Whether you’re looking for a family trip with kids in tow, a rustic romantic getaway, or a quiet escape, Broken Bow might just be the perfect spot for you. Tucked away amidst the Kiamichi Mountains and the Ouachita National Forest, there are so many epic things to do in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, and its surrounding area.
Together with Hochatown, Beavers Bend State Park, and Hochatown State Park, a gem of Oklahoma has formed. Broken Bow’s popularity has sky-rocketed over the years, but don’t worry. It’s still a quaint, but thriving area. It seems that new developments are always on the horizon to captivate the interests of tourists and locals alike. In this blog post, we’ll highlight 31 top things to do and tips for your next Southeastern Oklahoma getaway.
31 Things to Do in Broken Bow, OK
Let’s jump straight to it. Here are our top 31 things to do in the Broken Bow, Hochatown, and Beavers Bend area when visiting. (in no particular order)
*Side note: Hochatown is technically an unincorporated community within the county, located 12 miles north of Broken Bow. Hochatown State Park sits adjacent to Beavers Bend State Park. The combination of Hochatown, Broken Bow, Hochatown State Park, and Beavers Bend State Park merge to create locations that host epic experiences for everyone.
The possibilities seem endless when it comes to hiking in the Broken Bow area and in Beavers Bend State Park and Hochatown State Park. For lighter family trails, we recommend the Tree Trail. Kids of all ages will delight in the woodsy wonders in any season. The trail is only 1.2 miles long with easy terrain.
The Cedar Bluff Trail is a .9 mile loop that is fairly moderate with varied terrain, but a great hike for older kids. It has fantastic views and intersects with the Skyline Trail and Deer Crossing Trail. The views are absolutely worth it.
The Skyline Trail is perfect for hikers looking for tougher adventures and lengthier distances. The trail extends for 9.5 miles and features a lake, as well as several creeks. If starting with the Cedar Bluff Trail, it connects and turns into the Skyline Trail.
The Deer Crossing Trail is another great hike and is rated as moderate. The trail is 3.9 miles long with inclines and meadows, and good chances to see woodland creatures. There is a great lookout spot of the river, just past the end of the trail.
We like to use the AllTrails app when planning our hikes, wherever we’re at.
2. Kayaking & Canoeing
We can’t visit Broken Bow and not kayak, right?! We tested out two different options in the Broken Bow area. For a shorter, leisurely stroll in a canoe or kayak, check out Beavers Bend River Floats. This option is great for families with young children hunting for adventure, but in calmer waters and for a shorter time frame. It’s located in the Beaver Bend Resort Park and trips typically last 1-2 hours. Wait times can sometimes be long, however. Definitely check ahead.
If you’re looking for a 3-mile adventure with occasional rapids and a small waterfall dip, check out Yippie Kayo Kayaks. Kids must be at least 42 inches tall and 6 years of age. We’ve traveled with them twice and were impressed both times. The trip can take anywhere from 2 – 3 hours depending on how many stops you make and how fast you paddle.
We like to pack snacks and lunches in our dry bags. We use a waterproof case to keep our phones, wallets, and keys dry and use a bungee cord to connect it to the kayak. So, if we tip over (worst case) our bags stay safely with the kayak, not floating onward down the river.
Don’t forget your water shoes for these adventures. If you do forget, run by the Wal-Mart in Broken Bow. They usually have them in stock when we’ve unintentionally left them at home in the past.
There are several shallow wading areas and shorelines perfect for picnics along the rocks. If warm enough, you might even feel like a swim! Be prepared though – the water is bitter cold (in my opinion).
3. Broken Bow Lake
Broken Bow Lake is the perfect destination for picnics, camping out, or just kicking back in nature. The lake is 12 miles long with 180 miles of shoreline. and is perfect for a variety of water activities such as fishing, jet skiing, and boating. It sits on the Mountain Fork River, northeast of Broken Bow.
