ATV Trip to trails near
Broken Bow Lake, Oklahoma
Our trip began early the morning of August
5, 2003 from the surrounding Longview, Texas area. We met
in Daingerfield at McDonalds and made our way north up US259.
We drove until we got to Broken Bow, Oklahoma and there stopped
at a grocery store and bought supplies for the group. Loading
back up we stopped again a Hochatown, Oklahoma and filled
our gas tanks. From there we drove a couple of miles to the
Whippoorwill resort, where our cabins awaited.
Once settled into our two cabins, we headed
out to ride our 4 wheelers. We drove about 2 miles north on
US259 to a parking area/trailhead on the east side of the
highway. The trails are the property of the U.S.Forest Service
and are free for the riding. We unloaded our ATV's and hit
the trail. We chose from two trail entrance points and took
the "high trail" (the trail further north). After
riding several miles, we came upon a crosstrail where we turned
left and encountered one difficult wash, from there we rode
until we descended to the shores of Broken Bow Lake.
There we rested and ate and took in the scenery.
We skipped rocks across the lake and talked. Keith, who's
nickname is "Bull" had found a turkey feather on
the trail and we made sure that we took a photo of "Sitting
We then started up and headed back up the
trail we had entered upon. When arriving at the crossroad,
we turned left again onto the extension of the original trail
and rode several miles along the ridge of some very scenic
hollows. Turning left onto a fainter trail, we descended to
another cove on the lake. By this time it was getting fairly
late into the afternoon and we just sat and ate and checked
out the scenery.
Hunger called and we drove the ten miles
or so back to the trailhead. We loaded up and headed to a
nearby restaurant named Abednego's. We were in luck! It was
$8.95 all-you-could-eat buffet night and we did our best to
We headed back to our cabin and rested. The
anticipation of exploring new trails the next morning couldn't
overcome the body's need for sleep and we were soon snoring
the night away.
Day 2 arrived and we were up and at a local
restaurant by 8 a.m. We left and drove the 4 miles north to
the trailhead. We took the "lower"trail and crossed
a creek several times until we took a rightside trail and
ascended up a large hill until coming to an old bread truck
that had been abandoned decades before. We took the left split
at this truck and descended until we popped out on a power
line right of way. We crossed the power line and circled back
to it where we started up a fairly steep hill. There we broke
quickly and took a few photos of Broken Bow Lake.
We returned down that hill and turned right
onto the previous trail and rode until we came to a county
highway. We turned right on another trail and immediately
ascended a major hill with a steep slope. I was only on a
two-wheel drive and had to keep my speed up to overcome this
hill. I definately recommend a four-wheel drive for this hill
especially when we descended back down after eating lunch.
We then returned to the trailhead, where
3 members of our group had to leave to return back home to
Texas. The remaining 8 riders again took the high trail and
rode to the crosstrail point where we took a right to explore
We rode several miles on the edge of several
very scenic hollows. This was by far the prettiest forest
on these trails. We came to a Tee and took a left and turned
back to the right and ascended a long slope that eventually
took us out on a peninsula like peak. This peak was surrounded
on three sides by Broken Bow Lake. We were ~300 feet above
the lake and needless to say, it was quite exhilerating.
We then descended from this peak and turned
right on an unexplored trail. We saw a less used trail to
our right and turned onto it. It quickly became very steep
and this is where we made a bad decision. One ATV was not
a 4-wheel drive and almost caused a serious injury to one
rider because his brakes nor transmission would hold on the
slope. By the grace of God alone he escaped injury after sliding
down the slope more than 100 feet and navigating through trees
barely spaced further than his ATV. This hill now has the
name "Petty Hill", it's holy ground because a miracle
After having this near-miss, we came to the
lake and rested and breathed a sigh of relief. We found a
trail through the hollow and up a less steep trail and rode
until we came again to the crosstrail. We then returned to
the trailhead and beat a trail to Abednego's for the largest
medium sized hamburger that I have ever eaten.
We returned to our cabin where a friendly
game of poker broke out. We watched the Astros destroy the
Mets and got a well-deserved night of rest. We arose early
the next morning, went by Beaver's Bend Park restaurant and
headed back home to Texas.
I know of no good trailmaps for this area.
The trails on the High Trail are fairly easy to figure out.
There are several washes and slopes that require an experienced
rider with a 4-wheel drive ATV. I rode most of it on a 2-wheel
drive but it was difficult. The Low Trail can get confusing
with a lot of side trails. I would definetely recommend the
use of a GPS for these trails.
I was asked how I would compare these trails
to those in Arkansas that I have ridden. Each has it's strong
point. Some of the scenery on Mount Magazine is more spectacular
than that at Broken Bow Lake but overall the trails are better
at this trail. In my opinion, Mill Creek is the best of all.
It combines excellent trails with pristine mountainous forests
and plenty of clear running streams.
Broken Bow Lake area trails are less than
three hours from my home. It is actually close enough for
a well planned day trip. It is located in far southeast Oklahoma.
This alone makes it very attractive for north Texans.