Oklahoma Land of Lakes
Of course the best way to see
Oklahoma as a water wonderland is to experience it yourself.
Here are a sampling of a few of the state's lakes, each with a unique
to Fame: Oklahoma’s Largest Lake
Characteristic: To the north, the lake is typical of Oklahoma rivers, with the
reddish soil giving the water a pink hue. Travel
south and the lake becomes a clear blue.
Disreputable characters such as
Belle Starr, the Youngers and Jessie and Frank James who hid out in the Eufaula
area of southeastern Oklahoma in the 1800s would hardly recognize their old
stomping grounds now. For starters,
most of it’s underwater. President
Lyndon B. Johnson was on hand to dedicate Eufaula Dam in 1964 which sits about
30 miles beyond the point where the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers converge.
The result is Oklahoma’s largest lake with more than 600 miles of
shoreline. Present day visitors to
Lake Eufaula can rough it in lakeshore campsites, hookup at an RV pad or revel
in luxury at a bed and breakfast or resort.
Two lakeside parks are nearby– Arrowhead and Fountainhead – offering
golf, horseback riding, cabins and nature activities.
Three picturesque hiking and nature trails wind around the lake, leading
you through dense flowering dogwoods to scenic overlooks.
The lake was created with fishing in mind.
Trees and brush to provide natural feeding and spawning areas were left
in place, providing perfect hiding places for striped bass, largemouth bass,
white bass, crappie, catfish, walleye and a variety of sunfish.
After a day on the water, take
some time to discover the lakeshore town of Eufaula.
This quaint city has the air of seaside village with 20 blocks of its
downtown listed on the National Register of Historic Places and its own mass
Great Salt Plains Lake, northwest
Oklahoma near Jet.
The Great Salt Plains Lake area is the only documented place in the world
where hourglass Selenite Crystals are found.
Living up to its name, the lake water is 1/3 to ½ as salty as an ocean.
This salty landscape is all that
remains from a prehistoric sea that once covered parts of northwest Oklahoma.
Great Salt Plains Lake covers 9,300 acres with 41 miles of shoreline and
sits in a basin boarded by salt plains on the west with red shale bluffs and
sandy beaches near the dam. The
salt plains cover 11,000 acres of salt crusted flats which provide the perfect
environment for growing hourglass selenite crystals, a rare and fragile
form of selenite. Digging for
crystals is allowed from April to mid-October.
Great Salt Plains Lake has the
reputation as a premier spot for excellent channel cat fishing. Other species regularly stocked include blue catfish, hybrid
striped bass and hybrid saugeye. Boating
and swimming are allowed.
With the exception of the salt
plains, the area is verdant and beautiful.
The Great Salt Plains federal wildlife refuge boarders the lake’s
northern end. Its primarily marshy
habitat makes it an excellent area to observe many wildlife species, but mostly
water fowl. Over 300 species of
birds can be found in the area. Gold
and bald eagles are among the refugee’s winter residents.
Great Salt Plains State Park provides 169 campsites from tent pads to
semi-modern RV sites and six cabins.
Claim to Fame:
Known as “Oklahoma’s Clear Water Wonderland”
Unusual Characteristics: Several islands dot the lake, with names like “Goat
Nestled in the heart of the
Cookson Hills of eastern Oklahoma, Tenkiller lives up to its reputation as the
clearest lake in the state. It is a
favorite for fisherman, pleasure boaters and scuba divers. (The waters are clear
from eight to 28 feet and two diving shops are lakeside.)
Ten marinas and 20 launching ramps provide services on the lake. Anglers
can take their pick from a variety of bass species, crappie, catfish, bream and
Don’t be surprised to see the
same pleasure boats on Tenkiller that you would find
cruising the Caribbean. Luxury
crafts are docked in the marinas’ alongside jet skis and pontoon boats. Camping is big on Tenkiller with 14 campgrounds available.
Several family-friendly resorts provide lakeside lodging.
Largest lake in western Oklahoma.
The large earthen dam built across the Washita River to form the
Locals around Foss Lake say this
lake is the best place to watch one of Oklahoma’s famous Technicolor sunsets.
The lake's namesake was a booming community from the early 1900s until
the Great Depression. Remnants of
the town of Foss now lie underneath the 8,800-acres of water.
Foss Lake has a true western feel, providing a view of
buffalo and longhorn cattle
in the nearby Washita Wildlife Refuge. Recreational
activities on the lake and in the adjacent Foss State Park include hiking biking
and horseback riding on a 17-mile multi-use trail, paddle boating, picnicking,
swimming and camping on 137 sites. The
lake also boasts a marina with boat rentals and the Portside Café, a
Boasts the largest lakeside development in Oklahoma.
Popular stopover for migratory pelicans every fall.
Grand Lake offers the best of
all worlds. You can escape on
59,000 acres of water, relax in a luxurious resort or visit one of the many
bustling lakeside communities such as Grove.
Sixty-miles of the 1,300-mile shoreline wind through the foothills of the
Ozarks, providing breathtaking views from the lake.
Five state parks surround the lake, offering camping, picnicking and
hiking. Largemouth bass, white
bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill give anglers a special challenge.
Oldest lake in Oklahoma
Holds bragging rights for some of the best fishing in the nation.
Sailboats, houseboats and
fishing boats share the 89,000 acres of Lake
Texoma, the playground of southern Oklahoma. Located on the Oklahoma/Texas
border, the lake is shared by both states.
The amenities list for the area is as massive as the lake: two wildlife
refuges, two state parks, 54 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers parks, 26 resorts and
a variety of golf courses, including Oklahoma’s new premier course opening in
September 1999, Chickasaw Point. Texoma’s
size, depth and miles of shoreline makes it a favorite for sailboats.
Favorite catches include black bass, crappie, white bass and striped
to Fame : Unmatchable scenic beauty.
The lake stretches 22 miles into Ouachita Mountain country.
tree-filled islands and crystal water are the hallmarks of Broken Bow Lake in
far southeastern Oklahoma. In
a part of the state known as “Oklahoma’s Little Smokies,” it’s not hard
to loose yourself in the surreal setting. Beavers
Bend State Park on the shores of the lake offers homey cabins, an 18-hole golf
course, Lakeview Lodge and a variety of activities.
Marina services and boat rentals are available.
With largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, crappie and catfish,
Broken Bow's clear waters offer year-round fishing.
Trout fishing is found in the lake's tailwaters.
For more information about these lakes and others,
call the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department toll free at 1-800-652-6552
or visit the web site at http://www.travelok.com
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International. All rights reserved.