Broken Bow Lake : History, Boating, Fishing & More

Broken Bow Lake is located in southeastern Oklahoma in the Ouachita Mountains and Kiamichi Mountains. Broken Bow Lake is a beautiful man-made lake that offers visitors a chance to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. The lake is nestled in Beavers Bend State Park and is perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, and canoeing. There are also several cabins and homes located in the area for visitors to rent. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the history of the lake, what it has to offer visitors, and where to find the best cabins for rent.

History of Beavers Bend State Park

The Choctaw Nation

In 1820, the US government entered a treaty with the Choctaw Nation giving them land in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in exchange for their homeland in Mississippi. The Trail of Tears route passed near the southern part of Broken Bow Lake. Today, the Choctaw Nation maintains an important presence in the area.

Construction Of The Dam

Construction on Broken Bow Dam began in 1937 and was completed in 1969. The dam was built as part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, which was designed to make navigation on the Arkansas River easier and more efficient. The Mountain Fork River is dammed to create Broken Bow Lake, which is named after the nearby city of Broken Bow, OK.


In addition, the nearby town of Hochatown has deep roots with the dam. Old Hochatown formerly set under what is now Broken Bow Lake and was flooded when the dam was built. It relocated to what is now Hochatown and sits along Highway 259 not far from Broken Bow Lake and Beavers Bend State Park.

Fun Facts

This clear and clean lake sits in southeastern Oklahoma in McCurtain County and covers 14,000 acres. The clear water is a result of the rock lined floor. The Broken Bow Lake southern and largest section contains small islands with stunning settings great for canoeing adventures.

A densely forested mountain terrain covers the lake’s 180 miles of shoreline. The Corps of Engineers manages the shoreline and no docks or permanent structures are allowed. The Beavers Bend Marina and Beavers Bend State Park Resort are the only areas that are allowed to have such structures.

Beavers Bend Marina at Broken Bow Lake

The Beavers Bend Marina on Broken Bow Lake is a popular destination for boaters and other visitors looking to take advantage of the beautiful lake. It’s actually the only marina on the lake! With full-service boat rentals including pontoons, ski boats, jet skis and more as well as fuel stations, and a range of other amenities, the marina has everything you need for an enjoyable day on the water.

Boating at Broken Bow Lake

Rent A Boat

Looking for a great way to explore the beautiful and serene waters of Broken Bow Lake? At Beavers Bend Marina, there are a variety of different types of boats available for rent, including pontoons, ski boats, jet skis, and more. Whether you’re looking to go bass fishing, swimming, do some water sports or simply relax on the water with friends and family, a day out on the lake is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Kayaking & Canoeing

There are many opportunities for kayaking and canoeing around the lake and at Beavers Bend State Park. This scenic state park features the most stunning settings lush forests, serene rivers and streams, and stunning waterfalls, all of which are perfect for exploring via kayak or canoe. Spend an afternoon kayaking or canoeing on the lake or down the Mountain Fork River. Whether you’re looking to go fishing or simply enjoy the peaceful surroundings, a day spent kayaking or canoeing at Beavers Bend State Park is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Fishing at Broken Bow Lake

Fishing at Broken Bow Lake is some of the best in the state. The lake has a maximum depth of 52 feet, and it is popular to a number of species that include brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappie, paddlefish, northern pike and more.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation regulates the lake’s fishing regulations that include five fish limits for largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and shoal bass as well as crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish. Rainbow trout are stocked year round and a trout stamp is required for Broken Bow Lake’s rainbow trout fishing.

Fly Fishing

Bring your fly rod and waders because the Mountain Fork River is the perfect depth for fly fishing. And don’t forget to check out the area fishing guides to learn all the best spots and tricks. Read all about the Lower Mountain Fork River here >>

Lodging at Broken Bow Lake

Cabins in Broken Bow & Hochatown

There are also many different types of cabins and homes available for rent around the lake which offer a range of cabin types and sizes to suit every traveler’s preferences and budget. Many cabins feature amenities like a hot tub, fire pits, gourmet kitchens and more. Read our tips to choosing the Perfect Cabin at Broken Bow >>

Things To Do Around Broken Bow Lake

If you’re looking for a place to stay near the lake, there are many options available. Whether you’re looking for a rustic cabin or a more modern home, there are you’re sure to find something that suits your needs and budget. Some popular options include Beavers Bend Resort Park, which features cabins and other accommodations within the park and also Beavers Bend Lodge located on the shores of the lake with a lake view from every room!

In addition to fishing and boating, there are plenty of things to do in the beautiful Ouachita National Forest including hiking trails (we recommend the Big Oak Nature Trail, also known as Skyline Trail), biking, bird watching, and golfing at Cedar Creek Golf in Beavers Bend State Park. Vacationers love Broken Bow Lake for its scenic views and endless outdoor recreation. It truly is a nature enthusiasts dream!

Outside the Lake in Broken Bow and Hochatown, you’ll find even more things to do!  

Start Planning Your Trip

With so many activities available, there is something for everyone at Broken Bow Lake. It’s the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy some quality time with family and friends. Start planning your vacation today! 


July 2024

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