike/wall has spectacular views! Take a side trail up the meadow for breathtaking views and to see thousands of butterflies. The top of the hike reminds me of The Sound of Music.

hiking
3 months ago

Very enjoyable.

Attempted to make a 2 mike hike in and set up for the night but had to get hundreds of deer ticks off immediately after stopping to set up. Not exactly the trails fault but I don’t think it is traveled enough for there to not be a problem with ticks. Had good hills right away which seemed very promising!

Pretty decent hike. Your back side will definitely feel it. Great scenery, best hike in OK so far. Overall, great adventure.

backpacking
4 months ago

At the beginning of the trail, it's pretty straight forward and easy to follow, but once you make the turn off to go on to the actual Black Fork trail, there are no more blazes to mark the trail. Not far past this turn, you come up to a shelter, but it's not technically on the trail. Just before you make it to the shelter, someone has marked the path with red ribbon on a few trees. This was the only way we were able to find the path from here. The path is easy to follow from there until you get to the end of the "U" (its the "V" on AllTrails). We completely lost the trail there even after heavily relying on the Ouachita National Forest Map I got on Avenza Maps.

The trail is heavily overgrown in parts with thorny vines that were not fun to get through. I don't know if we were more focused on trying to stick to the trail, but we also never found the vistas that were the main reason we planned to do this hike. Maybe we just missed something, I don't know...

I do not recommend this trail at all because of the vines and the trail being so hard to follow. Definitely more of a frustrating hike than we were wanting.

Trail is clearly marked! There are a few dry creek crossings where the trail is a little tricky to spot though. Make sure to grab a stick to knock down spider webs if you go in the morning.

nature trips
5 months ago

Fun hike. Recommend having the Ouachita Trail map from Backcountry Maps. It shows the lookout locations and more detail on the trail.

The scenic view is about 2.5 miles in from the trailhead. There are very few blazes, but this part of the trail is pretty easy to follow. There is a vertical post (sign missing) just before the overlook. You will see some tumbled rocks on the left that lead to boulders you can climb on. Worth the view even if this is as far as you get.

The remaining trail can be hard to see in some places. Periodic rock tumbles require you pick your way and find the trail on the other side. Helpful hikers have stacked rock piles to ease the way, but it’s still easy to miss the trail in places.

After the big U in the trail (looks like a V in AllTrails), you descend to a lower trail on the ridge. This also continues to the east (not shown on the map) so mark where you join the trail after the U. This will keep you from continuing on the lower trail upon your return.

The trail was very well kept even if it was early in the season. Bit cold and windy when I went but it made the boulder hopping a lot more fun that way. Gorgeous views!

Challenging fun rocky rewarding hike

Really enjoyed this trail. The nice lady in the gift shop had lots of great info about the various trails. There are dogwood trees everywhere and they are gorgeous right now.

Started at Sunset TH. Nice trail, especially for the hike down the Valley of the Boulders (where you'll also find the 'Apple & Pear'). Before the Valley trail is very obvious. Arriving at the boulders search for the trail at the right hillside (don't start to scramble down the boulders). After the Valley the trail sometimes gets less well defined in certain spots. Follow main trail till parking lot at southern end of trail (various spur trails here). Crab Eyes was part of the trail, I made it just below the eye catching rock.

This is one of my favorite trails- I love the boulder valley and the views when you get to the lakes. Definitely lacks a little in signage in several places. I always orient to the Apple and Pear rock formation just in case!

Beautiful hike, but signage was awful and nonexistent in some spots. We started from the southern trailhead, and the trail disappears almost immediately over the rocks. Find the easiest way down and you should be able to figure out where the trail picks up from there. The trail forks not long after that with no signage to indicate which way is which (there was a wooden post that may have been a sign at one point) - after some backtracking and head-scratching, we figured out the left fork is the main trail and the right joins back up to the main trail at some point, but is much more strenuous and hard to follow. At this point we came across a dead bison right alongside the trail that smelled like it had been there for a couple days at least. Not long after the main trail comes to another fork with no signs. Not sure where the left fork goes, but we went right and that ended up being the correct way. Very soon after that is another intersection that confused us for a long time. The rightmost trail goes to Post Oak Falls and the main trail continues along the creek, with another third trail branching off between the two that wasn't marked and we didn't explore but seemed to go up the ridge above the creek. The main trail seems to dead-end at a small trickling waterfall that may be confused as Post Oak Falls (we did at first), but you actually have to climb over the waterfall to continue the trail- I can see where this might confuse and turn away some hikers. The trail is a little hard to follow here but just continue along the creek until the trail becomes easier to see. There was another sign in this area that was broken and swinging around on one pole, so we had no idea which way it was supposed to be facing- you should be able to see Crab Eyes from here, just head in that direction into the boulder field. This was the funnest part of the hike, with a lot of small caves to explore. You have to scramble for a bit to continue along the trail, and try to remember where you exited as it's not clear on the way back. The trail after this was easy and well-marked all the way to the Sunset Trailhead.

Great trail and the boulder climbs were awesome. I recommend gloves if you're going to enjoy the boulders.

We got lost while on the top so we ended up coming down this trail on our way back and it was fantastic. Definitely would recommend this to anyone who wants a good workout.

We took Mountain Trail which is fairly well marked most of the way but once you pass all the bluffs and begin to descend down toward the lake it gets horribly confusing. There are tons of unmarked trail signs out there that are horse trails. Don’t use the trail maps provided by the State Park they are in no way accurate with the trails. However, the views are wonderful and there are plenty of restrooms about the trail head and along the service road.

Great hike, wasn’t hard to follow until we got to the rocks but if you keep going the trail is easy to pick up again, highly recommend this hike

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