Oklahoma has over 200 lakes and over 1 million acres of water that offer the perfect venue for boaters and watersports enthusiasts to enjoy. Finding an awesome waterway to spend the day on is no problem if you’re boating in Oklahoma!
You’ll even find uncrowded waterways in 23 of Oklahoma’s State Parks! So whether you’re from Oklahoma’s ‘Red Carpet Country’ or ‘Chocktaw Country’, a busy place like Tulsa or Oklahoma City, or maybe you’re just cruising up Oklahoma’s 400-mile stretch of historic Route. 66 with your boat trailer tow, there’s sure to be a lake just around the corner to go boating on!
BEST BOATING LAKES
Although Oklahoma has many great lakes for boaters and paddlers to enjoy, this particular state is famous for having the ‘big 3′: Lake Tenkiller, Lake Eufala and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees. Without a doubt, the ‘Sooner State’ has become a serious U.S. boater destination! Check out our helpful list below of boating destinations in Oklahoma!
Located on the Illinois River a few miles south of Tahlequah, Tenkiller Ferry Lake lies in the heart of the Cookson Hills and reaches more than 25 miles up the river into Sequoyah and Cherokee Counties. Approximately 2,590 acres of project land west of the lake are licensed to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for a state game management area.
Facilities include boat ramps, picnic areas, RV and tent campsites, drinking water, group shelters, restrooms, showers, swimming beaches, electric outlets, concession services, playgrounds, nature trails, marinas, cabins, enclosed fishing docks, boat rentals, and swimming pool. The shoreline length around Lake Tenkiller measures approximately 130 miles.
Anglers may choose from various bass species, crappie, catfish, bream and walleye. Rainbow trout are stocked below the dam.
Lake Eufaula, Oklahoma’s largest lake, is located in southeastern Oklahoma near the city of Eufaula. Covering 105,500 surface acres with 800 miles of shoreline, Lake Eufaula is a precious Oklahoma resource.
Visitors to Lake Eufaula will be amazed at the wide variety of activities that can be enjoyed both on the water and on the shore.
GRAND LAKE O’ THE CHEROKEES
Serpentine Grand Lake is located on the Grand (Neosho) River in northeastern Oklahoma offering 46,500 surface acres and 1,300 miles of shoreline.
Exceptional recreational facilities are available at five state parks around the scenic shoreline, and more than a dozen other privately operated facilities.
Fish species found in Grand Lake include largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill.
Beautiful spring-fed Lake Murray features 5,700 surface acres and is one of the clearest lakes in Oklahoma. It is a great lake for water skiing, wake boarding, jet skiing and more.
The lake is located wholly within the 12,500-acre Lake Murray State Park.
The fishing at Lake Murray is excellent and is known for great smallmouth bass fishing.
Lake Texoma is situated on the Red River between Oklahoma and Texas. Attracting approximately 6 million visitors a year, Lake Texoma’s popularity is largely attributed to its sheer size as well as its proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, about an hour’s drive south of the lake.
More than two dozen marinas with boat slips designed to accommodate sailboats and power boats are available on the shores of Lake Texoma. Cedar Mills on the West End of the lake and Grandpappy Point at the East End by the Denison Dam are well-known by enthusiasts who come to sail nearly 90,000 surface acres of water. Both marinas have service shops, restaurants and lodging as well.
If you want to put your houseboat, power boat or jet skis into Lake Texoma, you’ll have plenty of public boat ramps and private marinas to choose from, on both the Oklahoma and Texas sides of the lake. And you’ll enjoy the scenic shoreline as well several islands in the center of the lake.
Besides the private marinas, The Army Corps of Engineers maintains 10 campgrounds with over 700 campsites, 25 miles of equestrian trails, a rugged 14-mile Cross Timbers hiking trail through rocky and wooded bluffs overlooking the lake, boat rentals, slip rentals and concessions.
Two wildlife refuges flank the northern and southern ends of Lake Texoma, Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma and Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Visitors often see eagles, ducks, geese, heron and egret during their annual migrations, as well as resident white-tail deer and wild hogs. Hunting permits are available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Whether you come to see bright fall foliage reflected in blue water along the red-dirt shoreline or bask in the summer sun on the beach of Treasure Island, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at Lake Texoma year-round.
Many of Oklahoma’s State Parks offer boaters everything they need to hit the water and enjoy an awesome day of outdoor adventure. Are you looking for a park where you can go boating, maybe do some diving and then dock for the day? Or rent an ATV and hit the sand dunes for the afternoon? You can find this total package experience in an Oklahoma State Park! A few of our favorite parks include: Beaver’s Bend State Park, Grand Lake State Park and Lake Texoma State Park!
The fishing in Oklahoma is fantastic. With more than 200 lakes around the state, you could grab the latest fishing report, your rod and your tackle and boat or wade your way out to a famous Oklahoma fishing hole any day of the week… Or discover your own sweet spot!
What kind of fish can you reel in from Oklahoma waters? Crappie, bass and catfish are the most popular. Find out more about Oklahoma’s fishing regulations by visiting the website for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. Learn more about the best places to go fishing in Oklahoma by visiting Oklahoma’s Official Tourism website.