The lake bottom is mostly made up of rock, making it one of Oklahoma’s clearest lakes. Rent boats or jet skis from Beavers Bend Marina. Check out Tiki Time Lake Tours for relaxing one-hour cruises where you can sip your favorite beverage while on board a spacious deck, viewing the lake!
Fishing in Beavers Bend is any angler’s sweet escape, whether you’re at the lake or on the river. You can fish for walleye, largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, catfish, and crappie in the area. If you love fly fishing and fishing for trout, head to the Lower Mountain Fork River where it’s stocked year-round.
There are several fishing guides in the area if you’d like some expert assistance. However, we haven’t checked them out ourselves. Check out trout regulations here.
Anyone fishing that is 14 years or older needs to have a valid fishing license. You can get one at the Wal-Mart in Broken Bow or at the Beavers Bend State Park office.
Several fishing guides are available for assistance.
While there are an abundance of opportunities to hop into the lake, a creek, or the Mountain Fork River, there are designated swimming areas in the Beavers Bend State Park.
Beavers Bend Land & Water Park has a swimming area that is open to the public free of charge! Additionally, they rent paddleboats, canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks. They also have mini-golf and concessions available.
The Beach Area is located right off of the Mountain Fork River and Beavers Bend Rd on 17 OK-259A in Broken Bow. It’s a great spot to spend the day letting kids swim, picnic, and relax. Canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats are available for rent.
6. The Maze of Hochatown
Opening on Memorial Day weekend of May 2021, The Maze of Hochatown is a 29,000 square foot wooden maze, perfect for those that like to get lost. You will have to find your way out and hunt for all of the clues to solve a puzzle at the end. Don’t worry. They’ll have staff prepared to assist you if needed with emergency procedures in place. Also, they’ll have water and soft drinks available at their gift shop. We’ll definitely be checking this out in the future!
7. Bowling Alley – Gutter Chaos
Gutter Chaos is a family entertainment center and full-service restaurant in Hochatown. 6 lanes for bowling are available, along with pool tables, an arcade, and an outdoor patio and games. It’s a great place to take the whole family.
8. Hochatown Amusements
Another great spot for some family fun is Hochatown Amusements. Go-karts, a mini golf course, and fair food are all right there, in the heart of Hochatown.
9. Train Rides
Whether you’re looking for a train ride or a horse ride, Beavers Bend Depot & Trail Rides is a great place to get to do both! Train rides last about 20 minutes and go through the neighboring forest and continue throughout the day.
Reservations need to be made for the trail rides, which are about 2.5 miles long and last about 45 minutes. They do have a gift shop, concessions, and carousel pony rides as well.
10. ATV Rentals
There are several options in the area. Bandits ATV have come highly recommended, but we personally haven’t tried them out yet. Check out this guide for Broken Bow ATV trails and maps on the Ouachita National Forest’s website. Make sure the rental company you choose has good knowledge of local trails and rules and regulations in the area.
11. Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum
Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum is located at the entrance to Beavers Bend State Park off of US Highway 259. It showcases lifelike exhibits of forest animals native to the area.
12. Body Harmony Day Spa
Need some relaxation? Located just 7 miles north of Broken Bow, Body Harmony Day Spa specializes in 90-minute Sensory Therapeutic bodywork to provide comfort and relaxation. Reservations are required. Check out their website for details.
13. BigFoot Speedway
BigFoot Speedway is a family-oriented establishment featuring gokarts, snocones, and a ride called the BigFoot 360. It’s ideal for kids of all ages, and adults too!
14. Cedar Creek Golf Course
18 holes of golfing bliss are located at Cedar Creek Golf Course. The course features a putting green, driving range, pro shop with rentals, and concessions.
15. Hochatown Escape Games
Have a super sleuth in your family? Hochatown Escape Games might be the perfect activity for you. Reservations can be made online and rooms are private. It’s great for all ages and abilities. Your group will have 1 hour to hunt for clues, solve puzzles, and escape the game.
