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Featured national recreation trail

Horton's Slough Trail, Oklahoma

Wetlands and waterfowl are featured on this trail at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge.

From Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Map of OklahomaHorton's Slough Trail is located at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in east central Oklahoma. The trail is built along a wetland and overlooks Sally Jones Lake. During the winter, thousands of migrating snow geese and other waterfowl use Sally Jones Lake as a resting and refueling area along their journey. Some of the waterfowl winter at the refuge. Other interesting visitors to the area include several American bald eagles.

Photo: suspension pridge
The swinging bridge on the Horton's Slough Trail

This trail gives visitors the opportunity to walk through a forested area and observe wildlife, while enjoying views of the wetland and the animals which inhabit the wetland.

The trail is approximately 1 mile in length and starts on one side of the slough and ends on the other side. An elevated boardwalk and/or a swinging bridge allow visitors to complete the loop.

Visitors enjoy viewing the natural wetland scenery and Sally Jones Lake from an overlook area and benches. Interpretive panels and other benches are located at the trail head, and along the trail.

The trail allows visitors who stop at the refuge while traveling along I-40 to stretch their legs and learn a little about the flora and fauna of eastern Oklahoma. It has become an excellent public use outreach tool. The trail is used by local and traveling visitors on a daily basis for wildlife observation, photography and walking for exercise.

Photo: pier over lake
Horton Slough observation pier

Refuge staff use the boardwalk area as a site for educational outreach with school groups. Presentations are given to groups at the area, and school kids are educated about the workings of a wetland environment, and the habitat surrounding the area.

The trail is level and about 60 inches wide, and is suitable for wheelchairs, strollers, and young children.

Where Two Rivers Meet

Nestled in gently rolling foothills of the Ozark Mountains, Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is home to wildlife as threatened as the bald eagle and as elusive as the bobcat. Fertile bottomlands at the confluence of the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers make this east central Oklahoma refuge a terrific wildlife viewing destination.

Photo of wide lake
Robert S. Kerr Reservoir

Best Bets for Finding Wildlife

Scan field edges and explore dense wooded areas for white-tailed deer, armadillos, bobcats, and opossums. Flooded fields and wetlands harbor great blue herons, snowy egrets, pied-billed grebes, and wood ducks. Large open fields of soybeans and winter wheat attract clouds of grazing snow geese winter mornings and late evenings. During the day, they rest on Kerr Reservoir. Best vantage points are from the tour road in Sandtown Bottoms. The Arkansas and Canadian Rivers attract white pelicans, gulls, and shorebirds.

For more information:

Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
Route 1, Box 18-A Vian, Oklahoma 74962-9304
(918) 773-5251 or

See the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge website

The National Recreation Trails Program
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797
(530) 547-2060 Fax: (530) 547-2035

Enter the annual Photo Contest for National Recreation Trails

Photo of boardwalk in swamp
Audubon Center at the Francis Beidler Forest (photo: Mark Musselman)

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