Hiking Lake Thunderbird, Norman, OK

Saturday, a group of people from First Presbyterian’s Troop 15 took a very pleasant 10.3 mile hike at Lake Thunderbird. The hike had a couple purposes. First, it was an opportunity for some of our Scouts to get a 10-mile hike for the Hiking Merit Badge, and it was also a chance for people headed out to a backpacking trip at summer camp to get some trail time in with their loaded backpack.

The trail network is in the Clear Bay area of Lake Thunderbird. A trail map is here. The photos from the hike are here.

We got started about 0830, and got done at 1300. We were moving right along! The trails here are maintained by the Earthbike Fellowship, but are available for hiking. These trails are wonderful! Here is a great example:

There are three trailheads that I know of. These connect to a series of linked loop trails. The trailhead has a head, a couple shelters, but no water immediately available. There is water a several places in the park nearby for certain.

We started off at a trailhead across from the stables. This puts you on the Green trail. This connects to the Yellow and then the Red trail. Eventually, you get to the Blue trail, which is a longish trail that runs eventually over the high point of the trail system and along the lakeshore. The trail is singletrack, but it is quite wide. Most of it is packed dirt, but there are plenty of rocks and roots. Occasionally the trail is sand-covered. 95% of the trail we were on is tree-covered. There isn’t a lot of low underbrush. This all made for some really nice walking.

At about Mile 6, we got to the north trailhead, which is by Clear Bay Cafe. We had our lunch under some trees, and the Cafe was kind enough to let us refill our water bottles from the hose outside. It was about this point the batteries in my GPS ran out. Oh well.

We came back a different route. Back at the trailhead, we took a right, and an immediate left, to get onto the Red trail. We followed it backwards to the intersection with the Blue trail, and the followed the track backwards to the trailhead.

Here are the topo, terrain, and altitude maps.

There is still a lot of hiking there. The Gold trail by itself is another 10 miles.

We saw a total of three other groups of two or three riding bikes. No hikers. The trail is excellent. Recommended.

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