Oklahoma City Lakes

Though the weather isn't always as accommodating as one would like in the dead of winter or heat of summer, as a state, Oklahoma is heaven for the outdoorsman. From wooded regions to mountainous terrain, it offers a great deal in the way of recreational opportunities. And many are surprised to learn that Oklahoma is filled with beautiful lakes for boating, fishing and more. Just in the metro area alone, there are a number of major lakes in addition to the many smaller, local bodies of water. Here is a list of the major Oklahoma City lakes, with links to detailed profiles on each.

  • 01 of 05
    Lake Hefner Lighthouse
    ••• © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Where: Northwest Oklahoma City, west of the Lake Hefner Parkway as far north as Hefner Road and south past Wilshire, Also accessible from Northwest Expressway.
    About: Lake Hefner was built in 1947 and is considered the premiere location for sailboating in OKC. In addition to fishing, picnicking and golf, Lake Hefner is well-known for outdoor recreation. Trails trace the entire lake and stretch just over nine miles in total. They are twelve feet wide and asphalt, and the east side of the lake also contains some six feet wide trails specifically for pedestrians. The area features numerous well-kept parks for the kids, and you'll often find families walking, lounging or flying a kite. The lighthouse is a photo destination, and the East Wharf restaurants offer some of the best views in the metro.
    Features: Fishing, Sailing (Home to the Oklahoma City Boat Club), Outdoor recreation trails, Picnic areas, Playgrounds, Enclosed and heated fishing dock, Public golf course

  • 02 of 05
    Lake Overholser Dam
    ••• © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Where: Northwest Oklahoma City, just southwest of Lake Hefner, south of Route 66 and north of I-40 between Council and Morgan Roads.
    About: Originally constructed in 1919, Oklahoma City's Lake Overholser is the metro's oldest reservoir, built as a water supply to a still-operating water treatment plant at NW 6th and Pennsylvania Avenue. Named after the city's 16th mayor, it has several boat ramps, a covered fishing pier, picnic areas and more. OKC Riversport operates its Adventures program at Overholser as well, offering kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, pedal boats and more.
    Features: Boating, Water sports, Fishing (Covered fishing pier), Picnic areas (Covered pavilion), Soccer fields, Tennis courts

  • 03 of 05
    Lake Stanley Draper
    ••• © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Where: Southeast Oklahoma City, near I-240 between Midwest Boulevard and Post Road. 
    About: Originally constructed in 1962 and named after the prominent, longtime Chamber of Commerce director, Lake Stanley Draper is one of Oklahoma City's urban reservoirs. It is a popular recreational spot with its many fishing piers, marina, picnic areas and large, open water for skiing, and the bike trails around the lake make for an excellent riding experience.
    Features: Boating, Marina, Water sports, Fishing (Many covered piers), Off-road ATV and biking, Over 50 campsites

  • 04 of 05
    Arcadia Lake Dam
    ••• © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Where: Northeast of Oklahoma City, directly east of the north metro suburb of Edmond
    About: Arcadia Lake is one of the best spots in central Oklahoma for outdoor recreation. Unlike some others on this list, it allows swimming and is an extremely popular spot for camping, picnicking, fishing, skiing and hiking. A Corps lake, Arcadia opened in 1987. It serves as a water supply for Edmond as well as flood control for the Deep Fork River Basin. Enjoy the relatively shallow, roped-off swimming beaches, fish along the dam, or take advantage of some outstanding bird-watching opportunities. The trails are extensive and well-kept for running, walking or bike-riding.
    Features: Boating, Swimming, Fishing (primarily largemouth and striped bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill), Water sports, Over 140 campsites, Picnic pavilions, Hiking and riding trails

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Lake Thunderbird
    ••• © Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Where: Thirteen miles east of Norman, just north of Highway 9.
    About: Constructed in the early 1960's as a municipal water reservoir, Lake Thunderbird is a popular metro venue for boating, fishing, biking and other outdoor recreation. It is 6,070 acres and includes over 80 miles of shoreline. Taking the short drive from OKC is well-worth it considering all the lake has to offer.
    Features: Boating, Fishing (primarily large-mouth bass, crappie, sunfish, channel catfish, white bass, and saugeye), Picnic areas, Camping areas with change houses, Two marinas, Boathouse, Concession areas, Nature trail, Nature center, Swim beach, Archery range, Horseback riding, Hunting, Eagle watching and guided eagle tours,