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Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Oklahoma 2021

Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Oklahoma 2021

Oklahoma SUP

1: Lake Overholser/Lake Hefner

Lake Overholser SUP

The 1,500 square acre Lake Overholser is one of the best places to paddleboard in not only Oklahoma City but in the state of Oklahoma as well. Besides its easy access and relatively sizable dimensions, Lake Overholser is a shallow lake. The lake’s average depth is just 6’, and the lake’s deepest part is only 13’. Plus, the limited motorboat activity makes it well suited for beginners and younger paddlers.

Beyond practicing yoga and cruising with friends, you can rent fishing gear from local vendors to try to catch Bass, Bream, Catfish, and more. If you want to get some sailing in or race with friends, you can do it at Lake Overholser or visit Lake Hefner. Note that you need a boating license or visitor pass to SUP on Lake Hefner.

Whichever lake you choose, you will have plenty of fun without having to leave Oklahoma City by paddling on Lake Overholser and Hefner.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 231
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Oklahoma City
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

2: Broken Bow Lake

Broken Bow Lake SUP
Broken Bow Lake is one of the largest and cleanest freshwater lakes in the state, attracting visitors not just from Oklahoma but also from neighboring Texas and Arkansas. The beauty of nature is one of the primary reasons Broken Bow Lake has gained popularity. The 14,000 square acre lake is seated in the Ouachita Mountains, home to sixteen unique plant species and various endemic salamanders.

Due to the beautiful environment, SUP yoga sessions are frequently held by local paddleboard companies, who will help you meditate and find your inner peace near the shore. If you prefer adventuring, you can tour along the shoreline with dozens of campgrounds, though be on the lookout for Black Bears that roam the area.

Whether you set off from the marina, Coyote drive, or some other beach, you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to paddling Broken Bow Lake.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 218
Distance to Major Cities: 30 Minutes to Broken Bow
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

3: Oologah Lake

Oologah Lake SUP

Oologah Lake is a very popular paddleboarding destination for those living or visiting the Tulsa area, with 29,500 acres of water and 209 miles of shoreline to explore. Touring enthusiasts will have many places to rest, as there are eleven official lake-side parks to visit, along with dozens of other campgrounds.

Channel and Catfish are a couple of great fish to catch within the lake, with state record-setting White Bass also reeled in from these waters. You will find an assortment of paddling enthusiasts and vendors willing to teach you lessons or rent your gear, besides detailing and pointing out the history of the area and homes of famous Americans like Will Rogers. Located in north-eastern Oklahoma, you will have a fantastic time paddleboarding on Oologah Lake.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 227
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour to Tulsa
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

4: Lake Eufaula

Lake Eufaula SUP
Lake Eufaula is the largest lake by volume in Oklahoma. The 102,000 square acre lake can be visited in the state’s central-eastern portion, with a 600-mile shoreline offering many different launch points. Arrowhead and the Lake Eufaula State Park visitor’s center are two of the most common beaches and marinas, with local vendors willing to rent out gear for paddling or sign you up for SUP classes.

Fishing is excellent all around the lake, but tournaments held throughout the year for Bass, Stripers, and Catfish take place often near the Eufaula dam. If you prefer something quiet, away from the motorboats that drive on the lake, go to Grave Creek on Lake Eufaula’s northern part for yoga or cruising. It’s a bit of a drive from all of Oklahoma’s major cities, but it’s worth the trip to experience the waters of Lake Eufaula.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 231
Distance to Major Cities: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes to Tulsa, 2 Hours to Oklahoma City
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Yes
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

5: Arkansas River

Arkansas River SUP

One of the longest rivers in the United States, the Arkansas River cuts through four different states, with the sections in Oklahoma offering some great paddling. The river is considered one of the top Trout streams in the country, with the average catch longer than 18” in length.

Everything from simple Class I rapids to the most challenging Class V rapids mark the Arkansas River, allowing new and expert whitewater paddlers to challenge themselves while finding rapids they are comfortable navigating. Lastly, the Arkansas River was once one of the most popular gold mining spots within the country, so leftover mining gear (and the occasional small gold deposit) marks much of the water’s length.

From touring to cruising to whitewater rapids running to just exploring Oklahoma’s backwoods, there is great paddling to be done on the Arkansas River.

Average Clear Weather Days per Year: 227
Distance to Major Cities: Direct Access to Tulsa
Motor Vehicles Allowed: Limited
Paddleboard Rentals Available: Yes

Conclusion: Plan Your Paddle Board Trip and Have Fun!

Thank you for reading our top paddleboarding destinations for the state of Oklahoma! If you’ve enjoyed our list, let us know by leaving a comment below or sending us an email with your thoughts, including what other destinations we should include on our list.

Our next state as part of our series will be our favorite paddleboarding destinations in Oregon, but if you’re planning a vacation, check out our top fifteen destinations in the whole US! We are working hard to make, so be sure to visit and let us know we can improve our reviews, instructional guides, and in-depth videos.

So enjoy the sun, the sights, and the sounds of nature as you paddle around the lakes and rivers of Oklahoma!

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1 thought on “Best Places to Paddleboard in the United States – Oklahoma 2021”

  1. I’ve been dragging my board all over Oklahoma City for a while so a few to add to the list:

    Oklahoma River/Boathouse District – Right in the heart of downtown and home to the Olympic high performance rowing training center, you will commonly see elite college and olympic scull/sweep rowers, kayakers, and canoers (of the single leg kneeling very fast carbon canoe variety). It’s very fun to be able to paddle along as these elite athletes pass by. Not the most beautiful and naturalistic setting as you pass under the highways and bridges but it’s a solid 10 km loop that’s significantly more protected from the wind than the rest of Oklahoma’s lakes!

    Lake Arcadia – A little more nature and a lot less sailboats and wind than lake Hefner. Great for those in the Northeast part of the metro.

    Lake Stanley Draper – A more typical lake with inlets and coves to explore not far from downtown. A great paddle plus a new paved trail all the way around the lake.

    Stinchcolmb Wildlife Refuge – This is a hidden jem! The north east corner of lake Overholser leads into a well protected river that feeds the lake. Paddling up into the river is one of the most popular places in the metro for kayakers and paddle boards. The largest benefit is that it’s almost entirely protected from the wind except for the first 150 yards or so (and slightly less protected for another 200 yards after that). This is where I take new paddlers or anyone that doesn’t want to fight knee high waves in 25 mph wind/35+ mph wind gusts in our sometimes wild weather.

    Lake Thunderbird/Little River – This was my first paddling spot, discovered in my teens. Lake thunderbird is a large lake and can be fun to explore all the coves around the perimeter. Even better, though slightly hard to access depending on the water level of the lake is the little river on the far north side of the lake that feeds it. The entrance is constantly changing as there’s a sand bar that shifts around and can catch you off guard when a rear fin unexpectedly runs aground but once you make it past the entry, you can paddle upstream for miles with all manner of birds, turtles, and other wildlife all around both in the river and on the banks. It’s wonderful!


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