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Red Bud Valley Oxley Nature Trail is a 1.2 mile heavily 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, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length 1.2 mi Elevation gain 104 ft Route type Loop
Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Cave River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Rocky No dogs
Description
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Getting There

This trail is experiencing partial closure due to COVID-19. Please visit his website for details on when they are open (limited hours): https://www.oxleynaturecenter.org/ The trail begins at the parking lot and goes west up the steep slope. From the top of the rock outcrop, the trail winds through a stunted woodland of Post Oak, Blackjack Oak and scattered Texas Hickory. Soon you will 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 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. Here you will find much more cactus and many grasses and flowers typical of a dry prairie habitat. Eventually the two forks rejoin at the top of The Ravine. 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. Not far is a good size cave, and after that, an active spring 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. 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.

The area is open Wednesdays though Sundays from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. You may not hop the fence when the Nature Preserve is closed: on Mondays, Tuesdays, city holidays, before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. The gates are locked promptly at 5:00 p.m., so plan your activities accordingly. The Harriet Barclay Visitor's Center is open from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Restrooms, picnic tables and drinking water are available in the shelter adjacent to the visitor's center from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. . Please picnic only in this area. The small gravel parking lot can hold several school buses or about 20 cars.

Phone: 918-669-6644 Website: http://www.oxleynaturecenter.org/redbud.htm

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

To get to Redbud Valley Nature Preserve from Tulsa take Highway 244 or Highway 44 east toward Joplin. Exit at 161st East Avenue, which is exit #237. As you come down the exit ramp, move to the left lane. At the stop sign at the bottom of the ramp, turn left, which is north. At this point you are actually on 163rd East Avenue. Go under the highway to the 2nd stop sign, and turn left again (if you don't turn left here, you will go into the parking lot for Bruce's Texaco Truck Stop.) Go to the 3rd stop sign, which is at the corner of the truck stop's parking area, and turn right. That will put you going north on 161st East Avenue. At the stop sign at Pine Street, continue straight. At the stop sign at Tiger Switch Road, go straight again. Cross two very rough railroad tracks, and continue north. The road will descend into a wooded valley, and will cross two small bridges. Look for a sign on the left saying "Nature Preserve Entrance 500 feet". The entrance to the small parking area is on the left. It is neither legal nor safe to park along the county road outside the gates. To get to Redbud Valley Nature Preserve from Catoosa take 193rd East Avenue north toward the Port of Catoosa. At the traffic light at Pine Street, continue straight (north). On the other side of the big hill, watch for an intersection. On the east side of the road is a school. The sign on the west side of the road says "Redbud Drive". Turn left onto Redbud Drive. (If you end up crossing Bird Creek, or at the Port of Catoosa, you missed the turn!) Go west and north on Redbud Drive for 4 twisty miles. The entrance to Redbud Valley Nature Preserve will be on the right.

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Reviews (169)
Photos (74)
Recordings (120)
Completed (314)
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Austin Bailey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020
Hiking

Awesome little trail. Well marked, even in the rockier parts. Some really fun outcrops to explore and climb around in. No dogs allowed but great for kids or families. A must see in the Tulsa area in my opinion.

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Max NG
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HikingRocky
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Phillip Bassett
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This is a short trail, but can offer some elevation changes. Most hikers will probably feel the need to go multiple times.

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Amy Davis
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HikingClosed

Currently closed due to Covid

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Serena Ryan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 17, 2020
Hiking

Super fun trail to hike with the whole family!! It was PACKED the day we went but we really enjoyed it!

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brittany reeve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 29, 2020

Our favorite weekend hike!! Lots of little caves, and hidden adventures everywhere you look! muddy from the rain!

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Kelly Thomas
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Hiking

Only open Friday through Sunday

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Jessica Cox
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HikingBridge out

Short trail but lots of routes and rocky parts. Keeps it challenging.

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Jason Byler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 29, 2020
HikingRocky

Nice weather trails not to muddy. Some places couldn’t tell where trails backside of bluff trail. In all love it with the nice view of the valley.