There are 4 unique scenarios available: Wild West, Cabin in the Woods, Cabin Fever Epidemic, and Bomb Squad. Also, they have a Scavenger Hunt available which takes you around the Beavers Bend State Park area! Our family hasn’t experienced this at this location yet, but we plan to on our next visit!
16. Hochatown Petting Zoo
Hochatown Petting Zoo is an animal rescue and petting zoo in Broken Bow that kids of all ages (and adults) will enjoy! They have a large variety of animals, including farm animals, birds, reptiles, and some exotic animals. You might see cuddly kittens or a raccoon! They are a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center, and they do accept donations. Check out their Facebook page for more information.
17. Old West Town Mini Golf
This creative mini golf experience takes you to the time of the Old West, where you play golf surrounded by an Old West theme, such as a country store, blacksmith shop, and post office. The atmosphere is set to take you back in time! They use authentic antiques from the 1800s and are constantly adding on each year.
18. Horseback Rides
Beavers Bend Depot and Trail Rides (mentioned earlier) and Riverman Trail Rides are both great options for horseback riding.
Beavers Bend Depot and Trail Rides has horseback trail rides that are about 2.5 miles long and last about 45 minutes. Reservations need to be made ahead of time if possible. They also have a gift shop, concessions, and carousel pony rides as well.
Riverman Trail Rides have a variety of options! Trail rides need to be reserved and scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Trail rides can be anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours. Hour-long wagon rides are also available and are pretty perfect for seeing the views but from the back of a wagon! They also have a fishing package where you can spend the day catching and releasing in their private fishing river.
19. Rugaru Adventures Ziplining Tour
Experience breathtaking views while zip-lining in Broken Bow. You just can’t beat the mountainous background. Staff are certified and trained and prepared to help adventurers of all ages, however the weight restrictions are 70-250 pounds. There are 6 lines total and it usually takes about 1.5 – 2 hours to complete, from orientation to the end. Check out their great website full of information.
20. Hochatown Saloon
Looking for nightlife and dancing? After 9pm, it turns into a night club, full of dancing and live music! We’re listing this as an activity although it’s also a restaurant by day. We haven’t eaten here yet, but hope to in the future.
Boutiques and unique shops are a treat when you want to get out of the heat or rain, or maybe just to browse. Retail therapy for the soul!
- Girls Gone Wine has a wonderful little shop.
- Hochatown Trading Post & Coffee Co. (great coffee & fun little shop to peruse through)
- Cornbread Trading Company sits next to Grateful Head Pizza. It is absolutely fun to look through. So many cool souvenirs and unique items.
- Hochatime is a pretty cool clothing store with big lake vibes and attire. There are lots of cool collectibles and trinkets as well.
22. Forest Heritage Center Museum & Gift Shop
The Forest Heritage Center Museum is located in Beavers Bend State Park, just north of Broken Bow. It has free admission and is open every day, year-round. It holds historical documents, antique forestry tools, wood art, a research library, large dioramas, a 100-year-old cabin, and a bronze sculpture, honoring Jim Burnett, the first fallen forest firefighter from Oklahoma to lose his life fighting forest fire.
23. Gardner Mansion and Museum
The home and mansion of Jefferson Gardner, “Chief of the Choctaws,” is located east of Broken Bow. He represented both the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes.
Next to the two-story mansion, are the remains of a 2000-year-old Cypress tree, which was used as a landmark for Choctaws traveling the Trails of Tears. The museum and gift shop are both open to visitors. Tours for the mansion can be booked as well.
24. Beavers Bend Mining
This is a crazy cool experience for young kids. If they love hunting for treasure, they’ll have a great time. Located in Hochatown, your kids can spend time playing and learning as they mine for gems, dig for dinosaur bones, and wax their hands at Beavers Bend Mining.
25. The Gallery Paint & Chardonnay
This fantastic combo is a budding artist’s dream! The location hosts painting parties for all occasions – date nights, girls’ nights, birthday parties, and more. They offers a variety of painting surfaces as well, such as wood and glass. Check them out here.
