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.

Length1.2 miElevation gain104 ftRoute typeLoop
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingCaveRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsRockyNo dogs
Description
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Getting There

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 (208)
Photos (107)
Recordings (155)
Completed (384)
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Lauren Gray-Zell
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HikingGreat!Muddy
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Ryan Petty
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Hiking
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Billie Anne Grigg
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Hiking

We did the trail twice today: The first circuit was Main Trail to Bluff Trail, and the second was the Woodland Fork and Main Trail. This trail is rated Easy, but there are some challenging bits even on the Main Trail (the Bluff Trail is definitely Moderate, bordering on Hard depending on experience.) Erosion - presumably exacerbated by increased trail usage over the past year - make for some tricky foot placement. The beauty of the area can’t be beaten, though. Get there early to avoid the crowds.

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tim elliott
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HikingGreat!

easy walking with some really cool rock formations

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Jeannie Eidschun
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Hiking

Pretty trail

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Daniel Martin
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Walking

Wonderful! This is well worth the trip from OKC. It's probably beautiful for 90% of the year.

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John White
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Hiking
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Sam Clinkenbeard
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Hiking
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Nicole Tipton
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Josie Martin
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HikingRocky
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Suzanne Caruso
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Hiking

So beautiful!!!

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Sandra Hackler
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Hiking

Enjoyed the scenery, trail and time with friends

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Livia Nishi
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Lindsey Hammond
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HikingRocky
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Deirdre Schneider
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Hiking

Short but fantastic trail.

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John White
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Adrea Green
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Hiking

Great trail for families! My children 6 and 9 loved it. Beautiful this time of year! Will definitely go back. I would love to see it in spring as well.

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Cherietta Swar
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Hiking

Some places could have been marked better, but it's a fun little hike.

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Jenna Igarta Louderback
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Hiking

Such a fun hike and the kids love going! Beautiful scenery this time of year!

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Carla Engel
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. Short and a little rugged. Mostly shaded. Lots of places to explore. Also, a little crowded. But it’s worth it.

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Nicole Tipton
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Austin Bailey
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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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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
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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
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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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