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

Updated on August 1, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

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

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 learned 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.

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

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 the lessons were 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.

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.

Lake Murray Resort Park
Lake Murray Resort Park | 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.

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

Recreation Activities

There are many recreational activities 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 prearranged 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 with 150 miles of shoreline
Lake Murray State Park with 150 miles of shoreline | Source

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.

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

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.

A couple of geese were rapidly approaching us!
A couple of geese were rapidly approaching us! | Source

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 and the goose that was scolding us.
Lake Murray and the goose that was scolding us. | 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.

Lake Murray Chapel
Lake Murray Chapel | Source

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

This nondenominational 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.

Stained glass windows inside of Lake Murray Chapel
Stained glass windows inside of Lake Murray Chapel | 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 at Lake Murray State Park
Tucker Tower at Lake Murray State Park | Source

Tucker Tower, while uncompleted for a period of time, has been operating since the 1950s 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.

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

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!

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!

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

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

See results

Lake Murray State Park in Oklahoma

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

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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

      C E Clark 3 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
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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

      C E Clark 4 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
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      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. :)

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      I don't usually think of Oklahoma as having good places to visit! This is actually not too far from me. Perhaps I will visit one day! Voted up, useful, Pinned, Tweeted and FB'd! :)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello torrilynn,

      So happy to know that you enjoyed learning about the Lake Murray State Park in Oklahoma. Perhaps your travels will take you that direction again someday. Thanks for your comment and vote.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      It would be a nice place for you and your relatives to take a vacation as Lake Murray is so family friendly a place. At least Oklahoma is not that far away from Arkansas! Thanks for your comment and also your share.

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      PeggyW, I really enjoyed reading your hub. I've visited Oklahoma a couple of times and I've never heard of Lake Murray State Park in Oklahoma. i wish i would have came across this article sooner. thank you for the information that you have provided and the photos that go along with it. voted up.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Interesting hub I thought maybe it was close to my relatives in Arkansas but it's not. It would be a place for us to go while visiting if it had been closer. Share

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Judi,

      In what part of Oklahoma does your friend live? Perhaps she is familiar with Lake Murray since it is the largest state park. For certain, it is a gorgeous place for rest and relaxation! Thanks for your comemnt.

    • profile image

      judio 5 years ago

      Oh.... that beautiful blue water. One of my dearest friends is from OK, and I'll forward the link to her. She would most certainly enjoy..

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      At least Lake Murray in Oklahoma is not that far a drive from Houston. So visiting this Oklahoma resort could be a possibility for the future. Thanks for your comment. Always appreciated! :)

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 5 years ago from Houston, TX

      Great photos and videos of this beautiful Oklahoma Resort. This vacation was the highlight of the year with your sweet adorable Mother. Love the Tucker Tower and the Marina. I would love to visit the Tucker Tower and see all the interesting and educational exhibits on display. Very interesting hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi alocsin,

      I know if you make it to Lake Murray, you will want to stay there awhile. Lots to do, see and enjoy. Thanks for your visit.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eddy,

      Nice to know that you liked this look at the Lake Murray State park in Oklahoma. It is quite a place! Thanks for your comment.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I really like how Tucker Tower watches over the beautiful lake. Worth a visit if I ever get to Oklahoma. Voting this Up and Beautiful.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh so truly beautiful Peggy;not a surprise anymore though.

      Another to be fondly bookmarked into my Armchair travelling slot my friend.

      Take care and have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello brandrocker,

      Murray Lake is truly a place to rest and relax or stay as active as one might wish with all of the activities that can be enjoyed. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Prasetio,

      Lake Murray is a wonderful state park and resort area. I know that you would enjoy it were you ever to visit this part of Oklahoma. Thanks for your comment and votes. Always nice hearing from you, my long distance friend!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Charles,

      I would be pleased if you use some of these images to create some of your wonderful art. I would be even more pleased if I get a copy! Copy or not...you have my permission. Have you ever visited this state park in Oklahoma?

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi sgbrown,

      It is a small world indeed. My mother and I only got to spend a short amount of time there compared to your experiences, but we came away duly impressed with the areas' beauty. I would love to meet you sometime. If you come to Houston...let me know also because we can also meet down here. Thanks for your comment, votes and the sharing of this hub.

    • brandrocker profile image

      brandrocker 5 years ago

      Useful hub. Thanks for providing minute details. I love the pictures. The atmosphere sounds pretty relaxing.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Wow...this was beautiful resort, Peggy. Thanks for writing and introduce this resort with us. Lake Murray is the wonderful one. I wish I can go there. Good job and rated up! (useful, awesome, beautiful and interesting).

      Prasetio

    • profile image

      Charles Criner 5 years ago

      Hello Peggy. Do I have your premission to use some of these images to create from? Very lovely shots of rocks and water...........Charles

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is amazing! I live about 12 miles from Lake Murray. We live just north of Ardmore. If you ever come this way again, you will have to let me know. I would love to meet you! Lake Murray is truley one of the prettiest lakes in Oklahoma. We have been camping there for years. One of our best friends was married at the chapel and I took their wedding pictures there! Small world! I have to say this was a wonderful hub and you described Lake Murray very well! Voted up, interesting and SHARING! Have a wonderful day! :)