Beavers Bend and surrounding area attractions.
If you’re looking for adventure in southeastern Oklahoma, there are three instructions you should follow:
- Read this article and make your reservations.
- Pack hiking boots, fishing poles, sunscreen and bug spray.
- Head east to Broken Bow for days filled with outdoor excitement.
The Beavers Bend Trip Overview
At Beavers Bend Resort Park in southeast Oklahoma, you’ll find over three thousand acres of outdoor activity—from hiking, biking, fishing, boating, floating, horseback riding and so much more.
With towering trees, clear flowing waters and a wooded, rugged terrain, this outdoor lover’s paradise features more activities for families than most theme parks do. And the bonus? Beavers Bend is a popular park for a reason, It’s just breathtakingly beautiful. It is part of the Ouachita and Kiamichi Mountain ranges and it’s full of lush vegetation and includes the Lower Mountain Fork River.
If you’re headed to the wild southeast portion of Oklahoma, plan to stay a few days. And in the end, you may decide you never want to leave!
Fun on the Water
At Beavers Bend Resort Park, trout streams are stocked year-round. Adults and kids can try their hand at the park’s two catch-and-release trophy areas, and the Mountain Fork River also provides excellent fishing opportunities.
Flowing from the base of Broken Bow Lake, the Mountain Fork River is full of native Oklahoma fish like smallmouth bass and perch, but it’s also a friendly river to canoe or kayak on. This park has a lot of family-friendly activities, In the Riverbend area of the park, you can take canoes or bumper boats and float the Mountain Fork River, or you can just swim and enjoy nature.”
The Riverbend area also has rental yakanoes (a combination kayak and canoe), paddle boats, traditional canoes and roped off swim areas. Due to the clear waters of Broken Bow Lake, this area is also a favorite for scuba divers. On the lake, families can try jet skiing with rentals available as well. The river area has some platforms designed for handicapped accessibility, but they are also popular places to fish from.
Fun on the Land
Beavers Bend Resort Park’s miles of hiking trails attract not only day hikers, but the serious hiker as well. To challenge the entire family, try tackling the David Boren Trail, which includes 16 miles of hiking trails and four miles of multi-purpose/mountain bike trails. This trail brings you across creek bottoms, over mountain ridges, through heavy forest and through areas so remote it will be hard to remember what civilization looks like. For hikers not wanting the full 16-miles, there’s good news—this same trail can be broken down into a series of short or long hikes.
Beavers Bend is great for hiking or backpacking. The area is just so beautiful to go through. The newly renovated Skyline Trail is one of the park’s oldest trails and offers a treat for experienced hikers. Skyline Trail was closed for several years due to a conflict over land ownership and flood damage that occurred in 2009. During refurbishment, a three-tier waterfall was discovered that is worth seeing. The trail covers seven miles.
Other family-friendly trails include:
- Forest Heritage Tree Trail: This looped trail begins and ends at the Forest Heritage Center Museum. The trail starts downhill from the large Indian sculpture and travels to Beaver Creek, along the creek and over a covered bridge and loops back to the museum. This trail is marked by white paint on the trees. Approximately 1.1 miles. Level of difficulty: fairly easy to walk, but you do have a couple of climbs.
- Beaver Lodge Nature Trail: This is a one-way trail, so when you reach the end, you’ll have to backtrack. It is a wide and easy trail suitable for families, but a short section of it has suffered flood damage. Park officials suggest following the wide trail until it becomes too narrow and/or steep before turning back. Approximately 1 mile total length. Level of difficulty: easy to walk except for aforementioned damaged areas.
- Cedar Bluff Nature Trail: Starts across from Dogwood Campground and should be walked clockwise. Families can start on the left and turn right at each junction. The trail is marked with blue on white blazes on trees, and hikers are urged to stay on the trail and avoid shortcuts. Occasionally, the creek floods, making the lower part of the trail somewhat hazardous. Approximately one mile in length. Level of difficulty: Both easy grade and a hill climb.
