Oklahoma State Parks ALL changing to Reserve Only

For the last 25 years our favorite campground has been Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow Oklahoma https://www.travelok.com/state-parks/422.  RV camping with 30 and 50 amp and premium sites that back in or pull thru along the river. Beavers Bend is a true camping resort.  Kayaking and Paddle boat rentals, Trail Rides and train rides, swim beach and trout streams stocked weekly.  It’s the jewel of Oklahoma’s parks and since it’s only about 175 miles from Dallas/Ft.Worth, every week in the season looks like a holiday.  Our kids and grandkids just love it.

That park has been mostly first-come, first-serve with only one section of Reserve Only “Buckeye” and  that included premium river backin and forest sites with full hookup  (Elec and Water).  Buckeye section was 30amp and due for an upgrade to make it equal to the most popular, first-come, first-get section “Acorn Circle” that had new level concrete pads and 50 amp service installed about 5 years ago.  Acorn has about 20 sites that are right on the river and the views are fantastic.  It also has about 50 sites that are in the forest right behind those river sites.  We usually just head on down, grab a forest site and wait to see who’s leaving a river site the next day, then we move down.  We can decide to go for a few days and if the weather is nice, change our minds and stay the max 14 days.  Sadly, those impromptu trips are coming to an end.

This past week (end of July 2019) we did our usual and got a premium river site on “Acorn Circle” (seniors pay $25 a night and that includes all taxes etc).  As usual, we drove thru the adjoining Reserve Only “Buckeye” section to see how crowded it was.  To our surprise, it was almost empty. The Park  had disconnected all the electrical posts and removed the water taps.  A posted sign at the entrance to Buckeye said “Dry Camping Only”.  We asked at the office and were told that the entire section was being upgraded to 50 amp and for the first time at Beavers Bend all of those sites would also have sewer hookup.  The price for these FHU sites will only be $3 more ($28 total for seniors).  The camp host said the construction was supposed to have started March 1, 2019 but the contractors have yet to show up.

Then we learned the bad news . . . effective sometime after Labor Day 2019 (and most certainly by the beginning of 2020), the State of Oklahoma has decided to make ALL RV sites at ALL Oklahoma State Parks to be Reserve Only (can be made up to 11 months in advance).  This means you will no longer be able to just drop in and grab one of the popular premium sites.  We know this for sure because only twice in 25 years were we able to get into the Buckeye reserve only section and that time we reserved about 6 months in advance.  But let’s say you do get a reservation for the premium site you want and suppose you book it for a week.  Once there you decide you want to stay longer.  Either you will have to find another site that has some days and move sites or you just have to leave. For us, it means we can’t go down and decide to grab a site or two next to us for an impromptu family reunion . . . Boo Hoo!

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