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I had never heard of McGee Creek State park but had a blast here last weekend! We stayed right on the water at Potapo Landing. Definitely the nicest campsite I’ve seen. Aside from electricity, water, picnic table, fire pit and grill, each site also had their own deck! We got lucky as our site was not directly next to other campers, however most sites were pretty close together. It seemed like many of the RVs that were parked were there permanently (or at least for a very long time). Every now and then we’d catch a whiff of sewage smell but other than that it was very quiet and peaceful weekend.
We stayed at the Blue Jay Drive Campground and it was beautiful! We had three sites 14,15 and 17 number 15 was beautiful right on the lake neighbors were coming by and asking if they can take pictures of the site 15. Make sure you take plenty of water there is no water not even one spigot. They have a vaulted restroom similar to a portapotty. We took our own portable potty and thank god we did so. I would definitely take some seven dust for the little critters at the campsites. It’s very quiet at night and there’s so much to do there.
In July 2020 we traveled north into Oklahoma to visit Little River Park. We found Little River Park on the Recreation.gov web site and just had to go pay a visit. On my previous trip into south East OK I meet some new friends from the area who told me to check out Pine Lake as it was way better for the mobility challenged. Upon our arrival to Little River Park we immediately were impressed with the stunning beauty of the area. We startled three deer as we were driving into Little River Park. Our site was great! Very level with a huge concrete pad that was ideal of the mobility challenged camper. We spent three days camping at Little River Park before the heat and humidity got the better of us and we decided to head back to home base. I look forward to a return trip to Little River Park on Pine Lake at some point in the future.
https://youtu.be/lx-HaTozn9gSite number 4
Great weekend! It is still hot but cooler in the evening. We were able to secure a campsite at the last minute. It was crowded but to be expected. The water was nice and we had a great time canoeing on the river. Deer were everywhere in the evening. Def will be back, beavers bend never disappoints!
We camped in Turkey Circle in the lake part of the park. The campground was a bit tight but it was pretty quiet. We stayed in #10 and it was right next to the road but thankfully there isn’t much traffic in the circle. We had a slight view of the water from the back of our site and it was a quick walk or drive down to the lake. We really enjoyed our time exploring the park and all it had to offer. We were able to hike,kayak the lake and the river, swim and there is also a train and mini golf within the state park. Our campground was part of the Carson Creek area and was a short drive to Hochatown. There is an animal rescue and a mining attraction for kids in Hochatown. There is also a really cute shop called Hochatime that has some nice quality shirts. We are already planning our next trip and are looking at Acorn, Cypress, and Fern for campground options. They are all closer to the river area and closer to the activities within the park.
Nice nice nice park. Woke up to the views of the lake. Nice breeze even in the summer. Lots of shade off of blue jay drive. We camped pad B011. Photos do more justice.
Got some videos of the river side camp sites.
If you want to camp the lake I recommend blue jay drive. the other places have nice lake access and views It’s just some were to crowded.
We camped at McGee Creek State Park over Memorial Day weekend. We camped at tent hill #3. The thing we really liked about this particular site was that there are only 4 tent sites here, so it’s secluded and nice and quiet. There is very little traffic driving by as well. What we didn’t like is that there is only a pit toilet and no water faucets. There is a real bathroom with a shower about a 10-15 minute walk away. The bathroom was pretty typical of a state park. There is an area that has some lake huts for rent as well. They don’t have bathrooms but the are heated/cooled.
There is another area about 1.5 miles away called Buster Height campground. This is where the swim beach and another boat dock is. There is also an RV area and a bunch of tent sites. Most of these tent sites are pretty small and crowded together. If you have a big tent or don’t like being near others, you might want to consider tent hill if it’s available.
On the other side of the lake (about a 25-30 minute drive) is the natural scenic recreation area. There are a ton of hiking trails that lead to backpacking campsites, equestrian camps and there are boat in sites as well.
Overall a pretty decent park but definitely not one of our favorites.
