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In addition to the three designated scenic rivers in Oklahoma offering commercial outfitter services (The Illinois River, The Upper Mountain Fork River, and Baron Fork Creek) there also five other rivers in Oklahoma that are suitable for planning float trips.
Whether you choose The Lower Mountain Fork River, the Kiamichi River, the Glover River, The Washita River or the Spring River in the far northeast, plan for great fun paddling the Oklahoma outdoors. Despite the cold winters here in Oklahoma, Dianne and I manage to find decent weather for kayaking about 11 months out of the year.
Oklahoma Lake Kayaking
During times when the water conditions on Oklahoma's rivers seems less than perfect for paddling, try paddling some Oklahoma lakes or heading South. Our Oklahoma Kayaking Blog just did a post on Southern kayaking destinations for Okie Paddlers.
Oklahoma Road Trips site has added a couple new pages that offer some paddling alternatives for Ozark area kayak and canoe enthusiasts. The photo to the left was taken on Dripping Springs Lake in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. The state park there offers great camping for both tents and RV's. You can't beat Okmulgee's Two Lakes and State park for chasing sunsets!
Another great Oklahoma spot for lake kayakers to explore is Broken Bow Lake.
Beavers Bend & Hochatown State Park and Lodge
Oklahoma is known as “America’s Frontier Lake State” because it is covered with scenic lake resorts, fishing spots, and tourist destinations.
Get a Copy of the Lakes Of Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) and Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) have teamed up to offer, free of charge, a new 178-page publication, "Lakes of Oklahoma." This comprehensive source of information contains maps and related data for 146 reservoirs, including 58 state and federal lakes and an additional 88 public lakes.
Free copies are available for pickup:
For more information or to obtain a copy of "Lakes of Oklahoma," visit the OWRB at 3800 North Classen Blvd. in Oklahoma City or call (405) 530-8800.
Canoeing, kayaking and rafting (AKA Paddlesports) are clearly flourishing in Oklahoma. Since my wife and I started kayaking last summer we have spoken to hundreds of Oklahoma folks who are trying their hand at this exciting and healthy sport.
Since Oklahoma doesn't offer much in the way of elevation, many Oklahomans are flatwater kayakers. Although, there are a few outstanding whitewater holes in the state, like the Tulsa Wave, recreational kayakers have a wealth of lakes, rivers and reservoirs to paddle throughout the year. In fact, the newly named Oklahoma River in Oklahoma City is quickly becoming a favored venue for competitive rowing championships!
Kayak Rental is now available in Oklahoma City at the new Chesapeake
Boathouse. It's open to everyone ages 8 and older. Boathouse members have
access to their fleet of kayaks during open rowing times, and even if you're not
a member, you can rent a kayak through a program sponsored by Oklahoma City
check out OKC Kayak to buy or rent kayaks in Oklahoma City.
Blue Hole Park near Salina, Oklahoma
Blue Hole Canoe Floats in Quapaw, Oklahoma is not to be confused with The Blue Hole Park near Salina, OK. The Blue Hole Park, 7 miles east of Salina, is an old-fashioned swimming hole fed by a natural spring. For more information call Blue Hole Park at 918-434-5507.
The water at Blue Hole Park is crystal clear and very cold!
There is a concession stand and bathrooms available at Blue Hole Park but no showers. Swimming costs $5 per car per day. Camping is $10 and for $15 a night you get to camp with access to electricity for the night. There are also cabins to rent starting at $25 per night.
If the kayaking the Lower Mountain Fork River, sounds to heavy for you, Oklahoma Water Parks are a no-brainer for summertime Oklahoma fun.
Tulsa Water Park
Big Splash Water Park
Enid Water Park
Ponca City Water Park
Sun' n Fun Water Park
Oklahoma City Water Park
Whitewater Bay Water Park
Ardmore Community Water Park
506 3rd St. NE
Once a fifty year old swimming pool, the Ardmore Water Park is now the city's newest recreational attraction with all the elements of a major water theme park. The new Water Park features twisting slides, water basketball, and a zero-depth entry pool for young children.
Some Area River Map Links
annual Illinois River Clean-up
will be held Thursday, August 30, 2012 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The clean-up is
an event which gives volunteers the opportunity to participate in river
conservation, to connect with other environmentally conscious citizens and to
take a float down the scenic Illinois River. Volunteers will also enjoy a free
lunch and are eligible to win great prizes.
Call the OSRC at 918-456-3251 to register for this fun and helpful event. Registration ends August 28, 2012.
Paddle for the Cure,
a dragon boat competition benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure Central and
Western Oklahoma, is set for the opening night of the Oklahoma Regatta Festival.
Paddlers will take to the Oklahoma River and compete under the lights the evening of Thursday, September 27, 2012.
Those wanting to form a team and sign up to race may do so by calling the Komen Foundation at (405) 526-2873. For more information on the event and the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, visit oklahomariverevents.org.
This year has certainly been a scorcher but the Illinois River in Talequah, Oklahoma has maintained a great paddling level. Always check the river levels with a reputable source like American Whitewater before you launch your kayak.
Looking to meet other Oklahoma paddlers?Join a local outdoors club.
Got some tips to share? Leave a comment on our Oklahoma Kayaking Blog.
The Green Country Outdoors Club - Hiker, rock-climbers, kayakers, etc.
The Tulsa Rowing Club is located on the west bank of the Arkansas River in Tulsa, OK at 2100 South Jackson in the River West Festival Park. Whitewater Kayaking is sometimes available at the Tulsa Wave, an area south of Zink Dam on the west bank of the river but there are no kayak rentals.
Join the Oklahoma Paddle
Sports Association at McGee Creek
in SE Oklahoma October 22-23, 2011. Join up & Meetup!
If Oklahoma kayak fishing excites you, join up with the new Northeastern Oklahoma Kayak Anglers Facebook Group. They are a fun bunch enjoying a low cost, high return sport that is perfect for Oklahoma.
Great guide to canoeing & kayaking in the Ozarks!
Did you know that the Sooner State also boasts more man-made lakes than any other state? We are now blessed with over one million surface acres of water. That's 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined!
A kayak opens up a world of local exploration. You should see what you are missing!
Did you know that Oklahoma is one of the very few states in the U.S. where catfish noodling is legal?
FYI -A newer Oklahoma noodling event is the National Noodling Tournament & Festival in Tishomingo, Oklahoma is held in late June. Call (580)371-2175 for more information on the dates.
Grand Lake, Lake Hudson & Fort Gibson are all part of the Grand River system. They have provided Oklahoma anglers with some of the best paddlefish action in the world.
During their early spring spawning run, this prehistoric fish can be caught by snagging with a stout surf rod, heavy test line, and a large barbless treble hook. Anglers are required to obtain a free paddlefish permit before fishing for paddlefish in Oklahoma.
Please be sure to read all the regulations regarding Spoonbill in the Oklahoma Fishing Guide.
Lake Thunderbird is also home to another group of Oklahoma sailing
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