Last weekend, we decided to spend 2 nights in Southeast Oklahoma at Beavers Bend State Park. We needed to get out of town and into nature pronto, and wanted to head a little closer to our home base (Fort Worth) than we normally do (AKA not New Mexico). Driving long batches these days is simply not as fun as it was in our younger years (and quite frankly not as fun with a tow trailer), so the 5-hour and less stretches are better for us than the 9+ hours it takes us to get to our fave places.
We’ve visited so many of the Texas state parks in North and Central Texas (AKA the Hill Country) and some of them are pretty, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted to get to an even prettier area. I thought Oklahoma might have it, and oh my gosh, it did not disappoint.
Beavers Bend State Park is about a 5-hour drive from Fort Worth, by way of several small town roads and long stretches without much cell service. Neither of us were really psyched on the drive, as let’s face it, getting out of North Texas in and of itself can be a disaster. But once we arrived near Broken Bow Lake, the scenery changed dramatically, the temperature dropped nearly 10 degrees, and we were all of a sudden nestled among piney woods of the Ouchita Forest. Oh man, how nature can reset a bad attitude and a frustrating drive.
We camped at Cypress site 21 and I’m afraid to even put that here as I hope it isn’t always taken (so all 5 of you who read this blog please don’t book this site for days on end). It was fantastic – a last minute cancellation left us the best spot in the park, hands down. Away from the lake and river, away from the playgrounds, away from all the people, at the end of the road, nestled among huge trees. This spot is divine.
I spent my mornings working, at the same place I’m typing this, at the little dinette sitting under a huge picture window. One of the things we liked best about the Little Guy Max is the windows. I can’t get enough of watching the birds, squirrels, trees, and nature all around me, and this camper has the best windows that we could find for taking it all in. Another great thing about the Little Guy Max is the dinette is on the far end away from the bed. I typically write this blog and get caught up on work early in the morning (like 5 a.m. or earlier) and my husband typically sleeps in later than me – so I can type away and (hopefully) not wake him up. This camper is really perfect for 2 people, and of course, one big ole dog.
The afternoons we spent walking through the woods and driving along the lake and river. I’m not much of a water person, so the kayaking/boating/swimming life is not what I lean towards, but if you’re into that stuff, this is the place for you. If you’re not into that stuff, the trees and scenery and short day hikes are just wonderful.
There’s a ton of stuff both within the park and outside the park for kids, too, so if you have those, you’re in good luck. I was a bit afraid of all the kid stuff because I don’t have kids, and quite frankly, don’t love spending time with a bunch of kids, and it ended up being no concern. This park is huge: there’s plenty to do, plenty to see, with tons of places to escape to. You will not be surrounded by a whole bunch of people unless you simply want to be. This is perfect place for our current Covid life.
Our Verizon WiFi did not work in the park, but our AT&T booster did. I don’t understand all that stuff, but my husband thankfully is more prepared than most (and way more prepared than me), and he had it all covered, making sure we could stay connected to work and any crises that might come up.
There’s a restaurant in the park that we didn’t try, and several in Hochatown and Broken Bow as well as a Walmart, gasoline, and other basic needs. The Hochatown restaurants looked a little better than the Broken Bow ones, and for those of you that eat vegan like me, there looked to be a few salad-veggie-focused options in Hochatown, so don’t give up on looking if your camper isn’t outfitted with a kitchenette (the Rolling Fork Takery looked and sounds incredible).
All in all, I highly recommend a few nights at Beavers Bend State Park, especially if you’re stuck in a city most of your days. It’s a great reset, a short drive from North Texas, and simply so healing mentally, emotionally and physically, to be among nature, under the trees, walking in the woods.
Til next time.