This easy route combines the Longhorn and Buffalo trails for a trip to French Lake. Beginning at the Dog Run Hollow Trailhead, follow the Longhorn Trail east, crossing Fawn Creek and rolling uphill then down through an open oak forest. After a moderate descent, turn north onto the Bison Trail. Ahead, the path winds through grassy prarie and passes a stock pond before turning right at the next trail junction for an eastbound descent. The descent ends at Cache Creek—if the water is low, cross the creek to a 40-foot bluff offering great views of French Lake and Elk Mountain to the west. The trail skirts French Lake for 0.4 mile before gradually turning south past an alternative trailhead, closing this route’s loop, and backtracking through the prairie.
The wildlife refuge is home to many species including bison and elk—look for signs of the park’s 650-head herd of bison and listen for elk bugling in the fall. For more information visit the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
-Mapped by Chris Jennings