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Lake Murray: Oklahoma Resort with Family Recreational Activities

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Lake Murray State Park with Tucker Tower shown in the distance

Lake Murray State Park with Tucker Tower shown in the distance

Happenstance Discovery

When my mother and I were returning home to Houston from a trip to Iowa, we discovered a place where we spent our last night while on the road. Fortunately, we got there early enough to do a little exploring.

What we learned made us both think that it would be a delightful destination to spend much more time in and is a perfect recreational place for families. That site happens to be within the largest state park in Oklahoma and is known as the Lake Murray Resort Park.

Marina at Lake Murray Resort Park in Oklahoma

Marina at Lake Murray Resort Park in Oklahoma

Travel Planning

Generally, before a trip, I always do some reading and planning ahead of time to look for new spots along the way. I like to make reservations in advance. That way, we do not have to scramble at the last minute, looking for lodgings. Once or twice, by not doing this, we were caught off guard and had to settle for less than a desirable room. Lessons learned!

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

A Lake Murray Resort Park Sunrise

A Lake Murray Resort Park Sunrise


We made reservations 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.

Dinner that night was in their Apple Bin restaurant, and we were served a warm 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.

There are numerous types of accommodations at Lake Murray in addition to those at the lodge. Others include cottages that can sleep many 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

This lake got its name from William H. Murray, who was active in politics even before Oklahoma took on statehood's mantle. 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. Mr. William Murray ran for President of the U.S. but lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Looking back at the lodge from the shoreline

Looking back at the lodge from the shoreline

Recreation Activities

There are many recreational activities within Lake Murray State Park. Included are some of the following:

  • All types of water sports including swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, paddle boats, sailboats, 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 tetherball (as shown in one of the photos above) or ping pong and also prearranged hayrides can keep families with kids active and engaged while spending time in this delightful place.

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!

Encounter with Geese

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 recreational activities.

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 admired the view when a couple of geese started approaching us from the water. Kids were back in school, so we were the only people in that particular area.

Perhaps the geese thought 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. Were these geese just welcoming us or demanding the space as their own? We will never know. At least I got some excellent photos of them!


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, so 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 it.

Tucker Tower

This intriguing fortress-like castle structure was built in 1933 to put people back to work during the Great Depression through programs like the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).

If it were not for those efforts, this Oklahoma state park might never have come into existence. It served a need back during those gloomy days of the Great Depression, and this state park has been functioning ever since providing a beautiful playground for visitors seeking rest and recreation.

Tucker Tower, while uncompleted for some 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 the 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 saw the Tucker Tower's exterior. The location certainly provides excellent 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. This gem of a park fits the definition of a fun place to visit with the family!

Check the source links below for fee schedules for the park as well as lodgings.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on January 30, 2019:

Hi Rajan,

Yes, Lake Murray State Park certainly does have many recreation activities available for those people who get to visit and/or vacation there.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 30, 2019:

Lovely photographs of the beautiful and massive Lale Murray State Park. I certainly would love to visit it. It would be a lot of fun with all the recreational activities on could do. Thank you for sharing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2014:

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.

C E Clark from North Texas on July 30, 2014:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2013:

Hi Au fait,

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

C E Clark from North Texas on July 18, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 08, 2013:

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 from Texas on June 05, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2013:

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 on February 23, 2013:

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 from America on February 23, 2013:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 29, 2012:

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.

judio on March 29, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 18, 2012:

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. from Houston, TX on March 18, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 14, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 14, 2012:

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.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on March 14, 2012:

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 from Wales on March 14, 2012:

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.


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2012:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 13, 2012:

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 on March 13, 2012:

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

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on March 13, 2012:

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).


Charles Criner on March 13, 2012:

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

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on March 13, 2012:

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! :)

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