How To Float the Mountain Fork River in Broken Bow

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Are you ready to plan a fun outdoor adventure in Southeast Oklahoma, floating the river in Broken Bow? Then, get ready to schedule a paddling trip with whitewater in the Ouachita Mountains.

We live in Oklahoma and are sharing exactly how to float the Mountain Fork River on your next weekend getaway.

How To Float the River in Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Mountain Fork River trip in Broken Bow
Mountain Fork River trip and Beavers Bend State Park

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Paddling down the Mountain Fork River is a great adventure to add to a trip to Beavers Bend State Park and the Broken Bow area.

There are a few different sections paddlers can enjoy:

  • The section through Beavers Bend State Park, and
  • The section from Mountain Fork Park.

Floating the River From Beaver Bend State Park

A section of the river winds through Beavers Bend State Park below Broken Bow Lake Dam folks can float. This section is flat and calm and is excellent for fishing.

Many people bring their canoes and kayaks to float and fish along this section of the river.

There is a place to rent gear within the state park, too.

Check out our gear review on the Jackson Riviera (what we use) if you’re wanting to buy your own kayak.

Floating From Mountain Fork Park

Floating from Mountain Fork Park is one of the most popular ways to enjoy a float trip. This is the section most of the guiding outfitters run.

Where paddlers take out will depend on where the guiding outfit recommends and which section of river you are floating.

Float Details from Mountain Fork Park

Distance: About 4 miles

Time: About 2 ½ hours (depending on the water levels)

Difficulty: Whitewater Class II and I with nice sections of flat water

Once you put in your kayak, canoe, or SUP at the Mountain Fork Park, you’ll navigate the river through a mixture of rocky and flatwater sections. The river is flat with areas of class I and II rapids, depending on the water levels released daily by the dam upriver.

This section is a perfect half-day trip paddling down the river.

Where To Rent Kayaks and Gear in Broken Bow

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Image Credit: Broken Bow Adventure Photos

There are multiple river outfitters outside of Broken Bow to rent gear.

Call ahead for packages, but most prices include gear and a shuttle. Equipment rentals consist of a kayak or canoe, paddle, and lifejackets.

Below are river outfitters in the area:

  • Tippa Canoe (Who we used)
  • River Rats Kayak Rentals
  • Wild Goose Canoe & Kayak Rental
  • Ambush Adventures Kayak Rental
  • Lucky Dog River Floats
  • Tree Frog Kayak & Canoe
  • Skippa-Rock River Float
  • Cowboy’s Kayak Rental
  • Yippie Kayo Kayaks

What You Should Bring Paddling

We recommend bringing a small dry bag (link to Amazon) to carry snacks, sunscreen, water, and a safe place to store your camera, phone, and wallet.

Wear sandals (we have these), wear a sun shirt (like this), and bring a hat.

Our Experience Floating the Mountain Fork

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Image Credit: Broken Bow Adventure Photos

We booked our self-guided trip with Tippa Canoe and had a blast.

They shuttled us to the Mountain Fork Park with our gear, and then we took out at the bridge near their facility at the end of the float.

Pablo and I scheduled our paddling adventure at the beginning of July and made the first trip of the day at 9:00 am. It wasn’t too hot, and we were the first folks on the river that day. It was awesome!

There is a slight drop that is considered a class II rapid where Broken Bow Adventures Photos sets up to take pictures of the river carnage. It’s so entertaining (haha). The river isn’t deep here, so you can touch the bottom if you tip over.

Navigating the rocks was easy in the other areas. We had so much fun on this trip, and it complimented a fun weekend of hiking, camping, and kayaking at Beavers Bend State Park.

The river outfitter you select will guide how to best float the river depending on water levels.

Kayaking Near Broken Bow

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Broken Bow Lake

There are other places to kayak in the area, including:

  • Broken Bow Lake: There are a few places to rent kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats, or stand-up paddleboards on the lake once you get there.
  • Glover River: Get more information here.

Final Thoughts

If you want to do a river trip with a bit of adrenaline, add floating the Mountain Fork River to your Oklahoma bucket list.

While you’re in the area, be sure to check out Beavers Bend State Park. You might also enjoy bopping around the restaurants and gift shops in Hochatown.

McCurtain County, Oklahoma is incredible, and it’s no wonder it is known as the outdoor gem of the state.

We hope you have a great visit.

Ashlee & Pablo


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Ashlee Fechino

Ashlee Fechino is an outdoor recreation and travel writer sharing the best-kept secrets that aren’t in your typical guidebook. Her goal is to inspire people to travel with a sense of adventure by sharing hidden gems across the U.S. and beyond. She is married to an expat Argentine, Pablo. They camp in their Aliner often and love wandering the world. Follow their latest adventures on Instagram @thehappinessfxn.

2 Comments

  1. Burt Randall on September 16, 2022 at 3:35 pm

    I like rivers, too !! Have fun, guys,

    next time you visit.



    • Ashlee Fechino on September 16, 2022 at 5:25 pm

      Thank you for reading, Uncle Burt! So nice to see a comment from you 🙂