Canadian River Valley, Oklahoma
Canadian River Valley, Oklahoma
I love exploring new and forgotten places every time I go on a fishing trip with my husband. This time is no exception. Even though the name of the area is called the Canadian River Valley most people refer to it as the Eufaula Dam. Many outlaws have roamed this area in the past, including Sam Bass and his gang. After wandering around I can see why they picked this area.
South of Lake Eufaula Dam is the Candian River Valley. Take Highway 71 to the west side of the Dam and then follow the map below.
The loop is where you start
Do you feel adventurous?
Well here is a great spot to go hiking! There are many trails through the area, including the Young Bend Trail and Younger Bend Trail. These are on opposite sides of the river. I only explored one because the other was closed at the time I was there. I spent most of the day on the Younger Bend Trail and found what I had been searching for, a breathtaking view of the valley below.
This unique trail has no path, or at least it didn't when I went in 2014. The story goes that once upon a time there was a town on this side of the river that the outlaws would hide out in. On my hike, through this area, I found some proof that a community had existed at one time. So I think its proof. I'm not sure what the below object is, but to be in the middle of a wooded area on a mountain was unusual.
Is this part of a Forgotten Town?
Not far from the red metal box, I found a foundation that was overgrown and crumbling. I wonder if this is the lost town of the stories. It would be a great place for a hideout. You can see for miles around you, so no one could sneak up on you. I sat for awhile and thought about what it must have been like to live here with so much beauty surrounding me.
I wanted to know more about the area, but that would have to be a different day.
Making way for progress?
Another article mentioned a trail through this mountain was used to build the Eufaula Dam, but I found no proof of that. I searched for any way possible and the only thing I could figure was the road at the beginning of the trail. With steep drop ledges and large old trees, I couldn't find an overgrown pathway they could have gone through the mountain to the dam. The only clearing I found was when they cut through to put in the electric poles.
I continued working my way through the rough terrain until I came to the path that had been cut through for the electric poles. I found a big well in the middle of the clearing and sat there looking down on the unobstructed view of the valley.
This was halfway to the top of the mountain. I looked at the sun high in the sky and knew I had time to continue on through the woods. I could have taken the easy way by following their clearing, but what fun would that have been.
Look I Found a Path
The damp earth combined with old fallen leaves gave me a true earthy smell, free from the smell of city life. I took several deep breaths of fresh air and pushed on in my exploration. Finding this path made me wonder why there was no path on the first part of my hike. I took time to look around and found a few animal homes and wondered if they had made this path.
I tried to figure out what animals lived in the pictures below since I hadn't seen any animals on my hike so far, I really have not an idea. Do any of you know?
I Wonder how Nature Could keep such Secrets
The most exciting part of hiking through this mountain is climbing out on the edge of a big boulder and looking down for miles and miles before you see the bottom of the forest floor. Okay, it just seems like miles and miles. I just know its a long way down and if I was to fall, nobody would ever find me in this forest.
My heart raced as I leaned over the edge to see if there was evidence that the river was once this big, but no luck. I wonder what could have caused such a large boulder to get stuck in such a position that it didn't continue to fall.
To be honest, I never really got into learning about plant life or how to identify them. I just love to take pictures of the unusual and uniques plants I find on my trips.
The photo below caught my eye because it was sparkling in the sunlight. I had never seen anything like it. Many would say this was a fairy's home, and it looks like it could have been.
Below show several pictures of other plants that I found while wandering around. Actually, because I started looking closer at the plant life, I lost the footpath I had been on and wasn't sure which direction to go, but it was worth it. Eventually I did pick the right direction to head.
Onward I go
I took several photos on my trip through this untouched forest, so narrowing it down to these was a new challenge for me. If you would like to see more just let me know. I loved taking the pictures of this place, so there are plenty to share. Some of what I have written about I have pictures of if you would like to see them, just comment below and I will post it.
Onward I climb, as I reach the top there is a small clearing with a picnic table and a grill in the clearing. Strange I thought, but after searching around I realized I was in the backyard of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Center.
I guess I had made it to the top.
Across from this is a small country store. Thank goodness, I had been wondering around for hours and I was hot and exhausted. I sat in the cool air and drank coffee, before heading back down. I had a choice take the road back down or go back through the forest. Guess which I took?
I headed back down through the forest and found even more treasures on the way that I did not see on the way up.
I hope all have enjoyed my adventure. Keep watching for more updates to my other Oklahoma articles.