New weekend-- new lake! Took a couple of extra days and spent an extended weekend at Lake Keystone State Park about 30 minutes west of Tulsa.
The park has two campgrounds with full hookups… Green Country and Lake Country. The former has probably twice as many full hookup spots, but the latter is more picturesque. The view for most of Green Country is the boat shop and the marina. However, Lake Country campground overlooks a cove with easy access to the water. The park features a couple of trails that are good for walking, hiking, and running. Both are connected to the Lake Country campground and one of them will take you to the General Store near the park entrance. Don't expect to find groceries at the store but you can get ice, pop, candy, souvenirs, and ice cream bars.
Green Country campground features Pier 51 Marina. The marina store rents boats and tubes if you're looking for something to do on the water. In front of the store is the Pier 51 Cafe-- Winn's on the Water. Nice little restaurant with outside dining on the dock. Thursday nights are$1.50 tacos and$2 Tecates. Friday is karaoke night. And Saturday night usually features live music from local/regional artists.
The cove is pretty rocky but there is a swimming area and a couple of good areas to launch/land a kayak. The cove stays pretty calm since it's, well, a cove and due to it being a no wake zone because of the marina. If you head north on the water about a mile or so from the cove and go around the point you'll find a nice sandy beach across the way.
The Lake Country campground was clean and seemed to be taken care of well. Although, when we pulled in our site hadn't been swept or blown off and was covered in cotton from the cottonwood trees. The fully modern sites have nice, level concrete pads with picnic tables and grills. However, they are close together and the little strip of grass in between each site is kinda scrubby. Due to the small sites there aren't any fire rings by the pads but there is a community fire ring nearby. If you like more space and don't need sewer hookups then look at the sites closer to the water.
All in all, while the sites weren't perfect it was a nice campground and will probably warrant another trip.
Lake Stanley Draper doesn't offer much when it comes to camping but it's a nice little day trip if you live in the OKC Metro and don't have time to get out of town. Camping is limited to primitive spots at the ATV park -- no water, no electric, no bathrooms … just a couple of porta-potties. Rumor has it they're planning to put in some more modern spots by the water but there's nothing definitive. I was told by staff that day camping is allowed on the southwest "beach" by the dam. Draper has had a sketchy reputation for decades but the City of OKC is doing a great job of making this a great family day trip destination. Recently a bike/jog path was installed around the lake. 14 miles of paved and maintained trail for cyclists, runners, and walkers. You can tell how popular it is by all the vehicles in the parking lots at 7am! The marina has been recently remodeled and is bright and clean. Unfortunately, the grill that produced greasy cheeseburgers 40 years ago is no longer there but they have plans to add other options in the near future. Of course the main reason we go is for the kayaking. At 7 in the morning the lake is ours. We launch from a cove next to the marina parking lot near the boat ramps. Easy in and out. Jet Skis / SeaDoos, tubing, skiers, etc are usually at the south end. Most of the fishing seems to be on the north end. In addition, there are about a half-dozen fishing docks scattered around the lake. Draper isn't the most picturesque lake but there are enough trees and it's far enough away from any highways to let you relax and pretend you're more than 20 minutes from the house.
We had never been to Ft. Gibson Lake so we thought we'd give it a go… and we really enjoyed it. We stayed at Seminole Campground in Sequoyah State Park for two nights at the end of May and had a nice time. The camp host greeted us when we pulled in and gave us the low-down and provided us with maps on the campgrounds and the area.
The campground, was really nice. It was clean, well kept, and quiet. With only one road in and out you'd think the traffic my be kinda bad, but it wasn't. It probably helps that there's not a boat ramp directly in the campgrounds. The sites were spacious and included a nice level concrete pad, a concrete picnic table, a firepit, and a lantern hook. All the sites away from the shore had sewer connections. The ones closest to the water did not, but there's a dump station right outside the campground gate.
Being kayakers we like campgrounds that have easy water access and Seminole campground did not disappoint. The water level was up about 15-20' this particular weekend which made it easy to launch/land and with floating debris due to the water level we pretty much had the lake to ourselves. There are also hiking trails in the area including a paved walking trail.
There's a convenience store a couple of miles away for ice, beverages, etc. It's about 12 miles to the nearest Walmart to pick up those things you forget… we now have dedicated camper pillows.
Since I sometimes need to login to work, I'm always curious about the wifi. While the campground itself doesn't have wifi, I was able to turn on the hotspot feature on my phone and get connected without any problems. We have service through AT&T and didn't have any issues.
The camp host told us that this campground is one of the few that stay open year round so we may be back in the fall for a different view.
