When I moved to Oklahoma from my seaside home, Lake Hefner became my refuge for exercise and mental relaxation. It's 9.5 miles around with excellent trails built in. I knew it wasn't an ocean or anything but if I turned my head and squinted, it felt like home. You should begin on the East side and walk north, past the "lighthouse", past all five or six yuppie food and music joints and beyond the windsurfing cove. The water is sort of brownish. Along that way you'll see a feral cat colony which is cared for by a group of kindhearted people who feed them and had them neutered and vaccinated. Makes my heart glad. On the north side you'll see lots of fishermen and in the evening, stoners who sit and smoke in their cars. There are also gnats on this part so go at the beginning of the walk/run/bike ride. It's hot in the summer so go early in the morning or later in the evening. On the west side is more fishing and an area that takes you past a small apartment complex. Then you hit the golf course. If you are female, you will probably get catcalled by cigar-chewing white men who think they can golf. I have almost been hit by the golf balls before so be careful. After that are the beautiful inlets where the boats are moored and lots of wildlife. By the golf course (you would be traveling south) is a sort of residential patch which gives way to marinas and eventually, the fire department. There are lots of places on the south side where families meet and barbecue or play in the water and a yact club where people learn to sail. No experience or boat needed. There is a little hobby radio airplane field and a ball park too. After that you head north again, on the final curve. It's the best part, really, if you can ignore the traffic noise of the highway. Scenic at sunrise and sunset and well-populated. Well groomed and being developed with a giant park for the kids at the end of one of the inlets.
I hope in a couple of years that Lake Hefner becomes a hotspot in Oklahoma City- maybe with affordable local places to eat and not just a hangout for the middle to affluent class. As it is- I still love it and visit often.
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