Oklahoma Resort ~ Lake Murray Photos ~ Recreation Activities for an Entire Family

Lake Murray Resort Park with Tucker Tower shown in the distance.

Lake Murray Resort Park with Tucker Tower shown in the distance.
Lake Murray Resort Park with Tucker Tower shown in the distance. | Source

Question and answer


Posed on HubPages was the following question: "What are some fun places to visit with the family?"

This made me think of a vacation trip up to Iowa from Houston in which my mother and I had visited our relatives. On our return trip home, we discovered a place where we spent our last night and fortunately got there early enough to do a little exploring.

What we discovered made us both think that it would be a great place to spend much more time and in answer to the question...it is a perfect place for families.

It just happens to be the largest state park in Oklahoma and is called Lake Murray Resort Park.


A markerOklahoma -
Oklahoma, USA
[get directions]

Vacation in Oklahoma


Generally prior to a trip, I would always do some reading and planning ahead of time to look out for interesting spots along the way. Reservations would be made in advance so that we did not have to scramble at the last minute looking for lodgings. Once or twice (by not doing this) we were caught off guard and ended up having to settle for a less than desirable room for the night. So...lessons learned!

We had to drive a little further off of Interstate 35 to get to the state park, but we thought that it would be worth doing as it would be our last afternoon and evening before heading back home the next day.

On our way up to Iowa we had planned some extra time to see the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Capitol building. That memorial can still give me goosebumps when I think of it!

While Oklahoma was not the focus of our vacation that year in 1998, we enjoyed what we saw of it while driving through it in both directions. Naturally there is much more to see of Oklahoma and being our neighboring state to the north of Texas, perhaps we will avail ourselves of that in the future.

Marina at Lake Murray Resort Park in Oklahoma

Marina at Lake Murray Resort Park in Oklahoma
Marina at Lake Murray Resort Park in Oklahoma | Source

A Lake Murray Resort Park Sunrise

A Lake Murray Resort Park Sunrise
A Lake Murray Resort Park Sunrise | Source

Lake Murray Lodge


Reservations had been made to stay at the Lake Murray Lodge and since our room overlooked the lake, we had terrific views of not only the sunset over those sparkling waters, but also the sunrise the next day.

The month of our visit was late October and the crackling fire in the stone fireplace inside of the inn added a welcoming ambiance.

We had dinner that night in their Apple Bin restaurant and were served a hearty homemade type of meal. I no longer remember what we specifically ordered, but know that it was good. My mother always liked her desserts and she had a smile on her face as she was eating it, and that I remember.

There are numerous types of accommodations that can be secured at Lake Murray in addition to those at the lodge. Others include cottages that can sleep a number of people and which would be perfect for family gatherings.

If you like to camp, everything from RVs to tents can be accommodated. There is a grocery store for camper's convenience and since this is in a state park, park rangers patrol it regularly for safety concerns.

Looking back at the lodge from the shoreline of Lake Murray.

Looking back at the lodge from the shoreline of Lake Murray.
Looking back at the lodge from the shoreline of Lake Murray. | Source

Lake Murray


This lake got its name from William H. Murray who was active in politics even before Oklahoma took on the mantle of statehood.

Oklahoma became the 46th state to join the United States of America on November 16, 1907.

He was involved in working with the local Indians and became the first speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1907 to 1909. William H. Murray was also the ninth governor of Oklahoma from 1931 to 1935.

He actually ran for President of the U.S. but lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


Lake Murray Resort Park

Lake Murray Resort Park
Lake Murray Resort Park | Source

Lake Murray State Park

Lake Murray State Park
Lake Murray State Park | Source

Recreation activities


Of that there are many within the Lake Murray State Park. Included are some of the following:

  • All types of water sports including swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, paddle boats, sail boats and lake cruises
  • Horseback riding
  • Golfing including miniature golf
  • Fishing
  • Tennis
  • Hiking the trails
  • Dirt biking and other ATV forms of fun

Even things like tether ball (as shown in one of the photos above) or ping pong and even pre-arranged hayrides can keep families with kids active and engaged while spending time in the Lake Murray State Park.

How about picnics?

Having fun with friends or family in this large 12,500 acre (51km²) state park with 150 miles of shoreline should be no problem!

Lake Murray State Park

Lake Murray State Park - Notice the geese swimming up towards us?
Lake Murray State Park - Notice the geese swimming up towards us? | Source

Lake Murray and geese

Lake Murray and geese
Lake Murray and geese | Source
Lake Murray and geese
Lake Murray and geese | Source

Our encounter with geese


Obviously arriving in the afternoon and only planning to spend the night at Lake Murray, my mother and I did not have the opportunity to do many of the recreation activities that are available.

