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Take a dip: Oklahoma's best swimming holes

Maybe your favorite childhood swimming hole is long gone, but Oklahoma has many refreshing bodies of water in which to take a dip.
By Dino Lalli, For The Oklahoman Modified: July 18, 2014 at 5:38 pm •  Published: July 20, 2014

Did you have a favorite swimming hole as a child? I’d be willing to bet most Oklahomans did. Some of those places may not exist anymore; they only live in the memories of folks who may still long for one more invigorating swim.

But some of the locations that have been favorites among Oklahomans have fought pretty hard again the passage of time or the progress of man. They seem to have been around forever, and they assure us they will be here far into the future.

Turner Falls

The first swimming hole that comes to mind is one I think the majority of Oklahomans have been to: Turner Falls in Davis. The city of Davis operates Turner Falls Park, which is the oldest park in Oklahoma. Even in 1868, it was a crowd-pleasing recreation area.

Today, Turner Falls Park is an extremely popular destination for those who want to enjoy swimming next to a picturesque, 77-foot waterfall. Located on Honey Creek in the beautiful Arbuckle Mountains, Turner Falls not only has a swimming hole that’s hard to beat, but campers will also find RV and tent campgrounds as well as cabins available.

Lake Murray

Lake Murray is my next suggestion for a fun swimming hole. The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce claims Lake Murray is one of the 100 best swimming holes in America. It certainly is one of the prettiest in the state, and the park has some fantastic swim beaches. One of the most popular is Martin’s Landing, mostly due to its natural sand.

Sunset Beach and Marina Beach are the largest swimming areas.

You’ll find plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking, horseback riding and paddle boating at Lake Murray State Park. Oklahoma’s first and largest state park consists of more than 12,000 acres and also includes Lake Murray Lodge and the 18-hole Lake Murray Golf Course.

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