Escape the City with a Trip to Broken Bow, Oklahoma

Broken Bow Oklahoma, in the southeast corner of the state, is gaining in popularity for spring, summer and fall recreation despite the 6+ hour drive from Kansas City.

For those wanting to connect to nature and escape city life, but still have access to family-friendly opportunities, Broken Bow should top the list for your next road trip destination. Nestled within the Ouachita Mountains and adjacent to a state park and pristine lake, the area is an ideal location for nature lovers, hikers, boaters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Broken Bow Attractions

Beavers Bend State Park is a major draw for visitors. Hikers might spot bald eagles and black bears among the pine forest trails. ATV rentals are available for those wanting a rough and tumble adventure. Horseback riding is a huge draw, with stables ready to teach the basics and guide small groups through the trees.

For a more subdued day, vacationers can rent kayaks or canoes for a float trip down the Mountain Fork River, and stop to fish for trophy sized trout in the catch and release areas. Rentals are available through the Beavers Bend Land & Water Park. There’s also an 18-hole golf course for those who love to hit the links. 

Broken Bow Lake has islands, beaches, boat ramps and fish ready to be caught. Rent a pontoon to cruise around or swim in the water when the air is warm. The absence of homes and businesses around the lake means the scenery is picturesque and unobstructed. 

Kid-focused activities are aplenty in Broken Bow. Visitors can work together at The Maze at Hochatown for some winding fun, and then hit up the miniature golf course afterward. Go cart rides are always a blast at Hochatown Amusements. Hochatown Escape Games is great for large or small groups to learn problem solving skills on a hot or rainy day. The Beavers Bend Depot and Stables offers a ride on a replica of the C.P. Huntington S.P. train built in 1863.

With rides offered twice an hour, patrons wind through the natural forest area to Wahoo Hill at Beavers Bend State Park and take in all that nature has to offer. Short horseback riding treks are also offered at the depot. Children four and under must ride double with a parent, while older children will be at ease on their own experienced horse. Rugaru Adventures offers guided zip-lining or electric ATVs tours for single or tandem riders through the state park. 

Racing at Hochatown Amusements.

Where to Stay in Broken Bow

Rental homes within the area are impressively modern, oversized and meant to accommodate a gaggle of kids. The home we recently stayed at had an outdoor play set, hot tub, 12 built-in bunks for kids and a game room. The set up was perfect for three families to be comfortable over a long weekend. Most can be found on VRBO or Airbnb

Just a few of the beds in in the second story bunk room!

Cabins, yurts and campgrounds are available for rent at Beavers Bend State Park

Where to Eat

Grateful Head Pizza and Taproom serves up some seriously good pizza in a relaxed setting. The outdoor patio is ideal in temperate weather. Mountain Fork Brewery is Americana and will satisfy the tastes of most anyone. 

Hochatown Saloon is an enormous venue offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the evenings its a great place for live music and a little dancing to country music. Kids are welcome! 

Hey Sugar Candy Store is a fun place to stop after dinner. Kids will have a blast picking out their favorite treat.

If your family is in need of a reset, and nature is calling your name, Broken Bow might be just what the doctor ordered. Travel there in the spring to watch the blooms emerge, visit in the summer for fun in the water and revel in the beauty of the leaves changing in the fall.

Kristin is a Lee’s Summit suburb transplant, after living in the Brookside and Plaza areas for over eight years. Raising three young boys with her husband, Jake, has helped her to embrace the messy, wild side of life where love is expressed in bear hugs and body slams. Professionally, she can be found teaching classes as an adjunct professor in the areas of Business, Marketing and PR. She is able to provide her students with applicable, real-life knowledge as she draws from several years working in the corporate sector. “Free time” (ha!, what's that again?) is spent on an occasional date night to favorite local restaurants, reading blogs on everything from home design to politics, riding her sweet beach cruiser bike and thinking of ways to convince her husband to do yet another home improvement project.