To get a better perspective of the lake, we decided to drive around a portion of it.

In one area with outdoor grills and picnic areas, we got out of the car and were admiring the view when a couple of geese started approaching us from the water.

Kids were back in school so the particular area in which we stopped was deserted.

Perhaps the geese were thinking that they might be able to get some morsels of food from us? I don't know what was in their minds. All I know for a fact is that once they got out of the water they both quickly started approaching us and were squawking loudly.

Geese can be quite territorial and my mother and I decided that getting back into our car was probably the best response on our part. Were these geese just welcoming us or demanding the space as their own? We will never know.

At least I got some nice photos of them!

Lake Murray Chapel

Lake Murray Chapel
Lake Murray Chapel | Source

Stained glass windows inside of Lake Murray Chapel

Stained glass windows inside of Lake Murray Chapel
Stained glass windows inside of Lake Murray Chapel | Source

Lake Murray Chapel


Not too many state parks (of which I am aware) have chapels, but this one at Lake Murray has been here since 1961.

The doors were open and my mother and I took a peek inside. It is a lovely structure with pretty stained glass windows.

This non-denominational chapel can be reserved for special events like weddings or even funerals.

For those people wishing a quiet indoor place to meditate...this chapel provides just that at Lake Murray.

Tucker Tower

Tucker Tower
Tucker Tower | Source

Looking out on the Tucker tower cliff...

My sweet mother at Lake Murray in Oklahoma

My sweet mother at Lake Murray in Oklahoma
My sweet mother at Lake Murray in Oklahoma | Source

Tucker Tower


This intriguing fortress-like castle structure was built in 1933 as part of putting people back to work during the Great Depression through programs like the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). In fact, if it were not for those efforts, this Oklahoma state park may never have come into existence.

It served a need back during those gloomy days of the Great Depression and this Lake Murray State Park has been functioning ever since providing a scenic playground for visitors seeking rest and recreation.

Tucker Tower, while uncompleted for a period of time, has been operating since the 1950's as a museum and nature center with artifacts such as fossils as well as wildlife exhibits on display. Probably the most sought after exhibit is the 500 pound meteorite which fell in the area. Scientists have sliced it in half to enable study of this massive missile from outer space.

Views from the top of the tower are stunning as can be seen in this accompanying video.

Unfortunately the museum had closed by the time my mother and I arrived so we merely got to see the exterior of the Tucker Tower. The location certainly provides great lake views!

Sunrise over Lake Murray Resort Park

Sunrise over Lake Murray Resort Park
Sunrise over Lake Murray Resort Park | Source

Tourism Attractions in Ardmore, Oklahoma

Family resort


With easy access to an Interstate highway in south central Oklahoma near Ardmore, and a nearby airstrip...getting to visit the Lake Murray State Park is relatively easy if ever in that part of the country.

This gem of a park definitely fits the definition of a fun place to visit with the family!

Does Lake Murray State Park look like a place where you would enjoy vacationing?

  • I have already been there but would go again.
  • Yes...definitely!
  • Unlikely because of living too far away, but enjoyed learning about it.
  • I prefer salt water beaches to fresh.
  • I prefer other types of vacations.
See results without voting

Lake Murray State Park in Oklahoma

A markerLake Murray State Park -
Lake Murray State Park Airport, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA
[get directions]

More from Oklahoma...

If you enjoyed this article, please take time to give it a star rating. Thank you!!!

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Lake Murray Resort Park in Oklahoma

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 26 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

For many of us living in Texas or nearby states, this wonderful Oklahoma lake and resort is not that far away. It has so many amenities and would be a great place for families to spend some quality time. Thanks for the shares.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Already pinned to my 'Travel' board a year ago, so now I'm pinning it to Awesome HubPages. Also gave you 5 stars -- not sure how I missed that last time. Posted to FB, and will share with my followers.

This really looks like the perfect place to be in the summer and you have lots of good information here to help people get the most of their vacation here.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

Lake Murray State Park is definitely a family friendly place from our observations. Thanks for spreading the word about it. :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

This looks like a perfect place for a family to vacation and many people can just drive to it, which would save money. Nowadays lots of people are looking for ways to do that. Beautiful photos! Will share this again with my followers and have pinned it to my 'Travel' board.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Suzanne,

My mother and I were really impressed with Lake Murray State Park. It would make for a wonderful family vacation with all of the amenities they have there. Thanks for your comment and the rest. :)


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