Plan the Perfect Weekend at Beavers Bend State Park

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Tucked in the mountains of Southeast Oklahoma lies one of the state’s best-kept secrets — Beavers Bend State Park.

Imagine a place where you can take your boat out onto a crystal clear lake or kayak down the river surrounded by views of the Ouachita Mountains.

We live in Oklahoma and want to help you discover the best things to do to plan the perfect weekend at Broken Bow and Beavers Bend State Park.

Where Is Beavers Bend?

Weekend at Beavers Bend State Park in Oklahoma
Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River

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Beavers Bend State Park is 7 miles north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma, on SH-259A in McCurtain County. It is right outside of Hochatown.

Below are distances to help plan:

  • Distance from Tulsa to Beavers Bend State Park: 207.4 miles or roughly 3 ½ hours
  • Oklahoma City to Beavers Bend State Park: 245.7 miles or approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes
  • Dallas to Beavers Bend State Park: 181.4 miles or about 3 hours

Fees

  • $10 per day per vehicle
  • $8 per day with an Oklahoma license plate
  • Fees are waived for veterans and residents 62 and older
  • If camping, the cost is included in the camping reservation

Are Dogs Allowed in the Park?

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Beavers Bend State Park sign

Yes, leashed pets are allowed at Beavers Bend State Park, so bring your dog.

Best Time To Visit

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View of Broken Bow Lake

The park is open year-round. Spring is a great time for hiking and camping due to cooler temperatures. Summer is best for boating and being on the water. Visitors can enjoy the fall foliage and leaves changing color during the fall months. Winter is excellent for hiking and camping since the weather is relatively mild in this part of Oklahoma.

Things To Do at Beavers Bend State Park

Fun things to do at Beavers Bend
Kayaking the Mountain Fork, Gasquatch, and a Swimming Hole

There are many fun outdoor activities to do, from hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing to renting kayaks or stand-up paddleboards.

Visitors can camp at the campgrounds or glamp in cabins.

The park is large and feels secluded, with all the wooded areas. We think it is one of Oklahoma’s best state parks!

Hiking

There are multiple hiking trails at Beavers Bend State Park, totaling over 16 miles of trails.

Some areas of the park do not have cell phone reception, so be sure to download a trail map for offline use or bring a map.

The best time to hike is spring, fall, and winter. Summers can be hot, humid, and buggy.

Shop Our Favorite Hiking Gear:

Osprey Daylite Pack

Osprey Hydration Pack

Biking

No official mountain biking trails are inside the park, but campers can bike the paved and dirt roads through the campground areas.

However, there are mountain biking opportunities in the surrounding area and Ouachita National Forest.

Water Sports Activities

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Gear rental area

Vacationers can rent boats, paddleboats, SUPs, or kayaks to paddle around the lake or sections of the Mountain Fork River below the spillway within Beavers Bend State Park. The crystal-clear water of Broken Bow Lake makes for the perfect summer escape.

You can find places to swim and enjoy the water, whether at the lake or river.

There is a marina and multiple boat launch areas around the lake.

You might enjoy checking out a neat swimming hole on the river below the spillway with cool rock formations and bluffs. Many folks like to hang out here, go tubing, and picnicking.

Fishing

This park offers some of the best fishing spots in Oklahoma, with opportunities to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, catfish, crappie, and more. Anglers can enjoy fishing on Broken Bow, the spillway, or the Mountain Fork River.

We saw lots of folks fly-fishing along the river. So, bring your rod and reel.

Get more information about fishing at Broken Bow or how to obtain a fishing license in Oklahoma here (link to Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation).

Forest Heritage Center

Be sure to swing by and check out the Forest Heritage Center while exploring the park. Inside, guests can read historical documents, see antique tools, learn about homesteading, and enjoy the wood art carvings.

Nature Center

Stop in the nature center while visiting. It is in a smaller building close to the Buckeye Campground. There are exhibits to learn about the local wildlife and a park guide to answer any questions you might have.

Scenic Drive Around the Lake

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Broken Bow Lake

Cruise the scenic drive along the winding state park roads through the trees and over the dam for views overlooking Broken Bow Lake.

There are multiple areas of the park to explore, including Carson Creek, Stevens Gap, the North Entrance, and River Bend.

We spent an afternoon driving around and sightseeing.

Camping in Broken Bow

Beavers Bend State Park offers over 300 campsites spread over eight unique camping areas. Some of these campsites are right on the shores of the lake, some are in the forest, and others are along the Mountain Fork River.

There are dedicated tent-camping areas and campsites to park an RV, motorhome, or van.

Shop Our Favorite Camping Chair:

Helinox Camp Chair

Where We Camped: We stayed at the Buckeye Campground at Beavers Bend State Park – it is excellent. The sites are paved, with some shade and full hookups, and you’re right on the Mountain Fork River. We thought the campground was quiet, and we enjoyed walking the trails in the area.

Make a reservation online (link to make a reservation) to book camping ahead of time. You can explore each camping area with the state park’s online reservation tool to select the site that best fits your needs. Some sites are primitive, and some are modern.

Love our camper? Read more about it here or watch our review on YouTube.

Beavers Bend Cabins

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Mountain Fork River from Buckeye Campground

If you’re not into camping, there are many places to rent cabins within Beavers Bend State Park or privately.

Visit the state park website to book cabins at Beavers Bend State Park.

Lots of our friends in Tulsa love to rent cabins in Broken Bow and have a fun weekend getaway.

Check out booking.com for gorgeous Beavers Bend cabin rentals in the area.

Hochatown

Hochatown is a cute small community on the side of Highway 259A. There are places to eat and shop for arts and crafts close to the park.

Bigfoot Fun: The area is known for its Bigfoot lore, and visitors will see lots of places to buy Sasquatch souvenirs. I got a T-shirt – so much fun! So, keep your eyes peeled for Bigfoot (if you believe) while out exploring. I toally believe it is real.

Kayaking the Mountain Fork River

Kayaking or canoeing the Mountain Fork River is one of the best things to do in Broken Bow. Multiple guiding outfitters rent kayaks and gear and include a shuttle.

The Mountain Fork can have whitewater depending on the water levels being released from the dam. Some areas are rocky, and there is one place where paddlers go over a small waterfall (these are class II rapids).

Broken Bow Adventure Photos has a photographer taking photos of everyone going over the rapids. It is so much fun!

We had a blast, and I highly recommend a float trip on the Mountain Fork. We booked with Tippa Canoe.

From Beavers Bend State Park, Tippa Canoe is about 30 minutes away. Overall, we planned half a day, starting first thing in the morning to kayak the Mountain Fork.

Gasquatch

After the kayaking adventure, we drove to Gasquatch in Idabel to see the Bigfoot-themed gas station. Gasquatch also has a mini car museum inside. We got some fudge — it was delish!

Final Thoughts

Exploring Beavers Bend State Park
Broken Bow Lake, Mountain Fork River, Buckeye Campground

If you’re looking for a fun outdoor trip in Oklahoma to enjoy with your family or friends, head to Beavers Bend State Park. With miles of hiking trails, wildlife, plenty of fishing spots, excellent camping, and opportunities to get out and play on the water, it’s an awesome place to get outside.

The Ouachita Mountains of Southeastern Oklahoma are incredible — can you believe this is Oklahoma?

Have fun out there.

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 7, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    THIS is really FUN, guys !!



    • Ashlee Fechino on September 8, 2022 at 11:15 am

      Hi Burt! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Thanks for reading our article.