Bike, hiking trails headed for Hudson Lake

March 8, 2022

Council says Yes to citizen-driven, multi-phased trail project

The Bartlesville City Council gave a thumbs up Monday to a group of local citizens volunteering free labor and planning to install mountain bike trails, which will also be suitable for hikers and trail runners, at the City-owned Hudson Lake.

Community Development Director Lisa Beeman outlined the group’s proposal, which involves the initial installation of a 1.2 mile round trip trail beginning at the lake’s east, hilltop parking lot, with subsequent phases to include an additional two-to-five miles of trail further north, or on the west shore.

“The trail would be a natural, hard-packed dirt trail with minimal tree removal that would be a single track, 18 to 36 inches in width, and suitable also for hikers and trail runners,” Beeman said. “The trail, built to International Mountain Bike Association Standards, would create a corridor that is 10 to 15 feet high and four to eight feet wide, paying attention to sustainability, slope, drainage, and preventing erosion.”

Construction, which will utilize volunteer labor and private funding with assistance from the City where appropriate, is set to begin as soon as possible, with a goal for completion in less than two years, Beeman said.

While the idea isn’t a new one — another group pitched a similar proposal in 2014 but failed to identify funding for the project — the proposal was made recently to the Park Board by Adam Pratt, representing a group of people in the community interested in the project. The Park Board voted to recommend the project to the City Council for approval.

“This is very similar to what the City has done with other non-profit groups, such as the Bartlesville Disc Golf Association for the Shawnee Trail Disc Golf Course and the Bark Park Buddies for Cooper Dog Park,” Beeman said.

If the volunteer group is unable to maintain the trail after it is built, the trail will revert back to its natural state unless another entity takes over, she said. The local group will work under the umbrella of the Oklahoma EarthBike Fellowship, the Oklahoma Chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association, which has provided a liability insurance policy naming the City of Bartlesville as an additional insured.

Hudson Lake facts:

  • Located five miles northwest of Bartlesville
  • Serves as a water supply for the City of Bartlesville
  • Recreational lake for boating, fishing, hunting
  • Located on 1,430 acres
  • Built in 1949
  • 250 acres of surface area
  • 8 miles of shoreline length
  • Average depth of 16 feet
  • Part of the Oklahoma Fisheries Management program and sampled by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation with some frequency to determine fish population trends and enhance density.