Redbud Valley Nature Preserve in Tulsa, OK focuses on preservation and protection of unique plant and animal life in the area. It is used for environmental education and public enjoyment. The preserve has a visitor center with picnic tables, an interpretive center, and restrooms. The running trails feature forest, prairie, and some really nice bluffs. The prairie portion has cactus and wildflowers in season.
This is a nice run in Redbud Valley Nature Preserve that traverses forest, prairie, a creek, and a line of bluffs. This is a relatively straightforward trail, with just a few sections that require a 12-inch step up/down. When you enter the Redbud Valley gate, turn right into a gravel parking lot at the trailhead. The trail is a loop with a couple of fork options, but any route you take will bring you back to the parking lot. The trail is very well maintained and straightforward to follow. The trail may be used in either direction, though the description here is for a clockwise loop.
Starting from the parking lot, follow the signs for the "main trail", where you almost immediately start up an easy grade heading northwest. This continues for a short distance as you climb up through a series of rocks and boulders to reach a flat area in the forest. At this point, the trail turns back to the southwest as you run through a flat forest on an easy trail with just a few rocks. Follow the trail through the forest until you come to a split in the trail marked with a white sign. Stay to the left to take the Prairie Fork
. Turning right takes you on the Woodland Fork
, which is a slightly shorter run that stays in the forest instead of going through the prairie section.
Follow the trail through a number of clearings as you gradually turn west and then northwest as you head back into the forest. As you make your final entry into the forest, you are approximately 0.5 miles into the run. After entering the forest, heading back northeast, you'll join back with the Woodland Fork
Trail just before stepping down through a short section of rocks and boulders. Once at the bottom of the step down, you'll see a large rock outcropping. Follow the trail up and under the bluff overhang.
After following the bluffs for a short distance, the trail then again forks. This run (main trail) stays left, descending down a short hill and traversing away from the bluffs. Staying to the right, near the bluffs, puts you on the Bluff Trail
. After descending the small hill, the trail arrives in a forest flood-plain near Bird Creek. The bluffs remain on your right as you gradually turn toward the east. Once on the forest "floor", you'll pick up a wooden boardwalk. After the boardwalk ends, follow the trail around to the right as the trail turns back to the south where it joins with the Bluff Trail
just before reaching the parking lot.
Cactus and wildflowers are beautiful here when in season on the prairie.