Fortunately for us, we’ve got enough space here and enough natural seclusion at River's Edge to have a number of marked hiking trails. They aren’t super long, but if you aren’t in a hurry, and make time to take in the natural wonders, there are enough trail-ways to spend a few quiet, totally splendid hours outdoors.
The key is to take in the surroundings. On the River Walk trail, which is located near the main office, plus the Bear, Streamside, and Homestead cabins, one can walk for a good half a mile alongside the river itself, in lush, secluded woods, featuring first growth beech trees, holly and oak. If we’ve had a lot of rain you might have to hop-and-skip across a stream, and there might be a few slippery spots, but this one is well worth walking when you’re here.
The River Walk connects up with three trails, two of which lead to the pond, which most guests first see as they’re driving in for the first time. The first of these is called Fern Avenue, which is often lined with—you guessed it!—gorgeous natural ferns. It makes for a shorter hike back up to the pond, and is an excellent choice for folks who just want to take in a little nature.
For those who want to stretch their legs a little, taking the River Walk further leads to the Loblolly Lane and Blackberry Meadow trails. The latter trail heads up the hill, away from the river, and toward our playground area, which is near the Woodhaven, Pine Summit, Mimosa Terrace, Twisted Pine and Chesapeake cabins.
Loblolly Lane, on the other hand, snakes through the pines and finds itself alongside a gorgeous little stream before heading back to the pond. This is a fantastically shady trail, perfect for hot days, and sheltered from most wind on cold ones.
We also have our “mountain” trails, which begin up on the hill near several of our couples cabins, the Mountain Chalet, Escape, Whispering Heights and Windsong. The coolest thing about these trails is they almost seem to exist—in perfectly Oklahoman fashion—in an entirely different ecosystem from the river trails below. The south side of the ridge features rich shale deposits, scraggly cedar trees festooned with Spanish moss, and even sun-loving prickly pear cactus.
Of these, the Ridge Trail offers gorgeous views and a meditative atmosphere. Wilderland Way cuts down the hill into a deep, creek-fed ravine, which connects up to the Rivendell trail.
You might’ve noticed a theme here: River’s Edge may not be in Middle-Earth, but hey, this place is pretty mystical! Just don’t expect to encounter any orcs or trolls. The only thing you need to watch out for, during warmer months, are ticks and the odd snake, so keep your eyes sharp and your insect-repellant handy! If you’re lucky you might spot a deer or even turkey!
We do occasionally see black bears and even more rarely, mountain lions—though these animals are very rare, it’s always important to be observant when in nature. Also: it gets pretty hot here during the spring and summer, so remember to stay hydrated while enjoying the trails!
Want to take a look at where each of the trails go? Here's a link to our property map. Happy hiking!