Hikers, fishermen, photographers, whitewater rafters, and even city slickers have one thing in common: they can all agree on Beavers Bend State Park.
Sandwiched between the Kiamichi Mountains and the sparkling shores of Broken Bow Lake, the 1,300-acre park has been an Oklahoma staple since 1937. And for good reason. Packed with outdoor activities and breathtaking beauty, things to see and do are a stone’s throw away.
To get you started, we’ve put together five places you’ve gotta add to your road trip bucket list. But before you go, be sure to download the Visit McCurtain County app for maps of the park, local-led tours, and even more activity ideas.
Lower Mountain Fork River
Winding for miles through the park, the beautiful Lower Mountain Fork River is hard to miss. And believe us, you’re not going to want to. Best known for year-round trout fishing, the freshwater river is home to a 12-mile trophy section stocked with some of the largest rainbow and brown trout in the state. For beginners, book a fly fishing guide at a nearby shop. You’ll be geared up and reeling in a river monster in no time.
While the waders are drying, rent a kayak or a canoe to take in the sights and sounds. Peaceful paddles are plentiful along the mountain-fed waters. So are more challenging adventures. The river features rapids in some sections, including Presbyterian Falls a few miles down south. Its rocky terrain makes for one unforgettable — and stunning — waterfall drop.
Cedar Creek Golf Course
Resting on the shores of Broken Bow Lake and blanketed in sky-high pines, Cedar Creek Golf Course earns its name as one of the most beautiful courses in the state. Featuring 18 holes and Bermuda grass fairways, a few rounds are a fun time whether you’re green or going pro. Cedar Creek winds through, as do wildlife on their morning graze, offering exciting hazards to shake up your swing. Don’t want to lug your clubs? No sweat. A pro shop with golf cart and club rentals has you covered.
Unveiled in October 2019, Friends Trail is the first new hike added to Beavers Bend State Park in 15 years. This intermediate trail begins at Spillway Creek, just below the dam, and makes a 1.5-mile loop. Hikers can expect rugged terrain with steep inclines in some places, but the outlooks are worth the trek. Be sure to bring some water and trail mix for a rest at the top of the ridge, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Broken Bow Lake and the Lower Mountain Fork River.
Beavers Bend Depot & Stables
A river runs through it. So does a choo-choo train. Yep, at Beavers Bend Depot & Stables an operating replica train offers scenic rides through the forest. Keep an eye out for wildlife. Deer are other furry friends can often be spotted while aboard. And who knows… You might even see Bigfoot. This unique stop also features stables for a different kind of hike. A 2.5 mile-trail leads horseback rides through some of the most scenic strips of the Ouachita National Forest.
Peter Toth Totem Pole
Of course, no trip to Beavers Bend State Park is complete without a selfie with the iconic Peter Toth Totem Pole. Standing 27-feet tall just outside the Forest Heritage Center Museum, the sculpture is Oklahoma’s stake in a 50-state series commemorating the Trail of Tears. Just steps away is the beautiful Tree Trail and picnic tables for an on-the-go lunch from a local spot in Hochatown.
Alright, download the app and get to planning. It’s time to #GetHereAlready.
As a county, we’re continuing to do our part to help keep people healthy. From social distancing and keeping cabins squeaky clean to setting up hand-washing stations and offering To-Go services – the efforts to help you still get the most out of your time here, while being smart are going strong.
- Don’t travel if you’re sick or have been around someone who has been.
- Wash, wash, wash those hands. Soap. Water. 20 seconds. Get creative with a song choice. Follow it up with some alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover that cough. Cover that sneeze. Preferably with a tissue, then throw it away.
- Keep it clean. From frequently touched objects to surfaces, be sure to clean and disinfect.
- Put distance between yourself and other people. Something we’re all good at out here in nature.
As always, stay healthy.