- Pine Ridge Nature Trail: Almost a figure-eight trail that loops back to the beginning. Starts across from the park’s tennis courts and continues right. You’ll venture through hardwood forests, a sewage lagoon (don’t swim here!) and across a mountain ridge. On the way back, you’ll explore forest and floodplains. Approximately ¾ mile. Level of difficulty: fairly easy to walk, two up-hill and two down-hill grades.
Celebrate Local History
Families shouldn’t pass up the chance to visit the Forest Heritage Center, located four miles from the park entrance, which brings to life the history of forestry in Oklahoma. It showcases the forest itself, but also how to use the resources in the forest, It’s a great place that showcases art like woodworking, paintings, sculpture and more.
Visitors to the museum can view the 14 large dioramas depicting Prehistoric Forests, Caddo Indians, Paper making in the South, 1940 Lumbering and Forest Appreciation. Each diorama has a taped narration to help learn about the topics.
Other exhibits include chainsaw carvings, a 100-year-old log cabin from the Kiamichi Mountains, a Forest Wood Art Gallery and traditional woodworking tools. The Center opened an exhibit in 2003 that honors the wildland firefighters who risk their lives each year. A bronze sculpture honors Jim Burnett, the first firefighter in the state to lose his life fighting wildfires.
Sports and More
Just past Dogwood Campground at Beavers Bend, near Swim Beach, you can find additional activities include tennis, volleyball and mini golf. The Beavers Bend Depot & Stables, located in Area E, near the entrance of the park, gives families the ride of a lifetime on a one-third scale replica of the C.P. Huntington S.P. train built in 1863. The train runs twice an hour, chugging through Wahoo Hill and through a tunnel at Beavers Bend Resort Park.
Be sure to stop by the stables for a one-hour trail ride through 2½ miles of the park. Children under age five must ride with a parent, but older children can ride their own experienced horse. After your ride, visit the Beavers Bend gift shop to refuel on candy and ice cream while shopping for souvenirs.
Parents and their young golfers may also enjoy a visit to the nearby 18-hole, par-72 Cedar Creek Golf Course, with manicured fairways that wind through pine, oak and wooden roughs, all teaming with wildlife. Go 12 miles north of Broken Bow, then three miles east on Golf Course Road. It is the kind of golf course one would imagine finding in a pristine, pine-laden wilderness. Hours are 7:00am–8:00pm in season, 8:00am–5:00pm off-season. Call Cedar Creek at 580-494-6456.
Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest
If you plan your visit this month, you are in for a treat! This year marks the 41st anniversary of the Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest. Held the third weekend each June (June 14–16,2013), this three-day festival stages an annual Festival of the Forest to display the beauty, heritage and culture of Kiamichi Country.
Featuring forestry competitions like ax throwing, double-buck sawing and crosscut contests, the festival brings back “the good ole days” of early twentieth century Oklahoma. Competitors vie for the title of “Bull of the Woods” and “Crew of the Woods.”
Log rolling and juggling chainsaws are both part of the All American Lumberjack Show, performed live at the festival. You’ve seen it on TV, but now you can see quick carving, boom runs and stock sawing live.
As part of the festival, the annual Owa-Chito Art Show starts with a reception at 7:00pm on Thursday, June 6 at the Forest Heritage Center Museum. This annual art show features more than 300 works of art from more than 100 artists. The Art Show will continually run from June 7–17 at the park.
Where to Stay:
Get Your Family Prepared to Fish
Besides stocking up on the fishing poles, portable chairs, bait and sunscreen, be sure you “get legal” to fish too. Annual fishing licenses are required for all residents of Oklahoma 18 to 64 years of age, unless exempt (costs vary). Residents who will turn 65 years of age or older during the current calendar year are eligible to purchase a resident senior citizen lifetime fishing license; contact the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation headquarters for information.
To trout fish in the Mountain Fork River, you must have a trout stamp added to the fishing license. Children under the age of 16 are still required to have a trout stamp to fish in the Mountain Fork river; the cost is just $5. Call 405-521-3851 or visit www.wildlifedepartment.com for information on fishing licenses
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Our Beavers Bend Cabins are locatd in Southeast Okahoma is known for large variety of outdoor/indoor recreational activites click below to visit McCurtain County Tourism Athority attraction pages for up to date locations and activites.