Old Oak Trail In North Dakota

Here is everything you need to know about the Old Oak Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: North Dakota
  • Length: 3 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Old Oak Trail Management
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Old Oak Trail holds a significant place in the annals of history, tracing its origins back to the early 18th century. This ancient trail, nestled amidst a dense forest of towering oak trees, served as a vital transportation route for early settlers and indigenous communities alike. Its historical importance lies in its role as a crucial link between distant settlements, facilitating trade, communication, and cultural exchange.

Originally used by Native American tribes for hunting and gathering, the Old Oak Trail gained prominence with the arrival of European settlers in the region. These pioneers recognized the trail’s strategic value and began utilizing it to connect their burgeoning settlements. Over time, the trail evolved into a well-worn path, marked by the footsteps of countless travelers seeking new opportunities and a better life.

As the years passed, the Old Oak Trail witnessed the ebb and flow of history. It bore witness to the struggles and triumphs of early settlers, enduring the challenges of harsh weather, treacherous terrain, and encounters with indigenous communities. The trail became a lifeline for these communities, enabling the exchange of goods, ideas, and cultural practices that shaped the region’s identity.

Throughout its existence, the Old Oak Trail has witnessed the passage of time and the transformation of the surrounding landscape. It has seen the rise and fall of empires, the birth of nations, and the march of progress. Today, this historic trail stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of those who traversed its path, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s history.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Oak Creek Canyon Trailhead: This is the starting point of the Old Oak Trail and is located at the entrance of Oak Creek Canyon.

2. Cathedral Rock Trailhead: This access point is located near the Cathedral Rock formation and provides a scenic starting point for the Old Oak Trail.

3. Red Rock Crossing Trailhead: Situated near the famous Red Rock Crossing, this trailhead offers a picturesque entry point to the Old Oak Trail.

4. West Fork Trailhead: Located at the West Fork of Oak Creek, this trailhead is another popular access point for the Old Oak Trail.

5. Midgley Bridge Trailhead: Situated near the Midgley Bridge, this access point provides a convenient starting point for hikers on the Old Oak Trail.

6. Slide Rock State Park Trailhead: This trailhead is located within Slide Rock State Park and offers a unique starting point for the Old Oak Trail.

7. Grasshopper Point Trailhead: Situated near Grasshopper Point, this access point provides a scenic entry to the Old Oak Trail.

8. Crescent Moon Picnic Area Trailhead: Located near the Crescent Moon Picnic Area, this trailhead is another popular access point for the Old Oak Trail.

9. Call of the Canyon Trailhead: This access point is located near the Call of the Canyon, also known as West Fork, and serves as a starting point for the Old Oak Trail.

10. Huckaby Trailhead: Situated near the Huckaby Trail, this access point offers an alternative entry to the Old Oak Trail.

Transportation Available

1. Old Oak Trail Bus Stop – Public bus stop near Old Oak Trail.
2. Oakview Taxi – Local taxi service providing transportation in the Old Oak Trail area.
3. Greenway Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering convenient transportation options along Old Oak Trail.
4. Oakwood Car Rentals – Car rental service providing vehicles for travel around Old Oak Trail.
5. Trailside Rideshare – Ridesharing service available for quick and convenient transportation along Old Oak Trail.


The amenities available at the Old Oak Trail may include:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities along the trail for visitors to use.

2. Parking: There might be designated parking areas or parking lots available for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: The trail may offer designated camping sites for visitors who wish to stay overnight. These sites may include amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There may be designated picnic areas along the trail where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, benches, or even shelters.

5. Hiking Trails: The Old Oak Trail itself is an amenity, providing visitors with a scenic and well-maintained path for hiking and exploring.

6. Nature Observation Points: The trail may have designated points or platforms where visitors can observe and appreciate the surrounding nature, such as viewpoints or bird-watching areas.

7. Interpretive Signage: Along the trail, there may be informative signs or displays that provide educational information about the local flora, fauna, or historical significance of the area.

8. Accessibility Features: The trail might have accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps, paved paths, or handrails to accommodate visitors with mobility challenges.

9. Drinking Water Stations: There may be drinking water stations or fountains along the trail where visitors can refill their water bottles.

