SPARROWHAWK PRIMITIVE AREA – A little college town called Tahlequah, Oklahoma is the where. Sparrowhawk Primitive Area, to be more exact. I was very happy to find this little gem! But before we get to all the awesome details, I need to get this out there right off the top.
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation governs this area and YES, a permit is required to hike here at Sparrowhawk Primitive Area. And if you get caught without one, you may be fined over $200.00. Oh! And you know who else needs a permit to be there, and they are there? Hunters! I should probably be a bit embarrassed that I did not discover this information until after our hike.
Okay. Now the fun stuff! We didn’t exhaust all hiking options on our initial visit to Sparrowhawk Primitive Area so I can’t confirm what I have read, that there is a 7 mile loop. From the trail head, we headed up the path to the left. My son had not hiked with us for awhile and he admitted that he was a bit concerned at the beginning of our hike. It starts climbing, by way of rocky terrain, from the very beginning. It does, however, calm down nicely, not too far into the hike. We found the rest of the trail to be mildly up and down. While we were very impressed that there was still so much vibrant evidence of being the season of Fall, the most amazing part of this hike was found when we cautiously veered off the main path, down to the bluffs, over looking the Illinois River. I give cautions here, as it is a pretty steep, and somewhat loose, down and back up, path.
****Only attempt this part of the trail if you are confident in your strength and agility.
BONE: If you have a relationship that is strained, or someone who is having a tough time, GO ON A HIKE! There is just something about being outside, exercising, and sharing those moments, or hours together, that opens the doors of communication. Too many times to count, being out on the trails with someone has made progress in life happen.
At one point, the trail came to what seemed to be the start of a housing addition, right in the middle of the woods. We chose to turn around, and I believe our total mileage that day was only a little over 3 miles. Next time we will look for the “loop” I have read about.