The skyline trail at Beavers Bend State Park of Oklahoma is the longest (7.3 mile) and most difficult trail of the Park's David Boren Hiking Trails (DBHT) system. I picked Skyline trail for the second day of our trip at Beavers Bend mainly for one reason - to have only one outdoor activity for the second day , which lasts 5 - 7 hours. Despite the fact that I was worried that it was too long and difficult for most people in the group, I did not change the plan after talking to a few man in the group.
After a hearty breakfast, we left the cabin for the Beaver lodge nature trail trail head near Broken Bow lake spill way. We parked at parking lot on the west side of the dam at the spill way, walked down slope to the Beavers bend lodge nature trail trail head at the spill way.
It was a cloudy morning, and temperature was around 60F, perfect for hiking.
After some photos at the bottom of the dam and spill way,we started hiking on the Beavers lodge nature trail - which follows the spill way creek. This is a pretty trail by the river bank. The sound of rushing white water, the boulders, rocks in the creek, small water falls along with the clearing sky - white clouds, blue sky ... made us stop frequently to take pictures, and our teenagers to play. It took us 55 minutes to finish the 1 mile hike to reach the trail head of skyline trail.
|Broken Bow lake spill way|
|taking picture of the water fall at the spill way|
|stop to play on beavers loge nature trail|
|one of a few water falls|
|Enjoy the nature|
On the trail, we saw the dogwood flowers here and there, an indication of coming spring, and small flowers near the ground. We heard bird chirping all day long but rarely saw.
There is up, there must be down ....we crossed many creeks in the valleys, some dried, others have running water. Watching carefully, some creeks had transparent small fishes in them. At one crossing, we saw a "large" black insect in clear water, which turned out to be the shadow of a water insect walking on the water surface!
From 5 to 6 miles on the trail, we were right by the mountain fork river, on top of a several hundred feet tall, nearly vertical cliff. I guess it is where the name skyline of the trail comes from. Then we were on another stretch of skyline from 7 miles to 8 miles! We did not loop back to Beavers lodge nature trail to get to our vehicles because many in the group were exhausted . In the end we had two victims of the hiking, one injured her left ankle, the other had a minor heat stroke! Nevertheless they were very proud of themselves for hiking the longest most difficult trail of their lives!!
Floating on mountain fork river, and kayaking in the cypress tree dotted river used to be the main attraction at Beavers Bend for us. Skyline trail is the new featured attraction!
|One of the very steep slop|
|Elevation change (in meters) of the trail|
|Watching carefully a water bug enlarged shadow in the bottom|
|Another creek transverses the trail|
|On the skyline looking down at Mountain Fork River|
Note: Beavers Bend State Park is free for admission but it has several deficiencies - too few public toilet, and the park map and trail map are not very clear.