Just three hours from Dallas, the Broken Bow Oklahoma offers Southerners a complete change of scenery. The crystal-clear lake is managed by the Corps of Engineers and it’s backed by cool forests and the Ouachita and Kiamichi Mountain Wilderness.
With 180 miles of shoreline and a surface area of 14,220 acres, lots of people can get away from it all without running into each other.
There’s a lot to do in the area, including horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing on the lake, hiking and mountain biking on the trails, and fly fishing on the lake and the Mountain Fork River.
The most popular hikes are the Big Oak Nature Trail, which passes a 300-year-old white oak that’s more than 100 feet tall, and the Beaver Lodge Nature Trail, which winds through deciduous forest to a stream. Depending on the time of year, you may see beaver, deer, birds, and colorful wildflowers. The more ambitious can tackle the 26-mile David Boren trail.
Golfers will enjoy playing Cedar Creek Gold Course, rated 4-1/2 stars by Golf Digest. Fox, wild turkeys, and bald eagles are often spotted in the stands of pine, hickory, and oak.
Both Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River are located in Beavers Bend State Park. There’s a Forest Heritage Center, and a mansion built in 1884 that’s been turned into a museum. The streams are stocked with trout all year long, and there are two catch-and-release trophy areas available for serious anglers.
Waterskiing is available on the lake, and you can even Scuba dive. Several outfitters offer river rafting trips on the Mountain Fork between spring and fall.
There are scores of Broken Bow Lake cabins and Beavers Bend cabins that you can rent in the 3,482-acre park. To maintain the integrity of the lake, the Corps restricts building in the area. So the closest cabins are about nine miles from the lake. On the shores of the lake, Lakeview Lodge has 40 rooms with beautiful views.
A small grocery store near the heritage center makes it easy to buy provisions.
One, two, three, and four-bedroom cabins are available. Most have fully equipped kitchens that have everything you need to prepare an elaborate meal, including seasonings and spices. A barbecue grill is also a must-have.
High-speed Internet access and satellite television is often available. And some have pool tables, hot tubs, home theater systems, and private boat slips.
If you want to travel with your four-legged friends, many Broken Bow cabins accept dogs with a deposit.
Nightly rates range from $150 to $600 depending on the season and the number of guests.