A Seasonal Getaway to Broken Bow, Oklahoma - The Bend Magazine

A Seasonal Getaway to Broken Bow, Oklahoma

A popular summertime retreat for its lakes and optimal marshmallow-roasting opportunities, the region is even prettier in the fall.

Beavers Bend State Park located in the mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma along the shores of Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River.

Photo provided by Laci Schwoegler, Retrospective Films

Nestled in southeastern Oklahoma, Broken Bow is a veritable oasis of waterways, fairy tale-worthy cottages, epic wildlife and lush, hilly forests. A popular summertime retreat for its lakes and optimal marshmallow-roasting opportunities, the region is even prettier in the fall, when the mighty Broken Bow Lake gets surrounded by fall foliage and fireplaces keep travelers cozy in their cabins. Along with ample hiking, fishing and a Native American museum, this is prime time in Broken Bow.

Go for a hike: Get up close and personal with the foliage on any of Broken Bow’s stunning trails, which are as leisurely as they are picturesque. Options include the Lakeview Lodge Trail and the aptly dubbed Tree Trail, a 1.2-mile loop that crosses a bridge and a Native American sculpture.  

 Cozy up in a cabin: Around here, the cabin is king. And it doesn’t get any more regal than the dreamy vacation rentals at Broken Bow Cabin Lodging, where rustic-chic abodes range from one bedroom up to eight, each decked out with comfy amenities like stone fireplaces, swanky bathtubs, polished wood furnishings and billiard games.

 Beef things up for dinner: Get meaty at Rogue Local, a charmingly austere steakhouse filled with exposed brick, a vintage jukebox machine and lots of dark, polished wood — an ideal restaurant for meat pies, pork chops, roasted quail and hand-cut steaks.

September Travel Feature

 Visit a “wood art” museum: Peruse the one-of-a-kind Forest Heritage Center, nicknamed the “Wood Art Capital of Oklahoma” for its elaborate dioramas painted by Smokey the Bear artist Harry Rossoll. The museum-in-the-round also contains other woodsy wonders, like vintage forestry tools, homesteading antiques and historic periodicals.

 Discover Indigenous history: Home to the Choctaw Nation, Indigenous lore is on full display in Broken Bow, especially at the Gardner Mansion and Museum. The former home of the Chief of the Choctaws, Jefferson Gardner, the artifact-filled farmhouse now serves as an important commemoration of the region’s Native American heritage.

 Drink in the foliage at Beavers Bend: Nature puts on quite an art show at Beavers Bend State Park, one of Oklahoma’s most popular parks, and among the best for fall foliage. Drink it in on a scenic drive along Highway 259, from a campsite or from a canoe in the middle of Broken Bow Lake.

Broken Bow in the Fall
                                                                 Photos provided by Oklahoma Tourism

 Attend a fall festival: Every fall, Broken Bow and the surrounding towns put on beloved annual festivals for all ages, including the Woodturning Competition, held every September at the Forest Heritage Center, the Idabel Main Street Festival in October and the Beavers Bend Folk Festival & Craft Show, filled with autumnal snacks, soap-making, folksy music and much more.

Broken Bow Lake at Beavers Bend State Park
                                                        Photos provided by Oklahoma Tourism

 Go leaf-peeping from above: One unique vantage point to witness the foliage is from the sky. Rugaru Adventures is a high-flying company offering six zip lines through the woods and along Broken Bow Lake. The company also offers tours on Swincars, a kind of electric go-kart vehicle for off-roading.

 Have a day at the (petting) zoo: Nothing says family fun in the fall like petting some goats. The Hochatown Petting Zoo, part barnyard-style zoo and part wildlife rehabilitation center, scratches that adorable itch with all manner of cute critters to feed and meet, like deer, hedgehogs, otters and even kangaroos.

The next stop on our seasonal fall getaway feature is Aspen and Snowmass, Colorado.