I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).
Lake Murray State Park
When my mother and I were returning home to Houston from a trip to Iowa, we discovered a place where we spent our last night while on the road. Fortunately, we got there early enough to do a little exploring.
What we learned made us think it would be a delightful destination to spend much more time there. It is a perfect recreational place for families. That site happens to be within the largest state park in Oklahoma and is known as the Lake Murray Resort.
Lake Murray got its name from William H. Murray, who was active in politics even before Oklahoma took on statehood's mantle. Oklahoma became the 46th state to join the United States of America on November 16, 1907.
He worked with the local native Americans and became the first speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1907 to 1909, and was also the ninth governor of Oklahoma from 1931 to 1935. He ran for President of the U.S. but lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
There are many recreational activities within Lake Murray State Park. Included are some of the following:
- All types of water sports, including swimming, fishing, water skiing, jet skiing, paddle boats, sailboats, and lake cruises
- Horseback riding
- Golfing, including miniature golf
- Hiking the trails
- Dirt biking and other ATV forms of fun
Even things like tetherball (as shown in the photos below) or ping pong and also prearranged hayrides can keep families with kids active and engaged while spending time in this delightful place.
How about picnics? Having fun with friends or family in this large 12,500 acre (51km²) state park with 150 miles of shoreline should be no problem!
Generally, before a trip, I always do some reading and planning to look for new spots along the way. I like to make reservations in advance. That way, we do not have to scramble at the last minute, looking for lodgings. Once or twice, by not doing this, we were caught off guard and had to settle for less than a desirable room. Lessons learned!
We had to drive a little further off Interstate 35 to get to the state park, but we thought it would be worth doing, as it would be our last afternoon and evening before heading back home the next day.
We made reservations to stay at the Lake Murray Lodge, and since our room overlooked the lake, we had terrific views of not only the sunset over those sparkling waters but also the sunrise the next day. Since our visit, they have built a newer lodge but still operate the old one. So there are even more accommodations for people to enjoy!
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The month of our visit was late October, and the crackling fire in the stone fireplace inside of the inn added a welcoming ambiance. Dinner that night was in their Apple Bin restaurant, and we enjoyed a warm homemade type of meal.
There are numerous types of accommodations at Lake Murray in addition to those at the lodge. Others include cottages that can sleep many people and which would be perfect for family gatherings.
If you like to camp, everything from RVs to tents is available to rent spaces. There is a grocery store for camper's convenience, and since this is in a state park, park rangers patrol it regularly for safety concerns.
Not too many state parks (of which I am aware) have chapels, but this one at Lake Murray has been here since 1961. It is a lovely structure with pretty stained glass windows. People can reserve this nondenominational chapel for special events like weddings or even funerals. For those people wishing a quiet indoor place to meditate, this chapel provides it.
This intriguing fortress-like castle structure was constructed in 1933 to put people back to work during the Great Depression through programs like the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).
If it were not for those efforts, this Oklahoma state park might never have come into existence. It served a need back during those gloomy days of the Great Depression, and this state park has been functioning ever since, providing a beautiful playground for visitors seeking rest and recreation.
Tucker Tower has been operating since the 1950s. It serves as a museum and nature center, with artifacts such as fossils and wildlife exhibits. Probably the most sought-after display is the 500-pound meteorite, which fell in the area. Scientists have sliced it in half to enable the study of this massive missile from outer space.
Views from the top of the tower are stunning, as can be seen in this accompanying video. The location certainly provides excellent lake views!
With easy access to an Interstate highway in south-central Oklahoma near Ardmore and a nearby airstrip, getting to visit the Lake Murray State Park is relatively easy. This gem of a park fits the definition of a fun place to spend time with the family! Check the source links below for fee schedules for the park as well as lodgings.
- Oklahoma State Parks: Lake Murray State Park
- Travel OK: Lake Murray State Park Lodge and Cabins
- Museums USA: Tucker Tower
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Peggy Woods