The Beauty of Beavers Bend, Oklahoma

View from dam.
Oklahoma is NOT all flat lands! I know that was the vision I had about the state & I was wrong! The southeastern corner of Oklahoma proves that towering pines, rolling hills, & beautiful lakes & rivers exist in the Sooner State!

In the southeastern corner of Oklahoma you will find the quaint town of Broken Bow with a population of 4,142. About 10 miles from the town of Broken Bow there are two state parks - Beaver's Bend & Hochatown.  The state parks are adjacent to each other with Broken Bow Lake on Hochatown State Park & Mountain Fork River on Beaver's Bend State Park. Beaver's Bend/Hochatown State Park are located 3 hours from Dallas, Texas, Little Rock, Arkansas, & Shreveport, Louisiana making it an easy drive. 
Broken Bow Lake from Lakeview Lodge

A trip to Broken Bow has been on our family bucket list of destinations for several years. I have heard numerous people say what a great place it is to visit. We traveled to the park the first weekend in March. Even though the leaves on the trees were just starting to bloom, it was quite beautiful. I could only imagine the splendid colors that are displayed during fall foliage. One day we will have to travel back to see the spectacular colors God displays during autumn. 
Creek on the Forest Heritage Trail

If you seek a family getaway where you can enjoy the serenity of the great outdoors you should book a trip to Beavers Bend/Hochatown State Park. This family vacation will provide you with quality family time while not breaking the budget. 
Mountain Fork River From Spillway
 What is there to do?
So you have decided you want to get away from it all BUT you do not want to be bored... Here are some of the many activities you can enjoy on your trip to Southeastern Oklahoma. 
  • Admission to Beaver's Bend & Hochatown State Park is FREE! Making for a great vacation for the family on a budget. A visit to these state parks will give you & your family 3,482 acres to explore & reconnect with one another. 
  • Fishing in Broken Bow Lake or Mountain Fork River. The Lower Mountain Fork River offers year round trout fishing throughout a 12 mile portion of the lower river. A six day license for out of state visitor will cost $35.  A one day license is $15.
  • Kayak or canoe down Mountain Fork River from spring to fall. The cost for a kayak or canoe ranges from $30-$50.  Our family was not able to kayak or canoe because we did not want to end up in the cold early March river when our canoe or kayak capsized.  It is inevitable that we would have ended up in the water... When we return in the summer this will definitely be an activity we will do. Wild Goose Canoe comes highly recommended.
Don't miss the Broken Bow Lake Duck Tour!
  • Duck Tours - For a one of a kind tour of Broken Bow Lake your family must take a duck tour.  It is fun for the kids & adults in your family. The guides are top notch & you will not be disappointed. The cost is $20 for adults & children aged 4-12 are $15. Children under 3 are free when lap riding. 
  • Go-Karts & miniature golf. There are several options for go-karts & miniature golf in the Broken Bow area.  The cost associated with go-karts is $8  & you must be 58" tall to drive the kart. Miniature golf is $5 per game. 

Take a train ride through the park.
  • Beaver's Bend Depot located in Beaver's Bend State Park - At Beaver's Bend Depot you can ride the train as well as go on a trail ride.  The train ride departs twice per hour & takes you through the national forest on the 1/3 size replica of the C.P. Huntington S.P. train built in 1863.  The ride lasts about 20 minutes and costs $5.50 per person. The train engineer tells about the history of the park & animals that inhabit the park. The trail ride lasts about 45 minutes & costs $30 per person, no one under 3 permitted to ride.

    Forest Heritage Museum
  • Visit the Forest Heritage Museum. Admission is FREE! The Forest Heritage Museum features replicas of log cabins, antique forestry equipment, wood art, & 14 dioramas painted by Harry Rossoll that depict life in the forest from pre-historic to modern times using voice recordings to tell the story of each diorama. Don't miss the courtyard that features replicas of log cabins that can be explored. Out front of the museum you will find the Peter Toth Totem Pole. It is one in series of Trail of Tears sculptures by Hungarian artist Peter Wolf Toth, who created at least one unique totem pole in all 50 states to celebrate and commemorate the Indian heritage of each region.The museum is definitely worth your time to visit.  It is located in Beaver's Bend State Park.
  • Explore the beautiful scenic drive that winds through both state parks. We found a beautiful place to stop where the lake was on both sides of the road with a sandy beach at Hochatown State Park. Our family had a blast exploring the sandy beach on each side of the road.  
Scenic drive 259a

Sandy beach at Hochatown State Park near tent campsites.
Further down from this beautiful spot you will find the marina. You will be amazed at the houseboats docked on this pristine lake.  Park your car & go onto the pier open to the public to get a better view. Over in Beaver's Bend State Park stop at the beautiful dam overlook. Explore all of the roads & see what beauty you can find around the next corner.  Remember to use lower gear when you are headed down some of the steep roads to save your car breaks. 

    Lakeview Lodge Trail
  • Over 12 miles of hiking trails ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous. The trails are well marked making for an enjoyable hike. We spent the majority of our weekend getaway hiking the many trails. Because we visited in early March the trees had not yet blossomed providing for excellent views. One of the trails we hiked each night of our stay was on a nighttime hike on the Lakeview Lodge Trail.  My son was in search of the illusive Bigfoot. We bundled up in our jackets, took our flashlights, & set out on the inside loop of the trail. While we did not find Bigfoot we did hear some strange sounds that made for an exciting evening hike! The first day of our weekend getaway we hiked the Forest Heritage Trail to Beaver Creek Trail, up to Lookout Mountain Trail & back to the Forest Heritage museum. It was a beautiful early spring afternoon.  The trail was somewhat crowded on the Forest Heritage Trail due to the stream that runs parallel to the trail. The Forest Heritage Trail is an easy trail with little change in elevation. However, the further we journeyed from the stream, the fewer people we saw.  We opted to continue on & not circle back around on the Forest Heritage Trail.  In doing this we did not see another person for the next hour and a half as we hiked up Lookout Mountain.  This trail does have an elevation gain that some would find too difficult. I would highly recommend using walking sticks or hiking poles for this hike. Day 2 of our weekend getaway we got up early and headed out on the Lakeview Lodge Trail loop 3 that is a 4 mile loop.  Make sure if you choose this trail you go in a clockwise direction so that you have the best views of the lake & are able to find the trail markings. It was a peaceful hike through the towering pines with spectacular views of the lake at the end of the trail.  The Lakeview Lodge trails are good for either hiking or mountain biking. 
Where should I stay?

