The Rustic Charm of Broken Bow, Oklahoma

The Rustic Charm of Broken Bow, Oklahoma


Broken Bow Cabin

After a LONG winter mostly stuck indoors, I sensed being outdoors would be good for our children. So I decided to book a last-minute trip to the quaint destination I’ve been reading about for several years on local message boards: Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Just three hours from Dallas (2.5 hours from Little Rock), this no-fuss destination was perfect for our family.

The thing I loved most about Broken Bow is that it’s not too commercialized. Nothing fancy, but still nice. Yes, there are the kitschy gift stores and some novelty restaurants, but mostly driving up and down Highway 259 you’ll see local cabin rental companies and bait shops. Overall, it’s an unassuming town with the rustic charm of an 80’s movie. (Think: “The Great Outdoors”).

Th town of Broken Bow borders Beavers Bend State Park, a 1300 acre park at the base of the Ouachita National Forest where you will find Broken Bow Lake and the Mountain Fork River (which great for fly fishing!).

Beavers Bend State Park

Things to Do

Most activities are within the state park and include hiking, paddle boating, fishing, horseback riding, mini golf, canoeing, and kayaking. There is also a Heritage Center and Nature Center to learn about local history and wildlife. (You can walk through in about 15-20 minutes.)

Beavers Bend State Park

Hiking is the one of the best way to enjoy the state park, plus it’s free;). I recommend stopping in the Heritage Center beforehand to talk with a guide and get trail recommendations. They recommended the one 1-mile Cedar Bluff trail (with view above) which easy for everyone in our family (and would be fine for younger children).

Beavers Bend State Park

We also did the 2.5 mile Beaver Creek/Lookout Mountain Trail that was MUCH harder for my eight and five year old. It would be fine for older children, but if you have younger children like mine you might have to carry them a bit if they get tired. This trail has higher elevations and more rugged terrain. We did it, though, and my girls were so proud! The Forest Heritage Trail (1 mile) is also easy and has a pretty bridge perfect for photos.

Beavers Bend State Park

A few tips we learned from locals: fishing is best on the bridges. There is a bait shop within the park but also some along the highway. Horseback riding is for ages five and up. Reservations not needed unless it’s a holiday weekend. (And that goes for pretty much all the activities.)

Beavers Bend State Park

Where to Stay

Broken Bow is full of both rustic and higher-end cabins. Because we have an infant with respiratory issues, a nicer cabin was a necessity. After doing some research it seemed the Hidden Hills Cabins had wonderful reviews.

Broken Bow, OK

We booked Run-A-Muk – a two bedroom, two bath cabin on a little creek which my girls loved exploring. I waited until a few weeks before to book our trip so there weren’t many choices in Hidden Hills (a good sign, in my opinion).

But this cabin was the perfect size for us. It came with an Aerobed so one of our girls slept on the floor. My favorite part about the cabin was the huge deck.  The cool early March weather allowed for it to be a second living area.

broken bow, OK cabin

Most of the cabins at Hidden Hills have small kitchens and laundry rooms. Ours had a hot tub and a fire pit. The cabins are pretty spread out and it’s just a few miles from the entrance to the park.

However, a few other recommended cabin rental companies that readers recommended include Broken Bow Cabin Lodging and Blue Beaver.

Note: Beavers Bend State Park has cabins but they are definitely more rustic. More like summer camp cabins. The campgrounds along the river looked beautiful; my husband wants to take my daughters back to camp there.

What to Eat

We mostly cooked and grilled at the cabin using food we brought from home. However, there is a grocery store and Walmart nearby. (Walmart does not have a big food selection.)

Several people recommended Grateful Head Pizza so went there for lunch (twice!) because it has a nice outdoor patio. If you’ve been to Broken Bow, please share your recommendations below!

There are also several breweries up and down 259 with tastings and bars.

broken bow

Overall, Broken Bow was the perfect getaway for a long weekend and would be such a great place to go with several families.

If you’ve been to Broken Bow please comment below with your recommendations. There aren’t many guides on the internet so hope this helps people thinking about booking!


Baby pajamas // Ergo baby carrier (ours is several years old but newer models here) // Baby coat from Hip Hip Hooray

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12 thoughts on “The Rustic Charm of Broken Bow, Oklahoma

  1. Hidden Hills is by far the best cabin rental service. Their cabins are beautiful & modern & there are no hidden cleaning or insurance fees like I’ve found with some of the other companies. We have stayed in Diamond in the Rough, Mount Mystic, & most recently Nature Resides (a cool mid-crntury modern cabin). We love hiking, the Hochatown Mini Golf, & Okie Girls Coffee! Broken Bow is one of favorite places to eacape to for a long weekend & some sacred quiet time. We recommend it to all of our DFW friends & family! So glad you shared this!

    1. Oh good! It is such a hidden gem. It was perfect for me because it’s about halfway between Dallas and Little Rock, which is where went went after Broken Bow. Such a pretty drive through the Quachita National Forest area! Loved it! Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. We love Broken Bow! I’m so glad you did a piece on it. It has been a great getaway for just our family or to go with a few families and rent a big cabin or two adjacent cabins to share. We have had great success using and A lot of these places come with extras like a fire pit, hot tub and/or playground. We also enjoyed the mini golf that’s right by the paddle boats someone mentioned above. For other places to go/eat, Grateful Head pizza, Blue Rooster, Women Love Wine, and the brewery at the top of the hill has a neat area with games like cornhole and live music. Now I want to go back! 🙂

  3. We just got back! Had a blast…our first time. We took our two girls, 3 1/2 and 7 1/2 AND our 12+ year old lab. We hiked the lookout mountain trail, which was beautiful and fun, and yes, little ones may need an occasional “carry-me break” on that trail. Although we saw many others with dogs, that trail was too rigorous for our old four-legged child and he stayed back in our very nice cabin house. Many of the cabin houses looked nice and it looks like it will be fun to try some different ones out next time. We also did horse back riding and we had a great time renting a canoe. The canoe place takes you in a bus to the top of the river and it takes 45 min-hour to paddle down back to where you park (of course, you can take longer to paddle down if you want)! I’m so glad we stopped off at the Whippoorwill Fudge Shop before leaving. I was amazed by all the flavors they offer. They also sell other candy sweets and the popsicles looked so yummy (a plus if you have dairy free kids looking for fruit popsicles). We brought food to cook for dinner at the cabin, but I was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant options and admit we decided not to cook one night so we could eat at the Hochatown Saloon. Can’t wait to go back and try some other restaurant finds.

    I’m enjoying other people’s responses and making note of their tips too!

  4. Lee,

    Thanks for sharing your experience in Broken Bow. We fell in love with Broken Bow about 3 years ago and we started building cabins. We now have 3 luxury cabins, with one more opening up in Late Summer/Fall.

    We want to share our site that offers lots of resources to make Broken Bow & Beavers Bend an incredible trip. On our website, we are proud to feature the Top 25 Things To Do In Broken Bow, contact information for most businesses & activities, interactive map of the area, and our cabins. We have worked hard to build luxurious custom cabin rentals in a place we fell in love with.

    Top 25 Things To Do In Broken Bow:

    Rustic Luxury Cabins:

    Directory & Maps

    Go explore,

    Kevin & Micah Rust
    Rustic Luxury Cabins