26. Wild Hog Paintball
Wild Hog Paintball looks like a fun experience for rough and tough adventurers! They offer two packages and take daily appointments. We haven’t gone yet, but our kids are extremely interested!
27. Thomahawk’s Axe Throwing
At Thomahawks in Broken Bow, you can expect to learn how to safely throw an axe and have fun while doing it. Ages 4 and up are taught the steps of axe throwing by an axe master as he or she walks you through the proper techniques and teaches you safety tips along the way. You’ll have unlimited axe throwing for 45 minutes with drinks available. The reviews are raving, but we haven’t checked it out ourselves yet.
28. Beavers Bend State Park Nature Center
The park’s Nature Center is located in Beavers Bend Resort Park and hosts activities and programs daily at no charge. Programs might include arts and crafts classes, campfire programs along the river, nature hikes, and nature films.
29. Choctaw Casino
The Choctaw Casino in Broken Bow has slots, table games, live entertainment, and food!
30. Where to Eat In Hochatown & Around Broken Bow, Oklahoma
(There are so many more wonderful choices, I’m sure. These are just the ones we have tried.)
Our favorite top-notch spots in no particular order:
Grateful Head Pizza
This is a must-visit if you love pizza, good beer, music, and fun. The pizza is scrumptious, but the atmosphere seals the deal. We love sitting on the outside deck with lights all aglow around us! We come back every time.
Looking for steak and wine and all kinds of other options? This is your place. It’s a fun dining experience with live music too.
Adam & Eve’s Coffee Shop
What better way to start your day than a treat from the local coffee shop? This location has moved to a new spot since we first visited it, but the coffee is just as grand. They’ve got mounds of flavors and fun combinations, plus some great pastry and sandwich options as well. It’s connected to Rock Bottom Boyz BBQ now.
We really have a thing for decks when the weather is right. Their outdoor patio/deck out back had great views and delicious food. The catfish & hushpuppies were winners.
Rock Bottom Boyz BBQ
They hit the spot when it comes to bbq. Their potato salad… well, I STILL crave it!
Yummy breakfast options here. This place gets busy!
Shady Oaks Restaurant
We stopped here for breakfast on our way out of town during our last stay. The staff was friendly and the food was terrific.
31. Broken Bow Wineries, Breweries, & Distillery
Girls Gone Wine
This place is a just a girly treat through and through, but even Heath loved it! If you like fruity wines, then you’ve found the right place. They have a good variety, with samples available. Also, their boutique is so much fun to peruse through.
FishTales Winery & Vineyard
We haven’t visited this location personally, but would love to give it a try on our next trip. We love that they have food options as well. They specialize in producing their own Muscadine wine from Muscadine grapes (native to the area).
Another local winery we have yet to try, is Vojai’s Winery located off of US-259.
Beavers Bend Brewery
Our all-time favorite beer is brewed at this very location. They create their very own one-of-a-kind jalapeno beer (among many others) that is more amazing that we can possibly convey. One of us doesn’t even like spicy jalapenos, but we both fell head over heels for this delicious treat. It holds the flavor without the spice, in our opinion.
The staff are warm and welcoming. Also, take a look at the views. Check out these custom mugs and glasses we got to keep!
Mountain Fork Brewery
The beer can’t be missed here – it’s a winner!
Hochatown Distilling Company
Hochatown Distilling Company was formed by 4 people, each with their own unique skills they could bring to the table, and a taste for good bourbon. The group released their first bourbon in the spring of 2019. Learn more about their history and sign up for a tour and tasting online!
Where to Stay When Visiting Broken Bow and Beavers Bend
While staying in Broken Bow, we love to try a new location each visit.
Camping in Beavers Bend is a great way to get away from it all and enjoy nature. The area has been preserved to ensure that visitors can explore the beauty of Oklahoma’s woodlands, river valleys, and some of the last remaining prairie lands in America. If you are looking for an outdoor adventure, this is the place for you!
