What a fun time once again riding the Kiamichi Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. To those who say the area around Clayton is all fenced and…
What a fun time once again riding the Kiamichi Mountains of southeast Oklahoma. To those who say the area around Clayton is all fenced and gated and difficult to ride, I say "bull tweet". You just gotta know where to ride. My group did loops on Friday and Saturday that consisted of pavement, gravel, dirt roads, logging trails, lots of rough two-track, and some trails that a billy goat would find challenging. There is all types of riding on the Honobia and Three Rivers wildlife management area, you just gotta know how to find it.
Kay and I got a late start on Thursday so didn't get to ride until Friday morning. We pulled out of Clayton Lake State Park around 9:30 am with a group of eight "skinny bike" riders. Scott Hobbs led a group about the same size with bigger bikes such as KLR's, Versys 300, and even a Moto Guzzi 750 adventure bike.
My plan was to find the "bridge out" over the Little River, but I got sidetracked with some awesome trails. At one point we found a seldom-used, rocky, overgrown trail that had once been two-track logging roads, but had eventually turned into some gnarly downhill rock garden. It proved challenging and our entire group was winded and tired by the time we made it a mile to the bottom. That was our only really tough terrain of the day. The rest was mostly two track logging roads that were scenic. Some were overgrown and rough, others had only recently been cut and were in decent shape.
Below is a map showing our route for the day. Most of our ride could be done on most any adventure bike with a skilled rider, there is a one-mile section not far from the bridge crossing over Little River that I would classify as "skinny bike only" and even then, you need to be a pretty darn good rider. It was a real challenge for everyone that day. You can easily bypass this and the tough section is easy to identify because the trail is very poorly maintained and it gets rough and overgrown really quick.
Once again I led a group of seven "skinny bike" riders, including our only women rider all weekend, my wife Kay on her Honda CRF-230L. This time our destination was the "bridge out" and I found it after a couple of tries. The trail to this long-unused bridge is pretty overgrown since it hasn't been used in at least 25 years. The water in Little River was low, so me and a couple of others decided to ride across the river. It was very, very challenging and after making it across, the rest of our group decided they were NOT going to cross, so we had to ride back across this really difficult route. It felt like the Erzburg Hard Enduro! Slick, moss-covered rocks all the way across.
Below is a Google Map with GPS coordinates for our ride on Day 2
After our experience at "bridge out" and Medicine Springs, we hit the dirt roads for lunch at the Bent Tree Grill near Cloudy, Oklahoma. This small restaurant on a dirt road near Devil's Backbone is only open Thursday through Sunday, but provides great food and service - but no gas.