Yesterday I led a group of Scouts from BSA Troop 15 on a 10.15 mile hike at Lake Arcadia, in Edmond, OK. This hike had two purposes: it was a shakedown for some of the folks that are going on a five-day backpacking trip in July to the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico, and it was an opportunity for the Scouts to earn one of the five required 10-mile hike segments for their Hiking Merit Badge (something I think every Scout should earn).
We got started about 0820 and got off the trail at 1320. That works out to about 2 miles per hour overall, including walking, breaks, and lunch. The temp was around 75F when we started, and 97F when we got off the trail. Significant sweating was had by all!
We started at the Dam/Project Office trailhead. There is parking there, and a nice walk to an overlook for the lake, but I don’t think there is water there, so fill up before you start. There is water at several places on the trail. There is a fee to hit the trail: $2 on weekdays, and $3 on weekends, per person.
Here is our hike path on a topo and terrain.
The trail has several places where it will split. We generally took the red segments outbound, and the blue segments inbound (or vice versa, whatever). The trail is mostly in shade on the eastern parts, and has some open areas on the western part.
As you walk west, you cross a road but there isn’t anything there. The second road you cross is right by an entrance fee station. The station sells ice and drinks and stuff. There is a water spigot right where the trail emerges, so that’s a place to fill up if you need to.
Proceeding west, you walk through the rolling terrain under cover, with 2nd Street/Route 66 to your right. The trail crosses the third road here. There is water down by the RV station.
Now you are mainly hiking in the Sun, and it was pretty hot yesterday. Sunscreen is needed for certain. Eventually you turn more south, and come back under cover at Opossum Hollow. The trail bends SE at this point, and runs into Spring Creek.
The last time I was on this trail was with Ians Cub Scout Den. It’s been a while. There used to be a bridge over Spring Creek, but I couldn’t see anything that looked like a bridge. I just quite a bit of Google Earth review, and so I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a water crossing. The water looked to be about 18 in deep. I suspect that later on in the summer, this area is probably dry.
We turned back at this point, at almost exactly the five-mile point. We had lunch under a shady area back to the west, then headed back. We took the opposite trails coming back. One of the turns leads back through the primitive camping area of Arcadia Lake. The trail passes a head, and has a very low-flow water spigot here. You are fairly near the main part of the lake here.
The rest of the hike was pretty much walk it out. It was starting to get hot, and the breeze had died off, so we were all sweating. The last segment gets to within about 20 yards of the lake, and so goes down in altitude a bit, but then you turn around and walk back up again shortly. The drop and gain is about 50 feet each.
Everyone was glad to see the parking lot again. 10 miles is quite a bit for most anyone, especially adults with trail backpacks, and 11-year-old Scouts that haven’t done any serious walking. But it was a nice walk in a beautiful wooded area. Recommended.