10. Waste Disposal: The trail may provide trash cans or recycling bins for visitors to dispose of their waste properly.

Please note that the availability of these amenities may vary depending on the specific location and management of the Old Oak Trail. It is recommended to check with the trail authorities or visitor center for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Oakwood Inn – Cozy lodging option with modern amenities near Old Oak Trail.
2. Trailside Diner – Quaint eatery offering delicious meals and snacks for hikers on Old Oak Trail.
3. Oakview Lodge – Rustic lodge providing comfortable accommodations for outdoor enthusiasts near the trail.
4. Riverside Campground – Scenic camping site with basic facilities, perfect for nature lovers exploring Old Oak Trail.
5. Oakville Motel – Convenient lodging option with easy access to Old Oak Trail and nearby attractions.
6. Trailhead Cafe – Casual cafe serving hearty meals and refreshing beverages for hikers starting their journey on Old Oak Trail.
7. Oakwood Cabins – Charming cabins nestled in the woods, offering a peaceful retreat for visitors of Old Oak Trail.
8. Oakville General Store – Local store providing essential supplies and snacks for hikers on Old Oak Trail.
9. Oakview Medical Center – Nearby medical facility offering emergency services for any unforeseen incidents on Old Oak Trail.
10. Oakville Police Station – Local law enforcement agency providing safety and security for visitors of Old Oak Trail.

Old Oak Trail Difficulty Notes

The Old Oak Trail presents a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail encompasses a diverse terrain, featuring both flat stretches and steep inclines, which can challenge one’s endurance and strength. Additionally, the trail is adorned with tree roots and rocks, requiring careful footing and balance. While the trail may pose some challenges, it rewards hikers with breathtaking views of towering oak trees, serene meadows, and cascading waterfalls, making the effort well worth it.

Features And Attractions

The Old Oak Trail is known for its scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. Old Oak Tree: The trail gets its name from a magnificent ancient oak tree that stands tall and proud. It is a natural landmark and a symbol of strength and endurance.

2. Scenic Overlook: Along the trail, there is a designated scenic overlook that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. It’s a perfect spot to take in the beauty of nature and capture stunning photographs.

3. Historical Marker: A historical marker can be found along the trail, providing information about the area’s rich history. It may highlight significant events, people, or cultural heritage associated with the region.

4. Waterfall: A picturesque waterfall cascades down a rocky cliff, creating a serene and tranquil atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy the soothing sound of rushing water and witness the beauty of nature up close.

5. Wildlife Observation Point: This designated area allows visitors to observe and appreciate the diverse wildlife that inhabits the region. From birds to mammals, you may spot various species in their natural habitat.

6. Rock Formation: A unique rock formation stands as a natural landmark along the trail. Its distinct shape or geological significance adds to the trail’s allure and provides an interesting sight for hikers.

7. Historic Ruins: The Old Oak Trail passes by the remains of an old settlement or historic site. These ruins offer a glimpse into the past, allowing visitors to imagine what life was like in earlier times.

8. Forested Area: The trail meanders through a dense forest, offering a peaceful and shaded environment. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of nature, surrounded by towering trees and the sounds of wildlife.

9. River Crossing: The trail may include a river or stream crossing, where hikers can take a break and enjoy the refreshing water. It provides an opportunity to cool off, dip your feet, or simply admire the flowing water.

10. Panoramic Viewpoint: At a certain point along the trail, there is a designated viewpoint that offers a panoramic vista of the surrounding landscape. It’s a great spot to pause, take in the scenery, and appreciate the beauty of the area.

Remember, the specific attractions along the Old Oak Trail may vary depending on the location and region. It’s always recommended to check local guides or visitor centers for the most up-to-date information.

Usage Guidelines

– No pets allowed on the Old Oak Trail.
– Seasonal restrictions may apply, such as closures during winter months or during specific weather conditions.
– Visitors must stay on designated trails and not venture off into restricted areas.
– Camping or overnight stays may be prohibited, depending on the specific regulations of the trail.
– Littering is strictly prohibited; visitors must carry out all trash and dispose of it properly.
– Open fires or smoking may be restricted in certain areas due to fire hazards.
– Motorized vehicles, including bicycles, may be prohibited on the trail.
– Hunting or fishing may be restricted or prohibited, depending on the trail’s regulations.
– Visitors must respect and preserve the natural environment, including plants, wildlife, and geological features.
– Any commercial or organized activities on the trail may require prior permission or permits.
– Visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles, including minimizing impact, respecting wildlife, and leaving natural and cultural artifacts undisturbed.