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KJ Byler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 29, 2020
HikingRocky

Loved it. Great views and good well maintained trial. Only problem was minor. Parts of bluff trail wasn’t very clearly marked along the back side. Enjoyed the adventure.

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Katie Gallagher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 24, 2020
Hiking

Awesome little trail for children. We do it twice to hit both upper and lower trails.

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Daniel Welch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 22, 2020
Hiking

Great trail for children who like to climb on rocks. My kids had a blast.

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Kerri Montgomery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 16, 2020
Hiking

Great for kids and families. There are some harder rocks to climb if you are older or have children under 5. Overall, easy trail. It took us 2.5 hours with 6 children and 4 adults. We stopped to rest twice. Really beautiful and the kids loved it.

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Patty Bentley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 15, 2020
HikingBridge out

Love this trail. Beautiful, serene, just perfect for a quick hike!

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Micah Sandlin
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HikingBridge outRocky
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Anabel Jones
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HikingBridge out

I've been going to this trail for 20 years, I grew up hiking this great little loop with my mom all seasons of the year. I think it is awesome in winter because there is less traffic and is so quiet and serene during this time. Great trail to take kids to teach them about how to be safe in nature without it being an unmanageable hike for little ones. A bunch of cool rock formations for the area and a nice flatland prairie after the first little uphill. A few large overhangs you can sit under and enjoy your time.

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Cyndi Berg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 30, 2019
Hiking

Parts of the trail are more challenging so I would disagree with the 'easy' descriptor. Despite that I loved the area and the trails are well maintained.

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Marcus Fields
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HikingBugsMuddy
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Ashton Gunter
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Hiking

Really liked this trail! Great views and streams.

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Daniel Stines
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Hiking

I can’t understand why people rate this beautiful trail 1 star because no dogs are allowed. People this is the Redbud Nature preserve..... operative wording is “Nature preserve”. Meaning it’s a refuge for local animals. Dogs aren’t allowed because they defecate on the trail which scares away white tail deer and other woodland creatures. This park is meant to immerse yourself in nature not to tromp through with your dog.

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Logan Kopp
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 4, 2019
Hiking

No dogs allowed. Trash everywhere. Not safe for kids.

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Bryan Burch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 7, 2019
Hiking

super easy trail, taken kids multiple times, great small place, also enjoy it, stopped going because no dogs allowed

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Blake Brannon
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Bridge outMuddy
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Rebecca Marler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2018
Hiking

LOVE this park! We have lived here 20 years and the first time we've visited was today because I usually go Oxley at Mohawk Park. This can be a challenging trail if you are used to the flat ones that Oklahoma typically has. In some areas this is more like Beavers Bend State Park or Robbers Cave State Park in terms of elevation and terrain. Some very interesting bluffs with caves, a small meadow area and another strip that is most likely boggy during rainy times. We were there at mid afternoon and only heard birds and saw some deer tracks. If you went early or later you might have a better chance of seeing wildlife but be aware gates close at 5 p.m. Signage does need to be updated but we found our way around with no problem. Just look for where the path is man made (steps is a big tip off). Water runoff and storms has taken down a big tree down at the bluff area but you can easily squeeze through and get back onto the trail. The area is very quiet and w.o a lot of foot traffic (we arrived at noon on a Sunday in August) - unlike Oxley at MP and Ray Harral Nature Center where you will be constantly bumping into people and their dogs. BTW love that there is NO DOGS because I'm tired of dog people bringing their animals, not cleaning up their poop, and letting them off leash.

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Karissa Church
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2018
Hiking

Beautiful scenery, did it with my 3 year old son and I’m pregnant. Took the wrong trail at times so I had to backtrack, they need to update the signs because 90% of them are broken. But such a fun and beautiful hike with birds singing, my son saw lots of bright lizards as well.

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Alison Ethridge
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No dogs allowed is an automatic one star.

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Paula McCutchan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 17, 2018
Hiking

Took the family last month. Great short hike. Good for younger kids. Well maintained trail.

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