From pine-wrapped mountains to luxury cabins, winter time is when McCurtain County, Oklahoma really shows off. It’s a getaway straight from a Hallmark movie, with an avalanche of activities to keep things toasty.
To save you the search, we’ve rounded up eight of our favorite things to do this time of year. Let’s get to it!
Frosty Fly Fishing
When the temps are biting, so are the fish. So strap on those waders and bring the warm socks. The Lower Mountain Fork River is one of the few places in the United States where trout season runs 365 days a year.
While you’re in town, treat yourself to a fly fishing guide. These local experts know all the secret spots to help reel in your next Instagram gem. Plus, they have all the gear you need to cast your line, so you can leave the tacklebox at home.
Crisp Hikes in Beavers Bend State Park
Hibernation is kind of a bad word in Beavers Bend State Park. This winter wonderland is alive with over a dozen hiking trails, all with breathtaking views for every experience level.
Before you hit your trail of choice, be sure to check in at the Forest Heritage Center Museum to pick up a guide. If you need to warm up while you’re there, take an extra long break to check out the 14 dioramas painted by Harry Rossoll himself, the creator of Smokey Bear.
Warm Up in Hochatown
McCurtain County’s little mountain town sure knows how to have a good time. And there’s plenty of indoor fun to beat the cold.
First stop in Hochatown: food. From prime steaks to gourmet pizza, there’s a plate for even the pickiest eater. If you’re still a little chilly after filling your belly, a winery tour or whiskey tasting will warm you right up.
For family fun that doesn’t require a coat, check out the arcade and bowling lanes at Gutter Chaos or try to solve the puzzles of Hochatown Escape Games. On the hunt for a souvenir? Stop into a local shop for plenty of one-of-a-kind finds…and probably a bigfoot or two.
Get Cultured at the Museum of the Red River
Located in Idabel, the Museum of the Red River features more than 30,000 artifacts, ranging from prehistoric wonders to contemporary art. But most know it as the home of one of the most complete fossils of Oklahoma’s state dinosaur, Acrocanthosaurus atokensis. You’re on your own pronouncing its name though.
And the best part? At a price tag of exactly zero dollars, you won’t find a better way to escape the cold.
Try Your Hand at Axe Throwing
The Broken Bow area features two venues to show off your best lumberjack impression: Thomahawk’s in Idabel and Bigfoot Axe Throwing in Hochatown. Before you take aim, call ahead to make sure your desired time slot is available. Most locations offer both half-hour or hour-long experiences for groups of all sizes. All you need to bring’s your finest flannel and some closed toe shoes.
Cuddle the Critters at Hochatown Petting Zoo
Located just outside Beavers Bend State Park, hundreds of animals are ready for a big cozy hug. At Hochatown Petting Zoo, you’ll find everything from skunks and opossums to potbelly pigs and even an alligator!
Both a petting zoo and a wildlife rehabilitation center, you’ll learn about your furry friends while giving them some love. Be sure to pick up some feed at the front office before you start. We hear the quickest way to a baby raccoon’s heart is through his stomach.
Get Wild on an ATV Trail
The days may be brisk, but the ATV trails are always hot. Winding through the Ouachita National Forest are 33 miles of open roads. And good news: there’s no need to lug your ride on your road trip. Several shops offer ATV and Jeep rentals, so all you have to do is bundle up and hold on tight!
Cozy Up in Your Luxury Cabin
It’s not a winter road trip to the woods without a cozy log cabin — and a glowing campfire with some hot cocoa and gooey s’mores. Most Broken Bow cabins come decked out with all the amenities, so if you don’t feel like braving the cold, no sweat. You just might find you need to book an extra night.
Get Here Already!
For more ideas on your next winter road trip, be sure to download the Visit McCurtain County app for activities, food and drink recs, and even local-guided tours of favorite spots. Now dust off that coat, book that Broken Bow cabin, and get here already!