It was a trip to photograph fall colors at Beavers Bend State Resort Park in southeast Oklahoma. Unfortunately we missed the peak colors by a week or two. So what is a photographer to do? Get up early and hope for good sunrise pictures. Sometimes you get real lucky, like the shot above taken on a cloudy morning as the clouds cast a blue hue across the lake.
We were part of the Plano Photography Club leaf peeking outing. While we missed the peak fall display of colors, there were still some pretty shots. And exploring the park was great fun.
Beavers Bend is located about 175 miles from North Texas, and makes for a wonderful weekend getaway. We stayed at the Lakeview Lodge on the north side of the lake. For campers there are over a hundred RV sites in the park, and nearly 400 tent camping sites. There are also 47 cabins, which book up quickly, and reservations can be made a year in advance.
There are more than a dozen hiking trails located in the Beavers Bend Park, and the adjacent Hochatown State Park. Fishing is popular in numerous streams and from bridges along the lake. Rainbow and brown trout are stocked periodically. There are strictly enforced regulations on the number of fish you can take, and the kind of hooks that are allowed. The rules vary by zones within the park, so it is best to check the park’s website for details.
The park is located six miles north of Broken Bow, just off highway 259. The main loop through the park is on 259A.
There are hotels, lodges and restaurants located along 259 in Hochatown, right at the park entrances. We had a group dinner at Abendigo’s restaurant on the north end of the park. It has a wide, varied menu and both the food and service were excellent. The next night we had pizza at the Grateful Head, which is also located on the park’s north side. For breakfast we recommend the diminutive Stevens Gap restaurant, which isn’t much to look at from the highway, but the food is great. They also have fresh made pies, which are perfect for an afternoon snack.
While we stayed at the lodge this trip, normally we are tent campers. There are primitive sites with water and restrooms nearby. They are heavily treed and have parking, so you don’t have to lug your camping gear very far. In the developed campgrounds there are sites with water and electric, suitable for tents or RV’s. All of the camping areas we saw are heavily wooded and shaded, making them comfortable even in the hot summer months.
There is also an 18-hole golf course located in the park, and tennis courts.
The peak seasons for Beavers Bend Park run from March to November. Holidays, including Thanksgiving, are crowded. If you want to book a cabin, it is best to make your reservations as far ahead as possible.
I highly recommend Beavers Bend. It’s close by, has lots of back to nature experiences, and won’t break your budget. For more on that area of Oklahoma, visit the McCurtain County tourist info website.