- Parkway maps and other information
- Closing the gap in the Pathfinder
- Hillcrest Drive Reconstruction
- March 2018 bond and the Pathfinder
- Dreams for the future
- Bridge Together project
Bartlesville is blessed with the Pathfinder Parkway, roughly 11 miles of paved walking, jogging, and bicycling trails that meander along the Caney River and Turkey Creek to connect the Johnstone, Robinwood, Sooner, and Jo Allyn Lowe parks. Conceived by former city planner Joel Smith and made into a 1976 bicentennial project, the parkway is now mostly eight feet wide and also runs by Eastland shopping center, Bartlesville High School, and First Wesleyan Church.
Below is Granger Meador’s updated map of the trail system and parking areas, based on an original map by the Bartlesville Area Friends of the Parks. Click on the image to enlarge it. You can also download his printable PDF map and view an online spreadsheet with detailed mileage information.
Interactive Google Map
I also created an online interactive Google Map of the Pathfinder Parkway.
Closing the gap
For years I hoped that the city would complete the connection from Robinwood to Sooner Park, where a half-mile section of Turkey Creek from Eastland Center at Highway 75 over to the Will Rogers Complex on Frank Phillips Boulevard had no trail. Below is the map I created years ago showing various options:
The city sought and received $125,000 from the 2018 Recreational Trails Program, which is administered by the state tourism department, to help it finally complete the trail, implementing the third option shown in my map.
The Eastland Center trailhead now blocked by the Chick-fil-A drive-through was replaced with a new parking area and trailhead on the west side of US 75, just north of Señor Salsa. The new paved trail still dives under the highway but rises on the south side of Turkey Creek to run past the drive-through of Long John Silver’s, crossing through the old quarry area to the dead-end of Brookline Drive. It runs along the south side of Brookline for awhile, then crosses to become a six-foot wide sidewalk on the northwest side of Brookline Drive up to the Paths to Independence school (formerly Will Rogers) on Frank Phillips Boulevard, where the Pathfinder Parkway has long led onward past the west and north side of the school campus to Sooner Park.
Hillcrest Drive Reconstruction
In 2021 the city began rebuilding Hillcrest Drive between 20th Street south to the Caney River. The narrow diagonal portion of the road through the floodplain, with its deep ditches, is being replaced with a new roadway on its west side which will have two 12-foot-wide lanes with six-foot-wide asphalt shoulders, along with turn lanes at Shawnee Avenue and 20th Street. Part of the old roadway will be repurposed into an extension of the Pathfinder Parkways. The project will last into the spring of 2022.
There is currently a social trail leading south off the west end of the Pathfinder bridge over the Caney River. Maybe that will become part of a loop trail with the original Hillcrest Drive? We shall see.
March 2018 bond and the Pathfinder
On March 6, 2018 voters approved four city bond issues totaling $16.5 million to hold the existing 15 mill levy steady. The Parks and Recreation plan includes $304,500 to repave two miles of the Pathfinder Parkway in the guaranteed projects that form 70% of the issue. The intended 30% portions of the Parks and Recreation proposal, with projects the city will do so long as remaining funds allow, includes $32,300 for lighting of the Lee Lake trail, parking lot and roadway repairs, Caney River erosion rehabilitation, new drinking fountains, and signage improvements in the various parks.
In the intended 30% portion of the Streets proposal, with projects the city will do so long as remaining funds allow, includes $406,100 to extend the Parkway from Johnstone Park into and through downtown and westward via a combination of both on-street and off-street designs with informational and directional signage. This would strengthen pedestrian connections to west Bartlesville into downtown and provide a wayfaring system to orient folks to opportunities downtown.
Dreams for the future
The city is only growing south and east and US 75 is a formidable barrier separating Jo Allyn Lowe Park from newer neighborhoods along east Price Road and south Madison Boulevard. The city has property to the east of Washington Park Mall which has been proposed to become Southeast or Price Park. Granger would like to see that new park built and the Pathfinder Parkway extended from Jo Allyn Lowe Park via Colonial Estates to the new park near the First United Methodist Church campus. He hopes the Pathfinder Parkway would then be extended on the east side of town to connect the new park to Sooner Park, passing through the Tri-County Tech campus and up by the Village Apartments.
Bridge Together Project
The boards on the large pedestrian bridge over the Caney River were rotting away and needed to be replaced. Bob Pomeroy spearheaded raising funds for the effort. Donors like Granger helped buy new planks, which were installed by October 2013.