The Turkey Beginner Zone Trail is one of the easiest trails at Turkey Mountain Park hence the name. Beginners should do their best to stay on this trail since it’s best suited to their skill set. Deviating will take you through challenging climbs and rocky and root-filled trails since that is what Turkey Mountain is known for. However, given the many intersecting trails at the park, staying on the right track can be tricky for a first-timer.
You’ll want to park at the Turkey Mountain Park upper parking lot to get to the trail. You could also park at the lower one, but it is too far from the trailhead and will force you to ride on more technical trails before getting to the Turkey Beginner Zone.
Directions for getting to the upper parking lot are pretty straightforward. For those in the Garden City, Lester Brooks, and Carbondale areas, you’ll head south on the Okmulgee Expressway past the intersection with Route 66.
At around the Lafortune Tower, turn east onto 61st Street. Follow this road for about 600 meters, then turn left and keep driving for another 800 meters. The parking area should be on your right.
If you’re coming from Hilton or Jenks, you’ll travel north on the Okmulgee Expressway, turn east on 71st Street, then turn north again onto Elwood Avenue. From there, you’ll go straight for about 900 meters, turn left, then drive for another 100-200 meters. The upper parking lot will be on your right.
The trailhead will be on the southwest end of the parking lot, and you’ll follow it past the first junction. However, you’ll need to turn right once you get to the second junction in a fairly woody area.
This will take you in the southeast direction, where you should stick to the left past the first junction you encounter. After that, turn left at the next intersection onto an old road which should take you past a cleared area with power lines.
Once you’re past the power lines, stay on the trail past the next several junctions and only turn left when you see an old washing machine. This will take you to another open area where you’ll turn left at the first junction you encounter.
After that, you’ll turn right at the next junction and keep going straight until you’re near the open area with the power lines. Here you’ll take a right at the corner and ride past the next intersection. You’ll come across the washing machine again and take another right.
Keep riding until you pass a section of large rocks, then turn right, which will dump you back onto the old road. From there, you’ll come across the open area where you should turn left at the junction.
Keep going, then turn right when you come across a tree on the road. From here, you’ll ride across the open area with power lines past the first intersection, then turn right at the second one. Once you’re in the woody part of the trail, you’ll skip the first intersection, then turn left at the next one, and from there, it’s straight to the parking lot.
• Extra fees; You won’t have to pay any additional fees for using any of the trails at Turkey Mountain.
• Obstacles; There are some small sections with roots and rocks to watch out for.
• Shuttles; You can take a bus to the junction of 71st Street and Elwood Avenue, and from there, cycle about 0.6-0.7 miles to the upper parking lot, where you’ll have easy access to the trails.
River Arkansas is nearby though you must deviate from the Turkey Beginner Zone trail to see it.
• Carry a map or GPS device to help you navigate the trail system due to the numerous intersections.