We left Bonham Sate Park on Sunday, May 21. We have heard about Beavers Bend from a number of people over the years, but have never visited this unique park. We made the drive on mostly 2 lane rural roads through Paris, Texas and on to Broken Bow, Oklahoma. It was a reasonable 120 mile drive. We left Highway 59 just north of Broken Bow and turned on Highway 259A. 259A leading through the park is very twisty and overgrown. I was having to dodge tree limbs constantly with our 13+ foot height. The park has many campgrounds. Some are right along the river and are considered premium sites. They also have a large number of tent only sites. They have a large FCFS campground that is a short walk from the river that is very wooded called Cypress loop. We just pulled into one of the many back in sites that were available. The roads are all very narrow and you have to pay attention to get through this old campground without hitting something. The cost per night is $22 with water and electric. We have been told that this campground fills up fast every weekend. We had zero cell signal and no OTA TV. There is also no WiFi in this park, so you are cut off from the outside world. Not always a bad thing.
Here is a shot of our site #C20 in the woods.
The park also has some nice cabins. This is a shot of one of the ADA approved cabins.
Beavers Bend is built around Mountain Fork river that comes out of the bottom of the dam of Broken Bow Reservoir. The water is cold, so they stock it with trout. This is the only place in Oklahoma that you can fly fish. We decided to pass on the fishing and took a short river trip instead. You can pay $5 for a short shuttle from one side of the bend to the other. This give you about a 2.5 mile paddle on slow moving water. The water is crystal clear and the surrounding rock cliffs make it a nice trip. We did this on a Monday, so we only saw 4 other people on the river. I am sure on the weekends it is a much different experience.
We saw lots of birds and turtles. It was a nice quiet ride on the river until the sirens started going off. The sirens indicate they are letting water out of the dam and warning fisherman that the water may rise quickly. We heard the sirens, but did not see any change in the river.
Near the end of the float we entered a area with cypress trees. We had fun paddling around the trees and knees.
Our overall impression of this park was good. The staff was friendly and helpful. They have a nice museum at the park headquarters showing the logging industry in the area. It is free to walk through the exhibits and we found the information interesting. The one thing to know about this park is that it has a large number of visitors. It is an older park and it is showing its age. I do not think I would want to be there when it is full. I am sure it is a zoo. One of the best things about our lifestyle is we get to visit these places without the crowds.
We only stayed 2 nights and then headed further north. I will write about our final stop of our trip in my next entry. I will tell you now, it was a very surprising experience.