Broken Bow Lake stretches 22 miles back into the Ouachita Mountain country where the unusual beauty of scenic appeal beckons all nature enthusiasts. The mountain terrain is densely forested with pine and hardwoods with an undercover of holly groves, maple, dogwood, redbud, beauty bush, and a succession of flowering perennials of the forest. Also, there are many species of birds native to the project area for birdwatchers to enjoy.
For hikers there are two nature trails available for their enjoyment; Big Oak Nature Trail and Beaver Lodge Nature Trail.
The Big Oak Nature Trail is about a quarter of a mile long and is suitable for use by senior citizens and small children and will be enjoyed by all nature lovers. It starts near Youth Camp No. 2 in the River Bend Area.
It features the largest white oak tree in Oklahoma. Approximately 300 years old, the tree is over 21 feet in circumference and 107 feet high. It is enclosed by a log fence and log benches have been placed close by in order the the trail walkers may rest and contemplate. The trail crosses a small creek spanned by a redwood bridge.
The rugged and beautiful Beaver Lodge Nature Trail is a two-way trail located near the River Bend Area and is approximately one mile long. It may be entered either from the road below the spillway, or from a gravel road below the dam. The trail winds along a clear stream through a valley surrounded by pine-covered hills. In addition to the shortleaf and loblolly pine, the hills are covered with deciduous trees such as red oak, hickory, sweetgum, ash, elm, and red maple. The stream is a haven for beaver and muskrat. Scenic attractions on the trail include a beaver lodge, for which the trail is named and a log beaver dam. From time to time, the patient and quiet hiker may see deer; squirrels, rabbits, a variety of birds, and other wildlife. Wildflowers, ferns and mosses are abundant along the stream, especially in the springtime. A log bridge crosses the creek.
The two trails have been marked to help guide individual visitors. Arrangements for guided tours may be made at the Project Office located near the dam or by calling the project Manager. Advance notice is required for guided tours for large groups. Vehicles are not allowed on the trails.
Address: 6 miles N of Broken Bow on US 259-A
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