Autumn is an ideal season to visit McCurtain County. Sure, summer warmth sticks around a little longer in Southeastern Oklahoma, but when the weather finally shifts, stuff to do outside and inside shifts with it. Lakes and rivers are still refreshing, canoes and kayaks still glide across the water and ziplines still zip. When the nights finally get crisp, evenings become ideal for campfires and even an outdoor movie or two after the sun sets. For a break from the great outdoors, explore the great indoors. In Hochatown, Broken Bow and Idabel there’s no shortage of year-round restaurants, attractions and shopping.
Top things you need to do this fall.
We’ve rounded up the top things you need to do this Fall with plenty of music, food, crafts, local art, and fun for your whole family. The Honobia Bigfoot Festival & Conference is Sept 30-Oct 1 in Honobia. The Beavers Band Folk Festival and Crafts Show is in November. The Idabel Main Street Festival in October, If there’s not a 5K associated with every festival, we encourage you to run one anyway.
Take the best cabin and nature photos of your life.
The very thing McCurtain County is known for, cabins, are a year-round draw. But they aren’t the only scenery around here. There’s a natural wonderland to explore and use as a backdrop. It’s hard to narrow it down, but here are a few favorite photo op spots: The Beavers Bend Dam on 259 east of Hochatown. Everyone needs a sunset shot atop the dam at the south end of Broken Bow Lake. Nearby Friends Trail Loop starts in the spillway below the dam and takes a rugged path up to reveal panoramic views of the lake from the ridge top. The Talimena National Scenic Byway offers magnificent views from mountain tops in Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas throughout the year.
Hike hundreds of miles of trails, our ancestors called it walking.
When the heat gives us a break in the Fall, you can comfortably spend more time outside hiking and exploring in Beavers Bend State Park and other protected areas but without the traffic of summer. You’re likely to see more animals this time of year. Birdwatching is big here and we have bald eagles here in the park with many coming here to winter. Even in this southern climate, the late fall eventually reveals brilliant seasonal leaf colors mixed in with the pines and evergreens. Make your own screensavers from all the shots you took at the top of Lookout Mountain Trail.
Things to do on the water
There’s never a bad day on the water, especially with seasons this mild. Broken Bow Lake and the Upper and Lower Mountain Fork rivers are great places for boating, floating and throwing discs for your dog. The water also makes a nice backdrop for not doing anything at all. Broken Bow Lake itself is an explorer’s paradise with over 14,000 acres of pristine deep water. With 180 miles of shoreline, the lake is also a camper’s paradise, with great picnic spots and hikes. Plus, there’s plenty of birdwatching and animal watching to justify those ridiculously expensive binoculars you’ve been hiding from your family.
Take on some of that rugged individual stuff.
Try lake fishing or river fishing
Fishing is supposed to be challenging, but why it’s challenging switches as the days start to get shorter and what fish feed on alters. The McCurtain County guides and suppliers have a ready supply of bait and lures to entice the fussiest bass and walleye. Fly fishermen can also rely on local expertise for what the brown and rainbow trout are biting on and where to find them based on river levels.
Set up your home base, call your cabin a “lodge,” and start your hunt at any of the county approved public- or owner approved private-lands. McCurtain County provides a wide variety of game, including white-tailed deer, wild turkey, bobwhite quail, dove, rabbit and more roaming unspoiled terrain of the forests, wetlands and everything in between.
A Land Access permit is required to enter the area, available at area hunting and fishing license vendors. Visit the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Honobia Creek and Three Rivers for the rundown.