The Best Bike Trails: The Oklahoma River Trail
This 13-mile Oklahoma River Trail system, as the name implies, runs along the Oklahoma River (which is technically the North Canadian River). It starts east of downtown Oklahoma City on I-35 and goes all the way to either Meridian Ave. along the south part of the river or Portland Ave. on the north. This trail is perfect for a hybrid bike.
The official trail map shows all the parking areas along the length of the course. Each one provides direct access to the trail but some of them are via dirt/gravel roads. Below is a list of the ones that provide paved access:
• North Side
• South Side
o East of Shields
o Skate Park at Robinson
o SW 15th (east of Portland)
o SW 15th (east of Meridian)
Of course, all of the parking areas provide street access as well.
If you want to do a loop from Bricktown, head on over to the river’s north side (found just east of Byers close to the rowing club boathouse) and start your ride there. Once at Robinson, cross the bridge and make your way to Portland along the south side trail. As soon as you reach the parking lot, exit the trail and make your way to 15th Street. Portland is just a quarter of a mile from there. Take the pedestrian walkway to cross over the river and ride for another 50 yards from the end of the bridge. This will bring you to a paved road that leads back to the north side trail. The north side trail will take you back to the rowing club boathouse. This route aims to keep bikers on the Portland bridge’s north-bound side, ultimately keeping them from crossing the busy four-lane Portland road.
On the other hand, if you want to start a loop from the west, then head on over to either the Portland or Meridian parking lot and make your way to the Portland bridge. As soon as you get to the bridge, cross over to the north side, bike the entire length of the trail and make your way to Robinson. Once at Robinson, cross over to the south side. You can head back to your starting point from here.
Now, if you prefer to start your ride from Meridian, then just make you way to the trails’ east end and then ride back to Meridian. This provides a good 20-mile ride.
Despite the length of the loops, the entire trail system is still very easy because it consists of paved roads throughout.