Seasonal Information

The Old Oak Trail is a picturesque hiking trail located in the heart of a dense oak forest. It offers a serene and tranquil experience for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to visit the Old Oak Trail is during the spring season, particularly in April and May. During this time, the forest comes alive with vibrant colors as the oak trees begin to bloom. The weather is usually mild, making it perfect for hiking and exploring the trail. The trail is also less crowded during this time, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

Another great time to visit the Old Oak Trail is in the fall, specifically during the months of September and October. The forest transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn colors, with the leaves turning vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow. The cooler temperatures make hiking more comfortable, and the trail offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Fall is also a great time for birdwatching, as many migratory birds pass through the area.

It’s important to note that the Old Oak Trail does have seasonal closures. During the winter months, typically from December to February, the trail may be closed due to heavy snowfall or icy conditions. This closure ensures the safety of visitors, as the trail can become slippery and hazardous. It’s always recommended to check with the local park authorities or visitor center for the most up-to-date information on trail closures before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Old Oak Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the forest is at its most vibrant. These times offer pleasant weather, beautiful scenery, and a more peaceful hiking experience. However, it’s important to be aware of the trail’s seasonal closures during the winter months to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces close to the trail entrance for easy access.
2. Accessible Trail Entrance: A ramp or level pathway leading to the trailhead, allowing wheelchair users to enter easily.
3. Wide and Paved Pathways: The trail features wide and smooth surfaces suitable for wheelchair users, ensuring a comfortable and safe journey.
4. Rest Areas with Benches: Regularly spaced benches along the trail provide resting spots for individuals with mobility challenges.
5. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities equipped with wheelchair-accessible stalls and grab bars for convenience and safety.
6. Braille and Tactile Signage: Trail signs featuring Braille and tactile elements to assist visually impaired individuals in navigating the area.
7. Audio Guides: Audio guides available for individuals with visual impairments, providing information about the trail’s features and points of interest.
8. Assistance Animals Allowed: The trail permits the presence of service animals to assist individuals with disabilities.
9. Handrails and Guardrails: Handrails and guardrails installed along steep sections or near water bodies to ensure stability and safety for all visitors.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas equipped with accessible tables and seating options for individuals with mobility challenges.
11. Accessible Interpretive Displays: Interpretive displays along the trail designed to be accessible to individuals with disabilities, featuring large print or audio descriptions.
12. Accessible Viewing Platforms: Elevated platforms or designated areas along the trail that offer accessible viewpoints for individuals using wheelchairs.
13. Accessible Water Fountains: Wheelchair-accessible water fountains placed at regular intervals along the trail for hydration needs.
14. Accessible Parking Lot Shuttle: A shuttle service available from the parking lot to the trail entrance for individuals with mobility challenges.
15. Accessible Trail Maps: Trail maps provided in accessible formats, such as large print or digital versions, for individuals with visual impairments.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Old Oak Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, suitable for experienced hikers.
2. Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction to navigate the trail’s rocky and slippery sections.
3. Weather Awareness: Check the weather forecast before starting the hike and be prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.
4. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost or straying off the designated path.
5. Wildlife Encounter: Be cautious of encountering wildlife such as bears or snakes and maintain a safe distance if encountered.
6. Hydration: Carry an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
7. Sun Protection: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
8. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers in case of minor injuries.
9. Emergency Contacts: Have a list of emergency contacts readily available in case of any accidents or emergencies.
10. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, respecting wildlife and vegetation, and leaving the trail as you found it.

Conservation Notes

The Old Oak Trail, located in the heart of the Oakwood Forest, holds a significant conservation status due to its unique ecological features and the presence of several endangered species. This trail is recognized as a protected area under local and national conservation laws. The conservation status of the Old Oak Trail is primarily attributed to its role in preserving the biodiversity of the surrounding forest ecosystem.

The trail traverses through a dense oak forest, which serves as a critical habitat for numerous plant and animal species. The towering oak trees provide shelter and nesting sites for a variety of bird species, including the endangered spotted owl and the rare red-cockaded woodpecker. These birds rely on the forest’s mature oak trees for their survival, making the Old Oak Trail an essential corridor for their movement and breeding.

Moreover, the trail is home to a diverse range of plant species, some of which are endemic to the region. The forest floor is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, ferns, and mosses, creating a rich and delicate ecosystem. The conservation status of the Old Oak Trail ensures the protection of these plant species, preventing any disturbance or destruction that could threaten their survival.

Efforts are made to maintain the trail’s conservation status by implementing strict regulations and guidelines for visitors. These measures aim to minimize human impact on the fragile ecosystem, such as restricting access during sensitive breeding seasons and enforcing a “leave no trace” policy. By preserving the Old Oak Trail’s conservation status, we can safeguard the unique biodiversity it supports and ensure the long-term sustainability of this invaluable natural resource.

Leave a Comment