August 17-19, 2006 – Lake Thunderbird State Park was the first Oklahoma state park I visited since it was right on my way while heading east on I-40… a state park with easy access and not a long way from the highway – great!
There were so many campgrounds to choose from on this huge lake, but I opted for the best of all worlds – lakefront, full hookups with 50 amp service. I really needed that A/C because the temps were ranging from 102° to 105° while I was there. Despite the heat, this was a really cool park.
Here’s the site I ended up in – lucky #13 in the Little Sandy 50 amp section – there were only 7 sites in this loop at that time. I met one of the nicest camphosts ever – Pat was great about helping me back up into three difference sites as I tried to get my satellite TV. Due to the trees, this is the only one that worked. My Verizon cell phone and air card worked great, also.
Sitting on the picnic table in the morning sipping coffee with this kind of view – what a great way to start the day!
This is Hickory Hill area – still great views, still full hookups, but only 30 amp service.
On the other side of the lake is Little Axe Campground. There’s water and 30 amp electric to the sites, and there is a dump in the park. This shows sites # 1 and #2.
This looked like the best site to me – # 41, a pull-through right on the lake. Thunderbird Entertainment Center (casino) is right across the road from Little Axe.
Post Oak Campground shady site.
There are several other campgrounds that I didn’t have a chance to check out. In the Fall, they’ll be shutting down one of the oldest campgrounds, Hog Creek, in order to completely update it. Other parts are due for upgrades to 50 amp, as well. The park manager, Susan Hendon, was particularly helpful with details about the differences and amenities of the campgrounds. She is also the contact person for reserving the group picnic areas, which are also very nice.
Malia’s 2 cents: I really enjoyed my stay here, so don’t make the same mistake I almost did and pass it by. For about the same price you pay at private RV “resorts”, you get all the modern amenities, with picnic tables and firepits at every site, great views, fun activities, nature center, nice walking trails, marinas with boat docks and lots more.
13101 Alameda Drive – Norman, OK 73026
(405) 360-3572 – Reservations
2018 update: It looks like a couple of things I really enjoyed about this park in 2006 are no longer there. I’m including the pics below anyway since they were still such great memories for me.
Thunderbird Stables was close by the campground I stayed at during my visit to Lake Thunderbird State Park. I hadn’t been on a horse in over 20 years, but it sounded like fun and I’m glad I listened to that little voice in my head that told me so.
I was sad to hear that Thunderbird Stables had to close in 2013 after the owners had run it as a labor of love for 28 years. Such changes due to financial difficulties are always hard to accept. I am glad I had the opportunity to do this when I was there and I hope something similar is offered again at some point. End of the Trail for Thunderbird Stables (7/21/13)
Little River Zoo: Was highly recommended by several locals during my stay at Lake Thunderbird. I’ve learned not to ignore such advice and I was very glad I visited and had a chance to meet the very special residents and attendants of this unique facility. Especially so now since it’s another favorite thing I did there that has since closed: Little River Zoo to Close for Good (NewsOK – 3/30/11) – Continuing financial woes have forced the Little River Zoo to close as an animal sanctuary. The zoo has been closed to the public since January because of money problems.
Lessons learned: Do what you like to do while it’s available – waiting for just the right time may mean you don’t get the chance at all.