There's a lot to be said when a family pulls up to a state park lodge or cabin for what will be a fun summer stay.
The excitement can be felt as fishing poles are unpacked or maybe hiking boots. But don't forget, during the winter months, a family or group of friends can still have a wonderful time at a state lodge or cabin. And given the weather conditions, one can still partake of a variety of fun activities.
“A winter stay in an Oklahoma State Park cabin is perfect for a weekday or weekend trip with the family,” said Deby Snodgrass, director of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation. “The cabins offer families a chance to spend time together enjoying all the comforts of home in a beautiful setting.”
And that beautiful setting can be a number of places.
Lake Tenkiller State Park
Located in the picturesque Cookson Hills, Lake Tenkiller State Park is known to some as Oklahoma's “heaven in the hills.” Those limestone cliffs, breathtaking scenery and the beautiful blue, clear water make an impression whether it's the first time you have seen it or whether you've lost count how many times the water's beauty has captured your attention.
While anytime is a great opportunity to go, the winter months are the perfect time to check out the recently renovated cabins.
The park has one-, two- and three- bedroom cabins and will sleep four to 10 people. With e new furniture, new paint and other accessories, the cabins would make for a relaxing weekend stay. The cabins are surrounded by trees and nature in a tranquil setting — a nature lover's winter paradise.
What is it about that peacefulness that permeates a chilly evening outside? At Lake Tenkiller, stargazing has its place during a hot summer night, but on those crisp winter evenings, the skies take on a new look, a different feel. The stars appear closer at times.
After watching the stars on a chilly evening, the next day you can turn your eyes to the skies again to search for a majestic bald eagle or winter waterfowl. Lake Tenkiller and the nearby Sequoyah Wildlife Refuge are great locations for bird watching.
Don't forget that during the fall and winter season, Lake Tenkiller has areas for tent camping as well. The Bluff View area is quite beautiful. You can see the lake, and you are surrounded by large boulders.
Keystone State Park
Keystone State Park near Mannford can also provide you with a fun winter escape. Whether it's fishing, hiking, mountain biking or you want to commune with nature during a simple relaxing walk, there are 22 cabins to choose from. When the campfire dies out, and your dinner is only a memory, you can cozy up to a warm fire and take in the expansive views because some of the cabins at Keystone sit high aboveground.
Can you imagine how comfortable it would be to be snuggled in one of those cabins next to a fire while it's snowing? Now if only Mother Nature would cooperate and actually send us some snow.
Go to www.TravelOk.com for more information about all the wonderful state parks, lodges and cabins in the Sooner state.
Dino Lalli is the producer, a reporter and co-host of the weekly TV travel show AAA's Discover Oklahoma.