How to Get Outdoors with Your Kids in McCurtain County

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McCurtain County is Oklahoma’s outdoor recreation capital, featuring nearly endless options for your next family vacation—even if you’re sticking to a budget. Whether you paddle the crystal blue waters of Broken Bow Lake, venture into the woods in Beavers Bend State Park, catch trophy trout, or kayak on the region’s rivers, each day here is a different, thrilling adventure.

Located in the Kiamichi Mountains near the Texas state line, McCurtain County is within easy driving distance of Dallas, but feels worlds apart. Whether you stay for a weekend or a week, McCurtain County’s natural surroundings, affordable prices, and remarkable scenery makes it a sound choice for outdoorsy families.


fishing in mccurtain county
Photo by Jeremy Charles

You always have fun fishing with your kids in McCurtain County.
Even if you and your family have never fished before, you can learn in McCurtain County. Local businesses cater to visitors that want to fish on half- and full-day outings. Fish Broken Bow Lake, Lake Hugo, or the Mountain Fork River for a variety of catches. Browse McCurtain County fishing guides to plan your trip.


hiking with kids
Photo by Jeremy Charles.

McCurtain County offers a variety of hiking trails, each with scenic views.
Hiking is one of the best ways to see and explore McCurtain County, but when hiking with the whole family, it can be tough to choose a trail you’ll all love. The Beavers Bend State Park’s David Boren Trail—named for the former Oklahoma governor—solves this problem by offering options that challenge and delight everyone. The Trail is actually a system of multiple trails of varying lengths and difficulty, with the southern 12 miles of the trail running from the low-water dam at the south end of the park all the way up to the Beaver Lodge Nature Trail near the spillway. The trail runs north to south, though keep in mind that it does not loop around to the starting point.
Pick from shorter, one-mile options like The Beaver Lodge Trail, Cedar Bluff Nature Trail, and Beaver Creek Trail. Or, when visiting with kids experienced at hiking, take on the four-mile Skyline Trail. Its stunning views have to be earned as the climb to the top is steep, but the trek is worth it to reach the three-tiered waterfall.
The Forest Heritage Tree Trail in Beavers Bend State Park is another favorite of youngsters. It’s located just outside the Forest Heritage Center Museum, a free museum with wood art kids will love, and also features historical documents, tools, and dioramas. The one-mile loop trail is perfect for your tykes, but does not accommodate strollers, as it’s unpaved and a bit rocky. The loop follows a babbling creek full of tadpoles before ending back at the museum.


geocaching in mccurtain

Geocaching is like an outdoor scavenger hunt using a GPS device, and as long as you have a GPS, it’s completely free fun. Geocachers use the device to locate where the geocache is, then hit the trails and track it down on foot. Kids love hunting for caches, and it keeps them entertained and happy on hikes.
In Beavers Bend State Park, hundreds of geocaches are waiting to be discovered, and searching for them takes you past sparkling lakes, rivers, and towering trees on the park’s beautiful hiking trails. Before you try to find them all, log on to the Global GPS Cache Hunt and type in zip code 74728 to pull up locations of McCurtain County caches. Ranging in difficulty from easy to hard, every age group will find geocaching challenging and fun.

Zip Lining

ziplining in mccurtain county

Fly like a bird nearly 60 feet off the ground through lush forest and across Broken Bow Lake on this two-hour, six-span zip line tour from Rugaru Adventures Zipline. Spans range in length from 300–1100 feet for a total approximate distance of 3,200 feet. All zipliners must weigh 70–250 pounds, and the harness must fit correctly. $75 per person. Open daily from end of May–end of August. Open Friday–Sunday only the rest of the year.


Ready to book your family vacation? Head this way to start planning your next trip around the Beavers Bend.

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