Water as Far as the Eye Can See: Oklahoma Lakes and Water

Every year, residents, and visitors flock by the thousands to any number of Oklahoma’s recreational water habitats. Whether your fancy is to vacation, catch a few rays on the deck of a boat, catch the big one, discover the freedom of kayaking, sit in awe of one of Oklahoma’s spectacular sunrises or sunsets, or simply lay under the stars, there is a destination for you.

There does not appear to be a single spot across the Heartland that does not glisten from the air. Oklahoma boasts more shoreline than either coast combined, and it is home to more than 200 lakes, and over 500 creeks and rivers. But which lake is most ideal? Each has unique features and activities that set it apart from the others.

Lake Hefner

Located near downtown OKC, Lake Hefner has one of the most recognizable landmarks in the state. Constructed in 1999, the Lake Hefner Lighthouse was inspired by the second oldest lighthouse in the U.S., still operating today. The OKC model was built to the same specifications as working lighthouses, which makes it designed to withstand tornadoes or anything else Oklahoma weather can throw at it.

Close to downtown, Hefner offers lake goers a wide array of activities. Over nine miles of paved trails make the lake a premier destination for walking, rollerblading, jogging, and cycling. For water enthusiasts, one can find an activity for every lifestyle, including kayaking, boating, sailing, and kitesurfing.

If sitting and relaxing is more your speed, then the eighteen miles of shoreline and host of pavilions, benches, and parks are ideal for helping you unwind. Don’t forget to absorb the ambiance at one of the many lakefront restaurants. From Louie’s Grill & Bar to Red Rock Canyon Grill, one can easily find something to satisfy the pallet.

Lake Overholser

Located adjacent to historic Route 66, Lake Overholser offers a relaxed atmosphere with playgrounds and covered pavilions. Covered piers and docks provide a place of quiet solitude for fishing. Water sports enthusiasts will enjoy over 1,500 surface acres ideal for kayaking, boating, jet skiing, and sailing. A combination of paved roadways and trails offers walkers, joggers, and cyclists almost nine miles of scenic and relaxing atmosphere.

Thunderbird Lake

If getting out of the city piques your interest, head east. It is hard to imagine that over 85 miles of shoreline form Lake Thunderbird. Also, a state park, Thunderbird hosts tens of thousands of people each year, and one can find almost every activity imaginable. Public hunting areas are available for guests during deer and waterfowl season. It is also a boating and fishing hotspot. The lake’s perimeter can be anything from sandy shores to rolling oak-covered hills. Camping facilities are also available.

Shawnee Twin Lakes

Two municipally owned lakes make up Shawnee Twin Lakes. This location is popular all year round for boating and fishing activities, and it also has designated swimming areas. Lake #1 includes pavilions, campsites, boat ramps, and an enclosed fishing dock. Lake #2 also offers these amenities, but it also has an added benefit of a kayak launch. The second lake is also a popular meeting location for the Pottawatomie Kayak Club.

Tecumseh Lake

South of Shawnee, and smaller in comparison to many other bodies of water in the state, is Tecumseh Lake. This picturesque location is ideal for recreational activities, including fishing, picnicking, camping, and it is perfect for smaller watercraft such as kayaks. The lake is full of scenic nooks on its southern shore, and it is often not crowded. It is a location worth coming back to many times and watching the sunset.

Lake Konawa

Located in central Oklahoma, Lake Konawa is one of the state’s premier fishing locations. Seldom crowded, this location offers boaters over 1,300 acres of surface area and scenic views. For anglers, the lake is stocked with a variety of fish, and it has twenty miles of shoreline for year-round fishing. A few quaint fishing docks are here too. Kayakers will also find hours of peace and tranquility as they navigate around the water’s edge to explore the lake’s hidden coves and access areas many boaters cannot.

Riversport Adventures

If making it to one of the state’s many lakes is not an option, or if you are unsure which lake to try, Riversport Adventures might be for you. OKC’s Boathouse District is home to the primary location for Riversport Adventures. Guests can learn surfing, skiing, kayaking, or whitewater rafting. There are activities for every age group. However, they also have two additional locations at Lakes Hefner and Overholser. Both sites are ideal for kayak and stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals and lessons.

For more information on these and additional lakes, visit Travel Oklahoma at www.travelok.com. You can also learn about Riversport Adventures and their services at www.riversportokc.org

By Published On: June 12th, 2022Categories: Oklahoma things, Places0 Comments

About the Author: Jake Durham

Jake Durham

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