If you are like me, you probably had some idea that the University of Central Oklahoma had a building on the north shore of Arcadia Lake, but not a clue about what goes on there.
I assumed the Center for Outdoor Adventure Recreation (OAR) was just for the UCO community, but anyone can rent a kayak, canoe, mountain bike or stand-up paddleboard from the center, which is staffed seven days a week.
The staff at OAR even will even give you a quick lesson on proper safety and operation of the vessels.
“We are just not going to shove you out on the water,” said Alex Allen, coordinator of recreation programs at OAR.
UCO offers classes for academic credit in outdoor pursuits, kayak/canoe and wilderness first aid. In the spring, the university is adding a stand-up paddleboard class.
But the OAR also offers multiple activities and workshops for the public at large, not just UCO students, including camping, backpacking, mountain biking, kayak fishing, kayaking and canoeing and more.
Guided paddling and backpacking trips are available for groups. Many people just stumble across the OAR building and the services provided during a hiking, camping or fishing outing at Arcadia Lake, Allen said.
The OAR staff has extensive knowledge of Arcadia Lake, and the area and has become a one-stop shop for information.
“We will get people that come in here that are lost or just have questions,” Allen said. “It (the OAR building) kind of acts as a visitor center and a turn-key outfitter as well.”
About UCO Outdoors
The UCO Center for Outdoor Adventure Recreation is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Friday from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m; and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
It is located on Arcadia Lake, 1 1/2 miles east of I-35 on Second Street in Edmond.
For more information, visit the UCO website, email Alex Allen at email@example.com or call (405) 974-3145