Our Choice - Lakeview Lodge: 

Top: Front of Lakeview Lodge
Bottom: Back of Lakeview Lodge facing lake.
We stayed at the Lakeview Lodge which is part of the State of Oklahoma park system & is located on Broken Bow Lake in Hochatown State Park. We stayed in room 252 which is a double queen room on the third floor with a private balcony that overlooked the lake. Every room at Lakeview Lodge has a private balcony overlooking the lake so you will not be disappointed in any view. Do not be surprised to see deer grazing on the lawn from your balcony, making your stay all the more peaceful. The accommodations are affordable at $89-$129 per night. 
Lakeview Lodge Playground

Each room has a microwave & dorm sized refrigerator. The Lakeview Lodge is not the nicest hotel or lodge but the location & view make up for the lack of amenities.  There is no WiFi in your lodge room & the TV in our room only worked for some channels. The microwave in our room did not work causing us to heat our food up in the Lodge great room. The walls & floors are very thin so I would recommend getting a room on the top floor. The beds were comfortable. The cleanliness of the room was adequate. However, the State of Oklahoma desperately needs to purchase new towels.  The washcloths were terrible & had stains from years of use. Eww.. Each morning breakfast is provided with typical continental breakfast fare. Examples of breakfast items provided include microwaveable oatmeal, microwaveable sausage biscuits, ham & cheese croissants, a variety of cereals, packaged muffins & cinnamon rolls, bananas, oranges, & apples, yogurt, coffee, milk, & juices. The breakfast is nice to help you get your day started in the state park without having to go into town. The Lakeview Lodge was a good lodging choice for us as we did not need the space of a cabin & we would visit again. However, if you want to rent a cabin there are many cabin choices within the state park as well in the surrounding areas. If you enjoy camping then make sure and check out the fabulous campsites available within the state park. 

Other Lodging Options:

  • Cabins - 
    Cabin at Beaver's Bend State Park
    • Within the state park you have 47 cabin choices from which to choose - some of which are pet friendly for a small fee.  The cabins are located on & near Mountain Fork River in Beaver's Bend State Park. The cost for cabins that sleep up to 6 people range from $85-$200 per night. If you want a cabin with a river view you need to book early as those cabins tend to book fast.  To check availability of a cabin visit the State of Oklahoma's reservation website or call Beaver's Bend State Park at 580-494-6300.
    • Cabins near the state parks.  There are many cabin rental options other than within the state park.  You can rent tiny cabins that sleep 2 up to cabins that sleep far more. A good place to start looking for a cabin would be VRBO.
  • Campsites -  There are 393 campsites & 50 tent sites at Beaver's Bend & Hochatown State Parks. RV sites offer water & electricity & some include sewage. Dump stations are available.  RV sites range from $20-$25 per night. You can check availability by sending an email to , calling 580-494-6300, or by visiting the reservation website. Tent sites are $12 per night & are available on a first come first serve basis. For the budget conscious family tent camping is a good option. However, I would visit Beaver's Bend during early spring & or late fall for the best tent camping weather. 
    Campsite on the river Beaver's Bend State Park
Where is a good place to eat?
Steak dinner prepared on our portable gas grill.

Our visit to Beavers Bend/Hochatown State Park was limited to 2 days.  The first day we decided we would take our portable gas grill ($30 at Amazon) & travel size propane bottles to cook our dinner. The Lakeview Lodge has 5-10 picnic tables near the Lodge so we picked the one with our favorite view of the lake & grilled some steak we had iced down & brought with us. To compliment the steak I heated a bowl of baked beans in the Lodge great room's microwave & we grilled some veggies.  A final addition was a salad that was nothing more than the salad in a bag you can get at your local grocery store. We had a meal that was wonderful for pennies on the dollar compared to eating a steak dinner in town. I highly recommend getting the portable gas grill so you can easily prepare quality meals with little fuss at a budget price. 

Psychedelic Supremo pizza from Grateful Head Pizza
The second night of our stay we decided pizza sounded good.  We drove the less than 5 minute drive from the Lodge to Grateful Head Pizza & Tap Room in Hochatown. We ordered the Psychedelic Supremo for take out. After a short wait our pizza was delivered.  We took it back to our favorite table at the Lodge & enjoyed the leftover bagged salad along with one of the best pizzas we have ever eaten. We were tired & did not feel like eating at the restaurant but if you want an evening out with the family Grateful Head has a great outdoor seating area that features live bands & places for the kids to play. Make sure you eat at Grateful Head Pizza when you visit Beaver's Bend State Park. 

And so we had a great weekend getaway...
Sunrise view from our balcony in room 252.

Beaver's Bend & Hochatown State Park were great for disconnecting from technology & the stresses of everyday life for quality family time. If you would like to enjoy the nature that God created, book your next family getaway to Beavers Bend & Hochatown State Park.

Visit our video link at the top of the page to see footage from our trips.

May God bless you on all your adventures!