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Lake Hefner trails ready for reopening



Cyclists, joggers and walkers haven't had the full go-round of Lake Hefner's trails so far this year, but that's about to change.

For almost anyone serious about cycling, the 9.1-mile track around the lake has been pure bicycle joy: little traffic to worry about; scenic views of open water, sailboats and sun-drenched greenery; and a nice, long stretch of paved road that circles one way and right back. Until recently, that is.

In January, both cyclists and pedestrians were met with big, orange signs that read: "Hefner Dam road closed to all vehicles and pedestrians."

Additionally, throughout the spring, other points of the Lake Hefner trail were repaved, shored up or otherwise rendered inconvenient for those who like their regular sojourn around the lake, including a stretch of the path on the lake's south side damaged by flooding.

Finally, though, that's all about to be finished, according to Larry Ogle, assistant director of the Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation Department.

"It's moving along. I believe the one on the south end is nearly done," he said. "The basic parts of it are in place and they are just finishing up."

Although trail users could just walk around reconstruction on the south side of the lake, the path along the Hefner Dam is another matter: It completes the rest of the circular trail. And it was no-go because of the comprehensive reconstruction of the dam, Ogle said.

"The work on top of the dam was a bigger project," he said. "It should be done around the end of June. There was re-stabilization of the surfaces and a new guardrail going on up there, very similar to what you see on Hefner Parkway. The road surface will be milled and repaved. (In) a few areas they are doing base repair on the road."  "Ben Fenwick

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