We've wanted to check out Lake Murray since visiting there years ago. Didn't really think we'd be able to find a spot for Memorial Day Weekend, but apparently someone cancelled and one opened up a few days earlier. We stayed at Buzzads Roost without knowing anything about it and we we weren't disappointed. We didn't get a waterfront site but it was still a nice stay. The campgrounds were clean and quiet. It appeared that all the RV sites were level concrete pads with picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. Our was nice and wide. We don't have slideouts but they wouldn't have been a problem.
We were able to get out and kayak twice. On Saturday the boat ramp for the campgrounds was crazy busy so we drove up the road to Tipps Point and launched from there. They have a nice beach area along with some camprounds there as well. On Sunday we got up with the sun and beat everyone else to the boat launch area. If you're in the tent camping area there are plenty of places to launch a kayak but if you're driving down and don't want to walk throught people's campsites there is a small area on the left side of the boat ramp that is a easy place to launch and land a kayak. Parking can be tough at the ramp area. There's not a lot of spaces and many of them were taken by folks who have boats at the marina.
The trip over to Tucker Tower is quick and there are coves on both sides with glassy water. The tower has a dock if you want to take the tour (we were there before they opened, so no tour for us). Oklahoma is often known for its red/brown lakes, but Lake Murray is an exception. Green/blue waters that were clear enough to see the tip of my paddle when stuck straight down 4-5 feet.
The water and surroundings were beautiful and even for a busy holiday weekend it didn't feel too busy or crowded. Lake Murray is definitely on our return list.
Pauls Valley City Lake (PVCL) is a nice litte lake and camp area just east of Pauls Valley, OK. The campgrounds aren't the best, but they aren't the worst. And actually, they seem to be working to upgrade the area. They just finished putting in more infrastructure to expand the number of full hookups. Some of the sites have concrete pads and some are just gravel. Ours was gravel but it was level. Plenty of water pressure and the electricity was clean. TV/antenna reception was poor, but that's not why we camp. AT&T cell-phone reception was pretty good … not 5-bars but fast enough to stream video. The campground was quiet at night and everyone was friendly. They're also in the process of upgrading the playground for the kids. And there is also a little bait shop on site ran by the camp host.
I don't fish, but I've heard that PVCL is a good crappie lake. There are plenty of places to fish from the bank if you don't have a boat and there is also a fishing dock near the campround. Keep in mind that it is a recreational lake so expect boats, tubes, sea doos, etc. We enjoy kayaking and didn't have any trouble with it being too busy. If you kayak, head to the northeast side of the lake. There is a spot where you can land your rig, get out and have a picnic.
The campground sits on the west side of the lake so there are some pretty amazing sunrise photo ops. If you don't want to spend all your time on the water, Pauls Valley is a quaint little town with a toy museum, two-screen theater, brick streets, and Field's Pecan Pies. Plus at $20/night for full hookups, it's hard to beat.
Lake Texoma State Park has a few different campgrounds. We stayed at Catfish Bay for a quick little weekend getaway.
The campground was nice, quiet, and clean. There were a lot of families and about 50/50 RVs and tents, although most of the tents were in a separate area further down the peninsula.
The RV section has both full hookups and water/electric hookups. The prettiest sites are the ones without sewer, and the next time we go for just a weekend we'll pick one of those. Most of the RV sites have nice, level concrete pads (except the one we choose … spot 11 … crushed granite). The full hookup sites are packed in like a row of dominoes but there's plenty of room for awnings and slide-outs.
The park has a marina where you can get ice, beverages, chips, etc. You can also rent boats and tubes for the day.
All-in-all it was a nice weekend and we will probably go back.
Hadn't been to Lake Thunderbird since I was a kid (40+ years ago) and all I could remember is that we always called it Lake Dirtybird because of the water. As far as that is concerned nothing has really changed. Typical central Oklahoma red water.
We stayed a couple of nights at Little Sandy Campground. There weren't any full hookups and we had to stay at a spot that was water and electric only … and boy were we glad. The full hookup sites in the next campground over -- Hickory Hill -- were packed in like sardines. Our site on the upper loop of Little Sandy was away from all the hubub but also away from the water, so there was that. If you don't mind being right up against the next camper, Hickory Hill has some full hookup sites right on the water. However, the upper loop of Little Sandy was nice with all the trees and the better-spaced sites. In my opinion spot 36 is the best one. No one can camp behind you and there's a lot of space to the south. The dump site it up on the main road about a quarter of mile north from the campground entrance and easily accessible.
We stayed the first weekend of May 2020 … the first weekend some of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The place was PACKED, especially with tent campers. No judgment, just saying there were a lot of them. It was tough finding a path to the water without walking through someone's campsite. The water pressure was pretty low at the site and my guess it was due to all the sites being in use.
All in all it was a nice weekend, but I've stayed at nicer and quieter places.