Ardmore, TX
Texas Outside Rating: 8.2

Acres Of Water & Miles Of Shoreline
5,728 acres and 150 miles of shoreline


Brief Overview:

The Civilian Conservation Corp and the Works Progress Administration completed construction on Lake Murray in 1937. For you youngsters these were two organizations created under Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Emergency Works Acts during the Great Depression to provide work for the unemployed. Construction began on Lake Murray State Park in 1933 -- which was the first and largest State Park built in Oklahoma. During construction almost 17,000 men worked on the park for $1.25 an hour.

Lake Murray is over 150 miles of shoreline and 5728 acres of pristine clear blue water and is home to some quality fishing, water sports, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, and golfing. The shoreline is lined with trees and campsites because there is no commercial development allowed on the lake. There are plenty of small coves for fishing, spending the day swimming, or for some smooth water skiing or wakeboarding.

Be sure to pay the $.50 and hike to the top of Tucker Tower to tour the small museum, beef up on some lake history, and take in a beautify view of the lake.

Lake Murray has plenty of camping with lots of sites right on the water. The State Park has some of the best on the water sites with both water and electricity. In addition, Lake Murray State Park has excellent hike and bike trails and a fun 18 hole golf course. See the Texas Outside reviews of Lake Murray State Park and the golf course. The State Park has a lodge with 50 rooms, 81 cabins, and plenty to do with a recreation room, full restaurant, swimming pool, basketball court, tennis courts, fishing pier, volleyball, softball fields, baseball diamond, horseshoe pits, badminton, 9 hole disc golf, water toy rentals, pontoon boat rentals, miniature golf, horseback riding stable, and more.

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A Typical Texas Outsider Day

Go for a morning bike/hike on one of the many trails in the State Park. They range from a short paved nature trail, to a fun trail from Tipp's point along the lake to the lodge, to some very challenging and technically difficult mountain bike trails. After getting some exercise, feed your face, and then hit the lake for some fishing, swimming, skiing, or a visit to Tucker Tower. Take your Frisbees and stop by the lodge for a quick nine holes of disc golf, volleyball, or tennis while the kids swim, miniature golf, or enjoy the rec room.

Spend a morning or afternoon on the links at Lake Murray Golf Course which is a fun and challenging course. You can read the review by clicking here.

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Other Cool Things To Do:

The road around the park is good for moderately strenuous road riding. If you have an ATV or motorcycle, visit the North West Park of the park and ride in the off-road area.

Stop by the stables in the park and go horseback riding.

Stop by the Lodge and take advantage of all the things to do there.

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What To Do If No Boat:

If you don't have a boat, you can rent pontoon boats but don't get your hopes up as these are not in the best of condition and you could be embarrassed if your neighbors see you cruising the lake in them. Don't worry about it, get out on the water and enjoy the lake.

As mentioned earlier, there is plenty to do at Lake Murray State Park -- bike; hike; chill at your campsite, cabin, or lodge room; tour Tucker Tower; ride some horses; watch the airplanes come and go from the small airstrip; fish; swim; or play disc or regular golf. If you can't find something to do here, you should have stayed home!

Nearby Activities:

Take a side trip to visit the Grater Southwest Historical Museum (Ardmore), Cedarvake Botanical Gardens (Davis), Chickasaw National Recreation Area (Sulphur), Tishomingo Wildlife Refuge (Tishomingo), or the Eliza Cruce Hall Doll Museum.

Restaurants, Bars, & Music:

There is not a lot to offer here, except for the restaurant at the lodge, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Wake Boarding & Skiing:

Even if the wind is blowing, Lake Murray has plenty of coves for smooth water skiing, boarding, or tubing.


You should find it good for small mouth bass with some 5 pounders just waiting for you.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass
White Bass
Smallmouth bass

*Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Camping, Waterfront Lodging, and Day Use Parks

The State Park has 50 lodge rooms and 81 cabins. Be sure to check out the very cool Bed & Berth floating villas which are 2 bedroom 2 bath very nice villas floating on the water in a protected cove � well worth the price (call 580 223-0088).

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Ramps & Marinas

There are two marinas within the State Park.

Texas Outside Rating of Murray
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Texas Outside Rating of Murray
(scale of 1 - 10)
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More Pictures

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Texas Outside Lakes Rating Scale

Texas Outside rates lakes on a 1 to 10 scale based on:

  • Beauty: high scores are given for lots of trees, hills, or pretty houses
  • Water Clarity: if you’re standing in two feet of water and can’t see your toes or the water has a deep brown color, we’re talking a 1
  • Water Conditions:  rough water with waves over a foot (good for PWCs or surfing) due to consistent wind or boat wakes don’t rate high on our scale
  • Skiing & Board Conditions:  on the weekends if you can typically find a good cove or part of the lake with glass, we’re talking a 10
  • Beaches:  don’t you hate those beaches when you step into the water you sink in mud up to your knees and loose your flip-flops or it’s all slime and weeds or small rocks – if so, that’s a 1
  • Fun Scale: lakes scoring a 10 have fun restaurants and bars, great coves for raft ups or swimming, and fun rental toys
  • Cruising & Touring:  if you can cruise the lake and look at beautiful houses, nice marinas, pretty coves, or anything similar it will score high
  • Restaurants & Bars:  nothing better than cruising over and having some good food and listening to some great music on the deck of a fun restaurant – the ride back with smooth water and a fun moon is also pretty cool – we’re talking a 10
  • Safety Level: lakes with lots of wild and crazy jet skiers or fast cigarette boats will score low
  • Camping:  we’re looking for beautiful spacious sites right on the water with a nice sandy beach to swim and park the boat
  • Fishing:  the bigger the better and they have to be easy to hook


*Fishing information was provided with permission of the Texas Parks and Wildlife ( in 2006. Texas Parks and Wildlife does not endorse Texas Outside or information presented on ©Copyright Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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