The ancient art of coordinating the perfect family reunion is made easier in McCurtain County, where hundreds of luxury cabins—ranging from rustic single room structures to sprawling multi-room mansions—dot the beautiful forests of Beavers Bend State Park, equally ideal for hosting the most modest or outsized of reunions. With so many outdoor adventures, family-friendly activities and majestic Broken Bow Lake nearby, the most difficult part of planning the gathering will be choosing what not to do. No need for the horseshoes, cornhole, or sack races (unless you just really like those games). Your try-hard uncle can leave the itinerary at home and instead focus on nailing the grill temperature—we’ve got you covered with a run-down of the best reunion activities this side of Beavers Bend.
A rowdy daytime adventure for the adrenaline junkies in your family. Rugaru Adventures in Broken Bow offers breathtaking zip line tours 60 feet above ground, through the forest and out onto the lake at speeds reaching 35mph. Start practicing your Tarzan yell now.
Beavers Bend attract anglers from across the country for its year-round trout fly fishing in the Mountain Fork River. But maybe the fishers in your family would prefer to lounge on a boat with a beer in one hand and a rod in the other? You can do that, too. Spend the day soaking up the sun while trawling Broken Bow—just make sure your beer is low-point Oklahoma-style (high-point is prohibited) and in a can (glass is prohibited as well). Get familiar with the full list of park rules here.
3. Campfire Stories
Send the kiddos to gather kindling (it’ll build character) and then build a roaring fire in one of the pits near your cabin. Gather the entire family for s’mores and sing-alongs, then embellish your best ghost stories to scare the pants off the little ones.
4. ATV Off-roading
For muddy thrills, go off road with an ATV adventure. There are approximately 300 miles of open roads on the Ouachita National Forest, and 33 of those miles are open to ATV riding year-round, with an additional 20 miles open seasonally. Just be sure to know and follow the rules of the off-road.
While the idea of a hike is always destined to elicit groans from at least a few of the more indoors-inclined in your family, Beavers Bend features a selection of shorter trails for leisurely jaunts through beautiful scenery that won’t test anyone’s endurance or patience.
6. Local Food and Drink
A major perk of reunion-ing in Beavers Bend is that you can immerse in the beauty of nature one day and then spend an afternoon on the patio of a nearby local restaurant or brewery the next.McCurtain County is home to a distillery, two breweries and three wineries, as well as a handful of delicious local restaurants with plenty of patio space. Lounge away a day in Hochatown/Broken Bow while tasting the (fermented) fruits of the local agriculture.
7. Water Sports
The crystal-clear lakes and mountain-fed rivers of Beavers Bend provide more than fishing opportunities—you can boat, canoe, kayak, water ski, jet ski, scuba dive, or just go for a good old-fashioned swim. If it’s done on the water, you can do it in Beavers Bend.
8. Horseback Riding
Beavers Bend has thousands of acres available for horseback riding. Take the whole crew to one of the area ranches and trot through the majestic Ouachita Forest or along the banks of Broken Bow or Glover lakes. The Beavers Bend Depot is an ideal spot for beginners and children, with a brief 2.5-mile trail that allows riders to glimpse the deer and other area wildlife.
9. Bigfoot Hunting
You might not know this, but Southeastern Oklahoma is Bigfoot Country, one of a handful of forested areas in the U.S. where the elusive Sasquatch is known to frequent. This activity only requires imagination and a bit of storytelling—gather the tykes and embellish the legend of Bigfoot however you see fit, then take them into the woods on a spine-tingling hunt for the big furry fella.
Reserve your cabins and start planning your family reunion today.