McCurtain County, OK

McCurtain CountyThe blue-tinged mountains in McCurtain County are thick with towering pines, oak, and hickory - with foliage as green as the inside of an emerald. Here the misty Mountain Fork River runs wild. Fishermen come here year-round to cast for trout; others, to rekindle their spirits with long strolls on the crystal-strewn shores at Broken Bow Lake or vigorous hikes up trails lined with dogwood and pine. This is, after all, a place so pristine that for decades only logging roads, military supply routs, and Indian foot paths traversed the land.

Welcome, friend, to our state's best-kept secret: Oklahoma's Little Smokies!

When Oklahoma was Indian Territory the southeastern section was assigned to the Choctaw Nation when they were relocated from Mississippi in the 1830s. McCurtain County is named for Green McCurtain who was chief of the Choctaws at that time. Many local place names are Choctaw words.

Bokchito (boke-cheeto) is big creek. Bok is Choctaw for "a stream or creek" and chito is "large, big or grand."

Bokhoma, a settlement in the southern part of the county, means "red river." Humma is "red." Oklahoma is also a Choctaw word. Okla is "people, a nation, a tribe, mankind, folks, inhabitants."

Boktuklo - Tuklo (tooklo) is "a pair, double." North of Golden community two branches of Boktuklo creek flow side by side. Another Boktuklo creek enters Mountain Fork river south of Smithville.

Kullituklo (cully tooklo) was an early Choctaw settlement and is also the name of a recreation area in the Tiak section of the Ouachita National Forest. Kulli is "wells" so the name means two wells or perhaps two springs. Tiak (tee ahk) is Choctaw for "pine trees or "pine forest." Ouachita (wah' she taw) is not Choctaw, but is a Caddo word translated "cow" and thought to refer to the woods buffalo once prevalent in the area. Prehistorically this region was the home of Caddo Indian tribes.

Yashau (yash awe) creek probably got its name from the Choctow word, aiachefa, washpot. This stream, with clear water flowing over large rocks, must have been a convenient washing place in early days.

Hochatown - derives from hochaffo meaning "to hunger" or "to starve." This suggests that the original Indian settlement (now under Broken Bow reservoir) was very poor or frequently suffered hard times. It may have been named by early arrivals on the Choctaw's Trail of Tears.

Lukfata - (luke fahta) means white clay. Lukfata creek runs though deposits of whitish, light gray clay.

Alikchi (ah lick she) is "a doctor, one who practices medicine." could a medicine man have once lived on this creek, or were sweat lodges nearby?

Yanubbe - (yah' nubby) creek gets its name from the Choctaw word, iyanabi, ironwood, (hophornbeam or blue beech, a small, hard wood tree common to the area).

Kiamichi, (ky ah mee' shee) is not Choctaw. This name of a river and a mountain range is thought to have derived from a Caddo word or uncertain meaning, possible referring to water.

Explore McCurtain County

Champion Trees and Trails

What makes a "Champion Tree?"

Oklahoma's Champion Tree Register is a cooperative project of the Oklahoma Society of American Foresters, the Oklahoma Forestry Association and the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, forestry Services.

Champion Trees are measured by their "bigness,"

Idabel, OK Tours

Forest Heritage Center

The Forest Heritage Center is located in beautiful Beavers Bend Resort Park, a short drive north of Broken Bow. The museum describes the evolution of southeastern Oklahoma forests told through a series of dramatic dioramas. Exhibits include the Forest Art Gallery, chainsaw carvings, a 100

Broken Bow, OK Nature Centers

City of Murals

Tour downtown Idabel and see the murals painted by Idabel artist, Betty Helms, and her students. One mural is dedicated to Native American culture and another to dogwoods. Idabel'

Idabel, OK Arts

Red Slough Wetland Reserve Project

This premier birdwatching and waterfowl hunting area has sighted more than 270 bird species, including many that are rare to Oklahoma and not found elsewhere in the state. Birders have likened this area to the Gulf Coast habitats of Louisiana and Florida. The 5,814

Idabel, OK Wildlife Preserves

Cedar Creek Golf Course

It is the kind of golf course one would imagine finding in a pristine, pine-laden wilderness. And, in fact, the 18 holes that constitute Cedar Creek Golf Course were literally carved out of the wilds (the golf course abuts the McCurtain County Wilderness Area)

Broken Bow, OK Golf Courses

Peter Toth Totem Pole

This is one in a 50 state series of "Trail of Tears" sculptures by Hungarian artist, Peter Toth. Mr. Peter Wolf Toth came to Oklahoma to sculpt Oklahoma's Indian monuments. Mr. Toth's goal in life was to complete at least one sculpture in each of the fifty states. To date, he has done 67

Broken Bow, OK Arts

Wheelock Church

The old rock Wheelock church is the oldest church building in Oklahoma, built in 1846. Across the road is a cemetery, the final resting place of reverend Alfred Wright, physician and missionary to the Choctaw Indians who translated the New Testament and many other books into their native language.

Broken Bow, OK Historic Churches

Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area

White-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey, yellow-breasted chat, screech owl, eastern diamond-backed rattlesnake, gray tree frog. What do these species have in common?

Broken Bow, OK Wildlife Refuges

Museum of the Red River

The Museum of the Red River attracts both scholars and vacationers with its outstanding American Indian collections and informative exhibits. Local prehistory and early Indian history is featured, but the museum'

Idabel, OK Museums

Wildlife Museum

Come into the great outdoors! See and hear elk bugling on a crisp fall morning, wolves howling in a snowy arctic scene. Finally see the fish that live in the legendary Fluecy Creek. These and other wildlife dioramas are designed to educate and entertain all age groups.

Broken Bow, OK Museums

Explore McCurtain County