Camping is also an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors with your family or friends. There are many different types of camping sites at Beavers Bend State Park such as campsites and RV sites.
For camping, we prefer booking sites online, especially when camping far from home. It gives us peace of mind before making the long road trip, because we typically arrive in the dark. Fortunately, you have that option for several spots in the Beavers Bend area.
If you’re looking for a place to set up your tent or park an RV, the Beavers Bend State Park has 393 campsites and over 50 tent sites. The campgrounds are spread across eight camping areas that offer both reservable and first-come, first-served options. Waste dump stations are available on site as well!
Their site is pretty user-friendly with an accommodations tab that supplies pictures and a maps tab that allows you to view the sites prior to booking your choice (which makes us happy.) We love to book near water because we love the easy access to fishing and floating.
You can choose to book in the Hochatown Lake Area or Beavers Bend River Area. The Hochatown Lake Area seems to generally have less traffic if you’re wanting something a little more secluded.
Not gonna lie – there are SO many options! Choose something in your budget and with a good cancellation policy, in case the worst should happen and you can’t make it last minute. We often use Airbnb and VRBO to scope out new spots. Long ago, we stayed at the Waterfall cabin on our very first trip, back in 2014. We have stayed at 4 other cabins since then.
The Beavers Bend Lakeview Lodge is located in Hochatown State Park. It has 40 rooms, all with great views of the lake. Although we haven’t stayed here, we thought it would definitely be worth mentioning. It offers free breakfast, lake access, outdoor grills, and a playgound and picnic area.
What should I bring to Broken Bow, OK?
Depending on your accommodation of choice, pack for the weather and the terrain. We typically visit in the spring and fall. A few of our recommended items:
- light backpacks
- drink thingies
- light jacket
- lifejackets (We like to bring our own for the kids.)
- fishing gear
- water shoes
- external battery for cell phone (you’ll likely be out all day with no place to charge)
What is Broken Bow, OK known for? Some Facts.
- Broken Bow, Hochatown, and Beavers Bend State Park are all in the foothills of the Kiamichi Mountains, surrounded by the Ouachita National Forest. Encircled by a lush, majestic landscape, this area has 14,000 acres for boating, fishing, or shopping. The lake’s 180 mile-long shoreline is perfect for outdoor water activities of all kinds.
- Originally one of Oklahoma’s first seven state parks, Beavers Bend was established in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
- The Chickasaw and Choctaw Trail of Tears wound through the area. Their rich history is preserved through many museums in the area and by local residents.
- Hochatown is technically an unincorporated community within the county, located 12 miles north of Broken Bow. The terms are often used interchangeably by visitors. The combination of Hochatown, Broken Bow, Hochatown State Park, and Beavers Bend State Park merge to create locations that host epic experiences for everyone.
- Beavers Bend Resort Park includes Beavers Bend State Park, Hochatown State Park, Lakeview Lodge, and Cedar Creek Golf Course. It’s located 6 miles north of Broken Bow.
- Some places close down during the winter months, so be sure to check in with the spots that pique your interest before booking your trip.
- Broken Bow is now home to about 5,000 people. It was originally named after Broken Bow, Nebraska. The Dierks brothers (the city’s founders) were originally from there. Before being settled by colonizers, the land was owned by the Choctaw tribe.
Wrap-Up: Things to Do in Broken Bow, OK & Surrounding Area
Broken Bow, Hochatown, and Beavers Bend State Park have always been special locations for us. It was in the woods of Beavers Bend that Heath proposed, and it was the first place we traveled to as a couple so many years ago. Every time we visit gives way to a new adventure.
It is truly one of our top places in Oklahoma to continue visiting again and again. There really are so many wonderful things to do in Broken Bow, Oklahoma and its surrounding area. Let us know if we missed something that you absolutely love and recommend. We will check it out!
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