Posts Tagged ‘Kent Frates’

Book Read: Oklahoma Hiking Trails, by Frates and Floyd

7 May 2011

I have to say up front, I hate Mr. Frates and Mr. Floyd, just because *they* got to write this book! All kidding aside, this is the sort of book I would have written if I didn’t have that pesky job to attend to.

I got this book from the kids as a gift in December. I have glanced at it several times since then, and finished it cover to cover today. The authors have good advice on hiking Oklahoma, in particular the areas with lots of ticks and chiggers.

They have a list of the top six trails in Oklahoma (why not top 10?). I am proud to say that I have hiked five of the six, and will hike #6 (the David Boren Trail) sometime in May or June of this year, since it is (sort of) conveniently on the way to Dallas from Oklahoma City.

The book is divided into regions of the state. I was gratified to find that the authors identified a number of trails that I was not aware of that are near routes that I frequently travel. This will no doubt translate into some hiking diversions when I am on the road to Omaha and Dallas.

I would have liked to see a bit more discussion of water in the book. As an example, the notes for the Greenleaf trail indicate there is no water. A better description would have been that there is no water source at the alternate trailhead (which is the one used in the book, although it is not identied as such), but there is water available at the main trailhead in the state park. There is no ground water on the high parts of the trail, but there is abundant water in the lake and the streams that flow into the lake if you have purification by chemical or filtering means. The location of “last water available” is important to make sure you don’t get to the trailhead ready to go seven or eight miles, but the nearest water is 10 miles behind you in a Loves.

Most, but not all of the trails in the book have the trail overlaid on a topo map, which is a nice overview to complement the text. I also liked the beta on most of the trails pertaining to the blazes or markers you need to look for.

Books like this really fill a needed area. I’ve noted that most trails are not documented anywhere online. As an example, my most recent hike, at Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska, the Nebraska parks department has an online map with what looks like only about 1/3 of the trails in the park, but when you get to the park, the paper trail map shows the much more extensive trail set available. It is even so with “Oklahoma Hiking Trails”. I’ve lived in the state all my life, and have been a hiker all my life, and this book identified trails very close to me that I did not know existed.

So bravo to the authors for putting the book together. It’s a good read, and an excellent reference. And I’ll be on some of those trails soon.

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