Oak Mountain State Park has 51 miles of trails with many route options. Explore a new combination each day and you’ll turn those 51 miles into what feels like hundreds (in a good way). There’s everything from an easy 3-mile loop that winds around a stunning lake, to a 17-mile backcountry loop with over 800 feet of elevation gain. Creeks, waterfalls, hardwood forests, pine-studded ridges, and rocky overlooks, are just some of the highlights along the way, and you can always take a cool plunge in Double Oak Lake upon your return. Not sure it gets much better than that.
What Makes It Great
Certain trails do get a lot of mountain bike traffic on just about every weekend throughout the year, but there are trails where the bikes can’t go, and these are your best option if you don’t want to deal with an occasional side step to let a passing cyclist by. Pick up a map at the park office for a detailed list of all park trails with distances and other park features. Generally speaking, red colored trails are where bikes can go; everything else is off limits to the two wheeled shredders. If you’re looking for a mellow intro to Oak Mountain hiking, then our recommendation is the 2-mile hike to Maggie’s Glen.
Start at the North Trailhead and follow the White trail to where it crosses the stream. Sit a spell and relax at this peaceful spot before heading back to the trailhead via the Yellow Trail. Looking for something a little more strenuous? Then we suggest taking the Blue Trail from the North Trailhead and hiking along the ridge for spectacular views and solitude (this trail is probably the least visited in the park). Connect back to the trailhead by either taking one of the connectors to the red road and following it back to the parking lot, or by completing the full 13-mile loop by returning on the White Trail. This option is an advanced hike and would require most of the day to complete.
Who is Going to Love It
Novice hikers will love the well-marked trails and the variety, as well. This will allow you to test your equipment, get used to the feel of hiking and break in your pack. Beginners will be able to challenge themselves by stair-stepping their experience from easy trails to more difficult. Intermediate hikers will enjoy Oak Mountain’s many choices of trails, and mixing them up will allow you to have a different experience at each visit. The experienced hiker won’t get bored here, either. There are challenging areas that will wind even the most advanced hikers. At the end of a full day of hiking, take a quick trip to one of Oak Mountain’s two lovely beach areas and take a dip to cool off. A concession stand is open seasonally, and bathrooms are available as well.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The park’s entry fees are as follows: Adults (age 12+) $4 Children (age 6 – 11) $1 Seniors (age 62+) $1 Children age 5 and under are free.