I recently spent 4 days at Beavers Bend State Park ("BBSP") on a camping trip with my brother. We had initially planned to go camping at Lake Ouachita in Arkansas; however, unfortunately we were unable to go due to the COVID crisis and Arkansas only allowing in-state residents to begin camping again on May 1st. As a result, we had to make a fall back plan so we landed on BBSP. Since we didn't make a reservation until the last minute, the only camping area with sites available for the full length of our trip was in the "Hochatown Area."
Per a sign I noticed on the side of a local business during our trip, "Hochatown" is pronounced as follows: (1) "HO" - like Santa Claus, "Ho, Ho, Ho!" (2) "CH" - like CHicken, not a "K" (3) "A" - like "UH" (4) "TOWN" - Well, you know, like "TOWN"
First of all, BBSP is HUGE and very spread out. If you're looking for a park where you can pretty much walk or ride a bike everywhere during your trip, this is probably not your place. It's possible, but it wouldn't be enjoyable in my opinion. Broadly, the park is generally located on the western side of the Broken Bow Reservoir and runs south to north across approximately 12-15 miles. The hub of activity containing the typical state park-esque things is in the southern section of the park.
There are basically two general sections of the park, both of which have several camping areas within them. One is on the north side of the park and the other on the south. The northern half is the Hochatown area (or “Lake Area”), while the southern half is the Beavers Bend area (or “River Area”). Where you camp will largely depend on what you plan to do.
As indicated above, the Hochatown area is close to the Lake. There are several different campgrounds in this area and it’s all very spread out. Basically, if you have a camper/rv, your options are Armadillo, Quail or Turkey. We stayed in Armadillo because that was the only area available. Of the three, I think Quail is probably the best area, but at the end of the day, I think they are probably all comparable. The sites in Armadillo were well shaded with level/paved pads. Picnic table, lantern hook, and fire pit. There was also a big pavilion right behind our site. If our kids were with us, it would’ve been nice in the event of rain. Some sites in Armadillo have sewer and others don’t. We were in site #4, no sewer. I was skeptical at first, but I really liked it. The bathhouse wasn’t open but it looked ok. Armadillo is about 300 yards away from the Lakeview Lodge. Leave Armadillo area, cross the street and make your way to the Lodge. There is a boat ramp and lots of area to enjoy the lake shore. The Lodge looked a little sketchy but generally probably decent. As for the other, non rv areas, those include: Blue Jay, Eagle, Coyote, Deer Drive, Turkey, Grasshopper, Firefly and Hawk. These are walk-in tent sites really close to the water. If you’re a tent person, these are very cool sites. All areas have bathhouses. In addition to water activities, there is a nice golf course a few miles north that runs along the lake (Cedar Creek Golf Course). We played a round during our trip and really enjoyed it. Reasonably priced ($40 for 18 with cart; $27 or so for 18 with cart at twilight, or after 4pm during daylight savings). It was a solid little course with some great views along the back 9. In addition to those things, there are several moderate hikes that are all around 3 miles in the Hochatown area. You can also combine them all and go on a mega 16 miler that takes you up and along the crest of the mountain overlooking the lake. Views are fantastic but would caution anyone who is not in shape or not accustomed to hiking. In short, if you’re planning to do a lot of boating and fishing, the Hochatown area will be your jam as there are multiple boat ramps and the marina is generally about the same distance from all the camping areas in the northern section of the park.
The southern area of the park is the Beavers Bend or River Area. From the outset, without question, this is preferable to Hochatown area in my view. This area of the park looks like something from a movie and there are several camping areas, including (from north to south): Hickory, Grapevine, Elm, Fern, Dogwood, Acorn and Cypress. Again, if you’re taking a camper/rv, you’ll be limited to Dogwood, Fern, Acorn or Cypress. Without a doubt, you will want to try for a spot in Acorn or Dogwood (in that order) first. Next is Fern, though it is right next to horse stables so unless you like the smell of horse poop, probably want to look at Cypress. Acorn and Dogwood areas have sites along the river that are amazing. The pads are great, and there is sewer. Specifically as to Fern, it is a small area that offers bigger sites and some seclusion while being on the river, but it’s generally people with trailers for horse related things due to proximity to stables.
