I live about 9 miles from the entrance to Okmulgee/Dripping Springs State Park. I have fished, tubed (I donít ski), boated, swam, camped, and just visited the park many times in the past 25 years.
The Park surrounds Okmulgee Lake (650-Acre) and Dripping Springs Lake (1,050-Acre). Okmulgee Lake was built in 1926 as a water project. During high water, the highlight is to visit the dam area on the East side of the lake to watch the cascading waterfalls. They are currently working on this area to make it much more attractive, as years of erosion have taken itís toll.
In the beginningÖ
The primary water source for Okmulgee City now is Dripping Springs Lake. This lake has a much flatter shoreline and is much shallower than Okmulgee Lake. I just learned in the last 5 years or so that Drippings Springs gets itís name from a natural water spring that runs directly under the lake. This was a popular fishing spot before it was dammed off to build the Dripping Springs Lake. This lake is well known all over the south for itís large mouth bass. Iíll go into more detail about that in a fishing review.
Itís clean and the scenery is amazing
The one thing about this Park that you will notice is the cleanliness and well-kept grounds. The Park employees do a spectacular job of keeping everything mowed and trimmed so that everywhere you are in the park is enjoyable. As you wind through the park on Highway 56, you will find many places to pull off and enjoy the awesome views that overlook the lakes. Just be sure as your winding your way up that highway to watch your speed. (That Park Ranger is for sure watching it.)
Camping we shall goÖ
There are 3 different specified Areas at Okmulgee Lake. You will have to drive past all of these Areas in order to get to Dripping Springs. These Areas are plentiful with RV hook-ups and designated swimming areas. I have never personally taken an RV or camper trailer to the lake, but I have many friends that have. I have not heard of a bad experience from any of them while camping there.
Fun things to do while there
The swimming areas at the lake always seem to be kept very clean and doesnít ever seem to be over-populated with other swimmers. The playgroundís at the lake are also very sturdy and well looked after. I have never seen any broken glass or other objects of that nature close to these children areas.
I just want to EAT!!
Yeah, me to. There are many picnic tables and covered areas at the lake where you can sit back and take in the breathtaking views or watch the kids swim. Most are equipped with charcoal grills. There is one particular covered area, which is very large and can hold a big party of people. I would suggest calling and reserving this area if you really want to have a get-together there. We have had company picnics and family reunions here. There are many places for people to sit that are built into the covered area. Parking shouldnít be a problem there either. Someone climbed up on the roof of the building way back when and spray-painted The Zoo on the shingles. So it will always be The Zoo to us locals.
The ramps are spaced every so often around the lake. If one is busy, you can always seem to find another place to drop the boat in the water. There are always people on the lake skiing and tubing. Skiing and tubing are allowed in Okmulgee Lake but not in Dripping Springs. Dripping Springs is primarily a fishing lake and is way to shallow for either skiing or tubing. There are plenty of ďjust-under-the-waterĒ trees waiting to grab you in there.
Just talking about the lake has made me wish it was summer again so the family and me could load up and head to the lake. (I donít know if thatís going to work after we have the triplets). There are many things to do at the lake, whether itís just sitting on the bank taking in the views, sitting on the bank with your fishing pole in hand, or taking your boat out for a spin. I would definitely suggest taking a trip down to Okmulgee/Dripping Springs State Park.
Thanks for reading and God Bless.
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