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Spend Memorial Day at an Oklahoma State Park
By Oklahoma Tourism Staff
Dust off the tents, unroll the sleeping bags and pull the RV out of storage; the Memorial Day holiday is right around the corner. The Memorial weekend is the first of the major holidays to welcome guests who enjoy the recreational and outdoor opportunities offered at an Oklahoma state park. Throughout the state, the parks, lodges and golf courses are open and ready to accommodate visitors during the Memorial weekend.
Camping and Lodging
Campgrounds at Oklahoma state parks are open for RV and tent camping and outdoor activities. Guests are expected to begin arriving at the parks and campsites early in the week.
“We look forward to hosting visitors in our state parks during the Memorial Day holiday,” said Kris Marek, Director of Oklahoma State Parks. “The state parks offer a family friendly environment and are affordable destinations meant to be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. We encourage everyone to get outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.”
In addition to campgrounds, for guests who prefer indoor lodging, rooms are still available at Roman Nose Lodge near Watonga and Sequoyah Lodge near Wagoner. “Our recreation staff is available. There will be family activities at the lodge and nature center for the holiday weekend,” says Ann Skelton, lodge manager.
Most state lakes and rivers are near or at normal elevations and should be accessible. However the ongoing drought situation has affected some lakes where state parks are located. Foss Lake in western Oklahoma is approximately 12 feet below level and there are unknown underwater hazards due to record low lake levels. The only boat ramp available at Foss State Park is the Cedar Point Boat ramp located on the south side of the lake. Vehicles should remain on designated roadways and off the dry lake bed. Although the shoreline appears dry, the ground below is very muddy and vehicles can get stuck. For this reason Paradise Cove Road in Foss State Park will be closed during holidays and after heavy rains.
Also in western Oklahoma, Fort Cobb Lake is 4.75 feet below normal. The only open public boat ramp at Fort Cobb State Park will be available in the Sunset Cove area.
Because of low water levels at Lake Murray State Park near Ardmore, the only public boat ramp available is in the Elephant Rock Campground. Visitors must be aware of very limited parking in the area, therefore only a certain number of vehicles will be allowed to access the ramp at Elephant Rock. In addition, there is a standard $4.00 day use entrance fee for all visitors into the area. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is discouraging all boating after dark at Lake Murray because of underwater hazards. Signs are in place at the park where all ramps are closed. Entertainment venues affected by low water levels at Lake Murray include the Water Sports area where the trampoline and water slides will not be available.
State Park Swimming Pools and Golf Courses
Public pools at Greenleaf, Osage Hills, Robbers Cave and Tenkiller, as well as the splash pad at Lake Wister will open for the season. Swimming pools at Red Rock Canyon and Boiling Springs State Parks in western Oklahoma will not be available.
All state park golf courses will be open. Grand Cherokee Golf Course below the Pensacola Dam at Grand Lake will be open, but is in the process of converting to Champion Bermuda greens. Temporary greens are in place and golfers can play the course at a reduced rate.
Family entertainment venues in the parks will be open for the Memorial Day holiday, including the state park nature centers. The nature center at Beavers Bend State Park remains closed for renovations, however there will be scheduled programs and activities for the holidays.
Disc golf courses are open at Foss, Lake Eufaula, Natural Falls, Sequoyah and Tenkiller State Parks.