Cypress is probably last or 3rd of these 4 areas for a few reasons. First, it sits across the road from Acorn and not on the water, but it is at least in close proximity to the river. Second, the pads are gravel/dirt and short. If you’ve got a rig that's anything longer than 17 ft, it could get tight in a hurry. Third, the trees make these sites really tight in addition to the length of each pad. Fourth, the sites are stacked on top of each other leaving hardly any room between sites. If you were taking kids, I could see that being a source of stress trying to keep your kids from encroaching on your neighbors 24/7. Basically, it’s just much less appealing overall than Acorn or Dogwood, but it is still probably better than the Hochatown area if you've got a smaller camper or a PUP like me.
The “main” park area is by far the southern half of the park, or River Area. This is where the visitor center and heritage center are located, both of which are fantastic. There is also a park general store and other concessionaires on site. Obviously that's are big plus to have access to those things, even if you aren't planning on using them. There are several different swimming areas along the river with sandy beaches that are clearly marked, as well as hiking trails and flat, paved trails for leisurely bike riding or, in my case, a path for my boys to use their little scooters. Dispersed among the camping areas are many, many cabins that can be rented. Some are nestled into the side of the hillside, while others look right out over the river. I have not stayed in a cabin but they appear to be quite nice. I also have a friend who stayed in a cabin at the park with his family for a week every summer and he raves about his experiences. In addition to trout fishing in the river, there are also numerous float trips you can take in this area of the park, most of which follow along the Mountain Fork River. In fact, there are even portions of the river south of the park (Lower Mountain Fork River) with Class III rapids for rafting. In the same area, there is the Lower Mountain Fork River Trout Fishery, which is a phenomenal flyfishing location. Overall, this area of the park looks like a movie. There is so much to do you can’t hit it all in a single trip.
Lastly, a few comments about the area surrounding BBSP. Being from Oklahoma, I will say that in my humble opinion, much of the state is not pretty at all. However, this area of the state is absolutely stunning and doesn’t look like Oklahoma; rather, it looks like Arkansas. With that said, the towns of Hochatown and Broken Bow are pretty rough and frankly sort of sketchy in all respects. Closer to the park (along 259), it is very “touristy” on both sides of the road. There are several restaurants, bars, gift shops, and activities like miniature golf and a go cart track. For my family, it’s a perfect spot for us, as my wife loves the tourist-type gift shops and my boys would love the mini-golf and go-carts. To that end, if you’re looking for something all natural, I would say you should either stay in the park, or just don’t go to Beavers Bend. Due to the geographical location of this park, it is situated in a spot that's nearly equidistant in all directions to Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. As a result, this is one of the most visited areas in Oklahoma. During our trip, it seemed like there were more Texas and Arkansas plates than Oklahoma. It's clearly a tourist-esque location, that's particularly true during the late spring and summer months.
Overall, even though I have visited several parks in Oklahoma, I haven't seen them all. Despite that, I feel confident in saying that Beavers Bend is probably the best the state has to offer in terms of state parks and camping. There is so many different things to do that it could appeal to anyone and the scenery is stunning. Plainly, you just can’t go wrong here, even if you end up in a less preferable camping area. If you live within a reasonable distance from this park, it’s definitely somewhere you should visit.
My brother and I were scheduled to stay in AR for a biannual camping trip and we’re forced to move to Beavers Bend State Park due to AR park closures.
We grabbed a site in the Armadillo loop near Lakeside Lodge. Campground is laid out well. Grass needed to be cut but otherwise a pretty camping area. None of the facilities were open given the pandemic but the lodge (which is being renovated) and the visitor center looked very nice. Campground was mostly 30/50 Amp, water, electric sites. There were some with sewer but they looked to be ADA sites. Nice concrete pads and fire rings.
The other camping areas are all easily accessible and the Acorn loop in the River Area was the prettiest as far as scenery. Plenty to do in Hochatown and there is a decent Wal-Mart in Broken Bow. There is plenty to do at Beavers Bend! We were both very happy with our time there.