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42 in 52: Okmulgee & Dripping Springs Lake State Park

August 30, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

16830 Dripping Springs Rd
OkmulgeeOK 74447 

Are you ever sitting at home on a Thursday or Friday thinking to yourself, "I'd really like to go see something new, but I really don't want to drive all day to get there"? The solution to your conundrum lies just south of Tulsa just off of HWY 75 at Okmulgee and Dripping Springs State Park. The lakes are known for their recreation and prowess as "Oklahoma's First Trophy Bass" Lake but the campgrounds and scenery shouldn't be ignored.

The campgrounds are operated by the City of Okmulgee and offer 47 semi-modern RV sites and 103 primitive campsites. The primitive campsites still offer water and restrooms. We found a spot on Dripping Springs Lake and we were 1 of 2 spots that were occupied on a weekend in the middle of the summer. This is rare and we were very fortunate. We were not fortunate with the weather (which might be why no one was out camping). It was easily 88 degrees once we settled in a campsite well after dark. A midnight swim was necessary to cool down and make the tent bearable for the rest of the night. 

We awoke to a beautiful view over the water and the sound of bass boats firing up in the nearby marina. The wind coming off the water was quite pleasant after the stagnant night of still air. 

Breakfast called for yogurt and fruit that managed to last in the cooler all weekend. Turns out, one large tub of yogurt is exactly the amount that two people need to mix with fruit for a weekend away. 

Once we got packed up, in typical "old person" style, we got our bikes ready and took a leisurely ride around the campground to pay our fees for the night. The camp host had a sweet setup with a legitimate ICE machine in the front yard. She, or her husband, had picked up one of our citronella candles from the night before. We asked her about it and she responded with "Help yourself" and pointed to the rear of her golf cart. We came out ahead in the citronella candle department that day.

We rode around the rest of the campground and watched as the "campers" in the RV section stirred from their air conditioned castles on wheels then headed back to the car to prepare for the next leg of the trip. On the way out of the park we found the infamous spillway that is often associated with the park. 

It normally looks like this:

Photo courtesy of TravelOK.com.

On a dry day in the middle of the summer, it looks like this:

It was a little bit of a let-down as you could imagine, but the park itself was a great surprise considering it's proximity to Tulsa. We got to climb all over the spillway then proceed back to the car for the next leg of this adventure. I would highly recommend this park to anyone looking for a weekend camping getaway or some time on the water either fishing or boating. For more information about the park, visit www.travelok.com. 

The next park in this series is Lake Murray State Park. Lake Murray is located near the Texas border in Southeast Oklahoma. Be on the lookout for my next blog post!

As always, you can see all of the images from this trip here!

Also, to keep up to date with where I am and what I am doing, follow me on Instagram @elsemanzach!


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