Beavers Bend State Park: A Relaxing Get-Away by Bonnie and Bill Neely

Just a pleasant three hour drive from Dallas-Fort Worth or Tulsa is one of the most relaxing and fun weekend getaways we have discovered in a long time. It had been nearly 25 years since we had been to the lovely Beavers Bend State Park in McCurtain County of Oklahoma,
which was mainly rustic in those days, and what a great surprise awaited us. The 14,200 acre Broken Bow Lake with 180 miles of shore is surrounded by tall, thick hardwood and pine forests. No homes can be built along the shoreline, so the cold water (up to 140 feet deep) is clean and clear fed by Mountain Fork River and is an angler’s dream for trout, smallmouth bass and other fish.. The vast expanse of water has numerous small islands and enticing secluded coves to be explored to your heart’s content.
Although the largest nearby town of Broken Bow has no airport, the drive through quiet countryside is pretty from any direction, and you can feel yourself shedding the stress of your busy routines and work as you drive along. RV parks and camping areas for all types of camping are plentiful both within the State Park and at private campgrounds surrounding the area. There are numerous motels and the favorite Lake View Lodge, which is part of the Beavers Bend State Park, are available for whatever your price range is. Our choice for this trip was one of the many cabins, which are scattered in the woods throughout the vast area. These range from around $70 to $300 per night, depending on the size and level of comfort your desire. They can accommodate from two to 22 people, and you can elect whether you want every luxury and modern convenience furnished in a home setting. or whether you want to bring your sleeping bag and utensils and nestle in a rustic, basic cabin. There is something for everyone and every kind of group, from large family reunions to honeymoon hideaways.
There are many realty and rental companies, which book the cabins and properties for sale, and we selected Kiamichi Cabins managed by Caine and Tammi Johnson
and chose the three bedroom, luxury home style property called Hart-Star. On a remote gravel road deep within the forest we found this beautiful more-than-a-cabin awaiting us with lamps lit, a table for six set beautifully, and a cozy gas fireplace ready to be turned on. But we were so glad we arrived before dark, or it might have been nearly impossible to find for the first time!
Each of the three bedrooms in this large two story featured homey, country-western style decor with comfortable queen and double beds, rocking chairs, two and a half baths, and even a toy collection for children. The high-ceiling family living room has a great lounging sofa and recliner, large screen cable TV and much Texas decor. The modern kitchen has every convenience you could possibly need, including cookware, table settings, coffee service, all sparkling clean.
For your daily activities you can choose from many kinds of boat rentals and water sports. The lake offers numerous beaches. You can also choose to rent a houseboat for your stay. There are many different sizes at the Broken Bow Marina. You can spend your entire time there on the lake for an exciting adventure to talk about for years. Trout fishing is great and fishing guides are available, but your must have your Oklahoma fishing license. Hunting is available in season also.
Hiking on the wooded trails is a favorite for most campers, and be sure to bring your cameras for the nature shots you will not get in a city. Idabel is the home of a division of Weyerhaeuser Company, so the pine forests of every stage of growth lend a fragrance to the entire area, which we would love to take home with us. With forests come birdsongs you’ll long to hear again when you return to city life. Treasure each moment in the beautiful out-of-doors.
We chose to spend a couple of our days playing golf. Our first day was at the Idabel Country Club (open to the public) Golf Course about 20 minutes away. It is fairly level, with rich green grass edged by giant pines. A gorgeous setting; the food on-site is quite good and very reasonable.
Our second day was at the challenging and very different Cedar Creek Golf Course in Beavers Bend State Park. The course has many long, straight or dog-legged fairways between forests and creeks. These are up and down fairly steep hills, and the course is a fascinating challenge even to avid golfers. We loved both!
At the end of the day the hot tub on our Hart-Star cabin private deck felt oh so wonderful for our aching muscles! We felt sinfully luxurious in these gorgeous, comfortable surroundings. Then we could move to either our open front porch rocking chairs or the large screened in porch with comfortable seating. We could grill our meals on the deck, or sit around our private outdoor firepit roasting marshmallows and hotdogs.
Of course, since we were on vacation we wanted to eat out, and there are many choices of good eateries nearby. Hochatown just a couple of miles from our cabin has a great breakfast place called Stevens Gap (580 494 6350) and a fabulous dinner restaurant Abendigo’s (580 494 7222), both quite reasonably priced with delicious food and excellent wait staff. The Grateful Head Pizza Oven (580 494 6030) has the best home style pizza you’ll find anywhere. All these places are a must during your stay, and there are many more from which to choose in Broken Bow and Idabel.
For your vacation at Beavers Bend you must book far ahead for holiday times, but the wonder of this area is open to you all year. Come, relax, rejuvenate, and Enjoy! You are in the Ouchita National Forest mountains, the highest United States range between the Appalachians and the Rockies.