Fall Adventures

Prime Equestrian Campgrounds in Oklahoma

WRITTEN BY: Casie Bazay

There’s no better time of year than fall to take a camping trip with your horse and enjoy a trail ride where you can view some of Oklahoma’s most beautiful sights. Fortunately, our state has numerous campgrounds with equestrian-friendly facilities, including many where you don’t have to completely “rough it.”

The Oklahoma Equestrian Trail Riders Association (OETRA) hosts trail rides all over the state, and members work with park officials in order to improve campground facilities and also mark miles and miles of trails for riders to enjoy. The following are some of the nicest equestrian facilities our state has to offer:

Heaven’s Gate

A favorite among many riders, Heaven’s Gate RV Park and Retreat is a privately run campground nestled within the scenic Ouachita Mountains near Muse, Oklahoma. Situated next to 70 miles of marked, wooded trails, Heaven’s Gate offers 13 campsites with electric and water, plus three primitive creekside campsites. Each site comes with horse pens, and covered stalls are available on a limited basis. The campground has a rustic shower house as well as a small tack store where hay and shavings are available for purchase. For anyone who may not have their own camping accommodations, Heaven’s Gate has an on-site camper that can be rented through Airbnb.

OETRA member Jeri Ashcroft said she enjoys spending time at Heaven’s Gate because of the “nice camp, beautiful well-marked trails and camp owner who is very accommodating to any unforeseen needs.”

To reserve a site at Heaven’s Gate, contact the owner, D’Anna at (918) 413-6187.

Cedar Lake

Located 12 miles south of Heavener, also in the pine and hardwood-forested mountains of Ouachita National Forest, Cedar Lake boasts one of the largest equestrian campgrounds in Oklahoma. With 47 full hook-up (water and electric) campsites, three full hook-up sites accessible for people with disabilities and 50 primitive sites, equestrians should have no trouble finding a suitable place to stay. Horse corrals are available at many of the campsites, and the campground has two bath houses with toilets and showers, three horse-washing facilities and a dump station among its amenities. Cedar Lake is also home to nearly 100 miles of scenic trails that riders are sure to enjoy, especially in the fall when an array of colors are on display.

For reservations at Cedar Lake, call (580) 494-6402.

Robber’s Cave

Located in the picturesque, hilly woodlands of the San Bois Mountains in southeastern Oklahoma, not far from the town of Wilburton, Robber’s Cave State Park offers 50 horse-friendly camping sites with two restroom/shower-house facilities. Several corrals are available, and the campground has picnic tables, water spigots and electrical hook-ups at most sites.

Nearly 70 miles of rocky and scenic trails in the park provide beautiful sights for trail riders. For reservations at Robber’s Cave State Park, call (918) 465-2562

Sardis Lake

Located five miles north of the town of Clayton, also in southeastern Oklahoma, Sardis Lake campground has level, shaded campsites with both electric and water, all overlooking the lake. Potato Hills Central has five equestrian sites with RV hook-ups, water, picnic tables and a fire-pit, and each site offers double horse pens with water. If all campsites at Potato Hills are booked, equestrians can reserve other sites with RV hook-ups—without horse pens—and use hot wire fence or high line their horses with tree savers. All campgrounds have clean restrooms with flushing toilets, showers, central A/C and heat.

Sardis Lake is home to approximately 20 miles of equestrian trails, and according to OETRA member and Sardis Lake Trail Ambassador Kendra Staggs, “Each trail is marked with different colored arrows. … you can’t go wrong on any trail; they are all beautiful.”    

To reserve your campsite at Potato Hills Central, call (918) 569-4131, or book online at www.recreation.gov.

Platter Flats at Lake Texhoma

Platter Flats is situated on the eastern side of Lake Texhoma, near the Oklahoma/Texas border, and its equestrian facilities include 35 sites with electrical hook-ups as well as three tent sites without electricity.

The area is well known for its post and blackjack oaks, rolling hills and diverse wildlife, including deer, turkeys, bobcats, hawks, waterfowl and songbirds, which may be seen on the nearly 40 miles of equestrian trails surrounding the lake.

To reserve a campsite at Platter Flats, call (580) 434-5864.

Prague Lake

Prague Lake, located just northeast of the town of Prague and not far from Oklahoma City, has an equestrian campground with full hook-up RV sites along with several primitive campsites. The campground offers several convenient amenities, including horse pens, a covered pavilion, restroom facilities with hot showers and a playground for children. While camping at Prague Lake, riders can enjoy barefoot-friendly horse trails that wind around the 400-acre lake.

“What I like best about it is that a person can ride around the entire lake,” said OETRA member and Prague Lake Trail Ambassador Janis Baldwin. “This is one of only two places [that I know of in Oklahoma] where that can be done.”

Call (405) 567-2805 to reserve a campsite at Prague Lake.

Sportsman Lake

Located five miles east of Seminole in central Oklahoma, Sportsman Lake is another beloved camping spot among equestrians. The campground includes 20 pipe corrals, numerous picket poles for tying horses, a covered pavilion with electricity and restrooms with showers. The equestrian area has 12 campsites with electrical hook-ups and one primitive campsite.

The Sportsman Lake trail system offers approximately 30 miles of wooded, rocky and hilly trails that meander around the 15 miles of shoreline.

Any campsite can be requested at Sportsman Lake, and remaining sites are available on a first come, first served basis. For reservations, contact Lake Ranger Pete Vega at (405) 257-3600.

Lake Carl Blackwell

Lake Carl Blackwell, situated near Stillwater in central Oklahoma, is home to nine distinct campgrounds, two of which are equestrian-friendly: Hunts Meadow and Scissortail Lane.

Hunts Meadow has 19 sites with electric, water, picnic tables, hitching posts and fire rings. There are also 30 primitive campsites, several horse pens and a horse-washing area. Hunts Meadow does not allow reservations, and all sites are first come, first served.

Scissortail Lane has 18 campsites with electric, water, picnic tables and fire rings. This campground does allow reservations, which can be made by calling the park office at (405) 372-5157.

Trails around Lake Carl Blackwell cover a total of 50 miles and range from beginner-friendly to more challenging, and the terrain varies from lakeshore to open fields to hills covered in pine forests. Riders may see deer, armadillo and even a pair of bald eagles that nest near the lake.

OETRA member and Lake Carl Blackwell Trail Ambassador Joey Senat said, “The place is so big, and with such varied terrain, that you could ride at least three days and each day think you were in a different place.”

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