Oklahoma State Parks beckon travelers and their canine companions to enjoy swimming, hiking, boating and wildlife watching among some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
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A trip to an Oklahoma state park means surrounding yourself with preserved landscapes, scenic beauty and rare wildlife. What could make an Oklahoma state park outing even better? Enjoying it all with your pet by your side. Read on to discover five state parks that boast superior experiences for humans and their canine companions.
Cool breezes, unique overnight accommodations and endless opportunities for outdoor fun make McGee Creek State Park in Atoka the ideal destination for you and your pet. Escape to this peaceful park to find yourself surrounded by the natural beauty of the Ouachita Mountain Range and one of Oklahoma’s finest trophy lakes, McGee Creek Reservoir.
You and your pet will love venturing into the pristine park where you’re free to roam up to 25 miles of trails in the McGee Creek Natural Scenic Recreation Area. Traverse into the Potapo Campground where you and your pet are welcome in eight rustic lake huts outfitted with bunk beds, a fireplace and air conditioning. Your eventful day will come to a close as you watch the sun set on your spacious porch overlooking the lake.
For the athletic dog, a trip to Black Mesa State Park & Nature Preserve in Kenton is ideal. You and your pup can hike across black lava rock mesas to catch a glimpse of outstanding surroundings from the state’s highest point located 4,973 feet above sea level. With hiking trails criss-crossing over 1,600 acres within the preserve, even the most energetic dog will need a break before the descent. On the way down, take time to appreciate your surroundings as the park boasts 23 rare plant species you probably won’t see anywhere else.
Clayton Lake State Park in Clayton is nestled among towering hardwoods and trickling waters in southeastern Oklahoma’s Kiamichi Mountains. This is a relaxing destination for you and your pet, as watersports are not allowed on Clayton Lake, ensuring still waters and calming strolls along the shoreline. Indulge in a restful getaway with 80 acres of water reserved just for fishermen and boaters.
Your pup will love to be at your side as you take a self-guided tour through a nature trail boasting more than six miles of breathtaking scenery and wildlife such as deer, ducks, rabbits and an occasional golden or bald eagle in the winter. As night falls, settle into a spacious two bedroom cabin that doesn’t require a pet fee.
For a trip that you and your pet will remember for years to come, head to Great Plains State Park in Mountain Park. Start the day by tossing a Frisbee along the serene swim beach then cast a line to catch some supper. Tom Steed Lake is teeming with catfish, bass and crappie, and there’s nothing you and your pup will like more than relaxing on the shore while you wait for the fish to bite.
Relish the last few moments of daylight as you clean and grill your fresh catch. After the sun sets, you and your four-legged friend can do some stargazing before tucking into a tent in one of the 30 scenic campsites available at the park.
When it comes to staying overnight at an Oklahoma park with your pet, few accommodations surpass those available at Hugo Lake State Park in Hugo. This park welcomes dogs in both primitive and resort cabins for a small fee. Resort cabins feature satellite television, fully equipped kitchens, two bedrooms and spacious decks with sweeping views of Hugo Lake. Primitive cabins boast heating and air conditioning to keep you and your pooch comfortable. You’ll also enjoy a screened-in porch with lake views.
During the day, you’ll want to venture out of the cozy cabin for some outdoor recreation with your dog at your side. Stretch your legs with a leisurely hike through winding, flat trails, or rent a pontoon at a nearby marina for endless fun on the water.
Road trippers needing a quick break can stop at one of the 12 Oklahoma Tourism Information Centers scattered throughout the state. Two of these centers have dog parks so your canine companion can have a break, too. Travelers coming into Oklahoma from Kansas along I-35 can stop at the Blackwell Tourism Information Center and those coming from the Texas panhandle along I-40 can stop at the Erick Tourism Information Center to enjoy a dog release area for pets, as well as clean restrooms and free brochures for humans.