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Malia's Notes on Oklahoma State Parks
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Thunderbird SP
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Lake Eufaula SP
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Greenleaf SP

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Lake Tenkiller SP
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Cherokee Landing SP

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Cherokee Heritage Ctr.

Malia's Notes: on
OK State Parks

Malia's notes on leaving Oklahoma: Who knows when I might be coming through Oklahoma again, but you can be sure next time I do, I will be coming back to these wonderful state parks or exploring others.

As I've often heard from other RVers, one of our favorite things about RVing is the people we meet on the road. That was certainly the case here - at every encounter I experienced how incredibly friendly and open the people are here...

... starting with Pat, the camp host at Lake Thunderbird who has found a way to go on after the death of her husband and still dreams about Alaska... and Susan Hendon, the park manager who went out of her way to put me in touch with who I needed to in order to review these parks for you.

Then on to Lake Eufaula, where I met the manager, Sue Hughart, a real Indian princess - don't let the red hair fool you! And the way Mary greeted me even upon my late arrival started my stay there most pleasantly.

At Greenleaf I got the biggest thrill out of feeding the fawn as Steve Evans, the park Naturalist, joked that he felt like Tom Sawyer getting someone to whitewash his fence. What a great job he has and great he does at it! And Diane Rutland, the sales manager, who answered all my questions so patiently and sweetly - she just LOVES RVers!

At Tenkiller, Waylie Wildcat showed me around, a sweetheart of a woman whose mother loved Waylon Jennings, hence the name. She and her husband, a Native American Cherokee, are expecting their first baby in November. I really appreciated her schlepping me around in this heat with her big belly! Leann Bunn's introducing me to her "babies" and letting me pet and touch them was the highlight of that day for me.

All of these folks made quite a good impression on me and they're obviously happy and proud to be where they are. I told them I'd be letting other RVers know about these mostly unknown state park treasures. Even other local RVers I met here said they were surprised at how beautiful the parks were in their own back yard! So check out Oklahoma State Parks' website and pick out your destinations. And if you visit any of these parks, be sure to tell these great folks that Malia sends her regards!

Since I started putting up these pages, I've gotten many emails from RVers either thanking me for introducing them to these parks, or telling me about their own favorites that I wasn't able to visit this time. Here's a couple for now:

Clay wrote:

I lived in Oklahoma before becoming a fulltime RVer, and visited the following lakes in the southern part of the state. They are all along or near US 70 traveling east/west just north of the Red River.

Ardmore, OK --- Lake Murray State Park, about 8 miles south of Ardmore, OK, has some nice campgounds and lots of history with WPA and CCC structures.

Sulphur/Davis, OK --- Chickasaw National Recreation Area in the Davis and Sulphur, OK area about 20 miles north of Ardmore, is another nice area. It is the old Platt National Park. Then there is always Turner Falls also in the Davis, Ok area. This is a nice park for camping and walking trails.

Durant, OK --- Lake Texoma is about 10 miles east of Durant, OK on US 70. You could spend a month on this lake and not see enough of it. It is the largest man made lake in Texas and Oklahoma. It was formed by the dam on the Red River near Denison, TX. Lots of campgrounds around this lake and lots of things to see and do in the area. If you like to explore an area, this is a good lake for that. Choctaw casinos are in Calera, Ok 6 miles south of Durant on US 69/75. Eisenhower birthplace in Denison, Tx about 20 miles south of Durant, OK.

Hugo, OK --- This is another good area with several smaller lakes around. Many stay there for the good fishing.

Broken Bow, Ok --- Beavers Bend State Park is located about 10 miles north of Broken Bow, Ok on US 259. This is a very nice lake built about 35 years ago I think, and has numerous things to do.

Nan says: Enjoyed reading about your discovery of OK campgrounds. I lived near Tulsa for a year and was surprised by what OK had to offer....very pretty country and friendly folks.

If any of you have any other OK tips to share, email them to me at and I'll share them here.
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