Bartlesville’s hidden treasure

Pathfinder Parkway is a 12-mile trail system that runs through the City of Bartlesville along the Caney River and Turkey Creek drainageways, connecting Johnstone, Robinwood, Jo Allyn Lowe, and Sooner parks. This all-season, multi-use system is perfect for walking, running, bicycling, birdwatching, hiking, photography, and more. The path traverses urban neighborhoods, commercial shopping centers, woodlands, and natural wetlands.

Designed by former City Planner Joel Smith in 1976, the Pathfinder was built as a Community Bicentennial Project. A year later, in 1977, the Pathfinder was designated as a National Recreation Trail.

It’s not unusual to spot a variety of wildlife along the trail, including deer, squirrels, armadillos, and raccoons, among others. Easily accessible by nine trailheads with parking, the Pathfinder provides off-road access to many of the area schools and commercial districts, making it an ideal alternative for commuting to school and work.

An online interactive map, provided by local resident Granger Meador, provides a detailed look at the Pathfinder Parkway trail system. You can also download the AllTrails app on any smart device to view Pathfinder trails. The app is available for both Apple and Android users and provides a range of user-friendly features, such as navigation and tracking, time tracking, elevation changes, total distance, average pace, average speed, and calories burned.

Pathfinder Parkway is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. To report any damage or obstructions on the path, please contact Parks Superintendent Bobby Robinson at 918.338.4154.

Pathfinder Parkway Bird Trail

Trail-goers can encounter a variety of bird species on their journey.

Of the more than 700 species of birds found in North America, at least 200 species can be encountered in or around Bartlesville. Some of these, called “neotropical migrants,” nest in North America but spend winters in South or Central America. Other species are only present here in the winter, breeding as far as the Arctic Circle. There are ten signs along the Johnstone Trail that highlight groups of birds which may be seen nearby. As you walk along the trail, be sure to stop and read about the habitat and species accounts, and try to see how many of these birds you can identify!

Rules and etiquette

  • Stay on trails – For your safety and the fact that much of the trail system runs through areas of private property, please remain on designated trails.
  • Respect the wildlife – Do not disturb or harm any tree, shrub, plant, flower, or creature. You are a guest in their habitat; please respect their home.
  • Be alert – Watch for slippery sections covered by leaves, loose gravel, silt, mud, or water. Be sure the trail is clear of obstructions ahead. Never ride or walk into flood water.
  • Control pets – Keep pets leashed at all times while on the trail. Keep leashes short and walk pets on the outside right edge of the trail. Clean up after your pet. Horses are NOT permitted on the trail at any time.
  • Keep it clean – Please carry out any trash items that you have brought with you. Trash receptacles are located at trail heads and access points.
  • Share the trail – Ride or walk predictably. Avoid swerving and sudden changes of direction. Be alert to approaching traffic. All trail users must keep to the right except when passing. Move off the trail to the right when stopping or resting. When using the Pathfinder in a group, don’t take up the whole width of the trail; allow others to pass.
  • Cyclists – Ride an appropriate speed to your conditions and traffic you encounter, and use caution when merging onto a different trail. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way.
  • Pedestrians – Be mindful of cyclists. Step to the right of the trail to allow cyclists to pass. Remember that bicycles need plenty of room to stop.

For your safety

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • When parking, lock your vehicle. Don’t leave valuables inside your vehicle.
  • Carry a cell phone in case of emergency.
  • Look for the green Help Locator on every half-mile marker to keep track of your location and to assist Emergency Responders in locating you. Each Help Locator has the trail identifier and mile marker code (ex. J5).
  • Because there is no lighting on the trails, limit trail usage to daylight hours.
  • Motorized vehicles, horses, open fire, firearms, fireworks, B.B. guns, air rifles, and slingshots are strictly prohibited on Pathfinder Parkway.