Location: Hochatown, Oklahoma
Webpage: Oklahoma State Park
General Description: Beavers Bend State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Oklahoma. The entire park covers 1300 acres and includes Broken Bow Lake, Lakeview Lodge, Cedar Creek Golf Course, Forest Heritage Center, and a nature center. It is a popular destination for hikers, boaters, fishermen, kayakers, and outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to the Lakeview Lodge, there are also 47 cabins and 110 RV sites with water and electric hookups. There are miles of hiking trails in the park ranging from easy trails along Beaver Creek of 1-2 miles to the 12 mile David Boren Hiking Trail or the difficult 7 mile Skyline Trail. The Forest Heritage Center includes “historical documents, antique forestry tools, wood art, homestead memorabilia, and a research library filled with books, periodicals, and other materials pertaining to forestry.” The Nature Center employs a year round naturalist that can assist in designing program lineups for any size group.
1) Beavers Bend State Park is a very large and popular parks in southeast Oklahoma. Along with multiple ways to stay on the park, it offers visitors all kinds of outdoor activities. We started our exploration with the Forest Heritage Center which has a series of very nice dioramas about the history of forestry in the state. It begins with prehistoric evidence of forests prior to the ice age and progresses through modern day forests. There are also exhibits and examples of field equipment about the history of forest practices and the forest industry. Outside are examples of old log cabins, a general store/post office, and a forest ranger tower.
2) From the Forest Heritage Center we dropped down to Beaver Creek to the 1.1 mile Forest Heritage Trail that runs along the creek. The trail itself can be difficult to follow as there is heavy foot traffic on the trail and all around the creek, however, you can’t get lost as the entire trail is along the creek.
3) The Nature Center has a collection of stuffed animals and live fish to check out. There are river otter, white tailed deer, black bear, bobcat, and other animals in the center.
4) Broken Bow Lake within the park has a number of water craft that can be rented to enjoy the water on nice days.