Lake Thunderbird State Park
Guide

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Introduction

Most people wouldn’t expect to find an aquatic paradise in the middle of Oklahoma. But that’s exactly what you’ll see at Lake Thunderbird State Park. With nine marinas and two swimming beaches, the park is any water-loving RV camper’s dream.

There’s plenty to do once you dry off as well. An extensive network of trails leads you throughout the park. You’ll get scenic waterfront views as you explore the area's local plant and wildlife. There are also miles of equestrian trails with obstacles.

Birdwatchers will find a wide range of species throughout the park. The park also publishes a field guide, so you can learn more about each species and what you should look out for.

The campgrounds found throughout the park have over 200 sites, ranging from primitive to sites with full hookups. The sites can accommodate rigs of just about any size, so you should be able to find one that fits your campervan. No matter how long you plan on visiting, there’s plenty to keep you busy at Lake Thunderbird State Park- both in and out of the water.

RV Rentals in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Transportation in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Driving

Located near Norman, Oklahoma, Lake Thunderbird State Park can be reached by car or RV from multiple cities in the region.

If you are driving from Oklahoma City, take I-40, and you will arrive at the park in just under 45 minutes. From Norman, take Alameda road, and you will get to the park in around 15 minutes. Driving from Tulsa, take I-44 west out of the city, and you will reach the park in two hours.

The roads at the park are well maintained and connect to all of the park’s main campgrounds. There may be RV restrictions on some of the smaller outlets, but you’ll have no issue getting to your site.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Campsites in Lake Thunderbird State Park

Reservations camping

Oklahoma City East KOA

With a trip to Oklahoma City East KOA, only 15 minutes away from Oklahoma City, enjoy the area’s beautiful natural sites and catch a wagon ride, or maybe a fish, as you explore this dynamic area. With tons to see, like the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Myriad Botanical Gardens, and local shops and restaurants, a visit to the region can be cultured and action-packed. Oklahoma City East KOA has lots of amenities to help sweeten your stay, including Wi-Fi, cable TV, a swimming pool, and a snack bar. Pull-through sites can accommodate rigs of up to 90 feet.

Little Axe Campground

There are over 200 campsites located within the park’s campgrounds. All of the sites have a picnic table, lantern holder, grill, and fire pit. 30 of the sites have full hookups.

The main campground, Little Axe, has 50 sites and is in close proximity to a boat launch, store, picnic areas, and hiking trails. The campsite is located waterside and is gated. Pets are welcome, although they should be kept on a leash.

The sites can be booked up to 11 months in advance, and you must book at least a day before your stay. If you plan on booking a site during peak season in the summer, you’ll want to book months in advance, as the campground fills up quickly.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served

Lake Thunderbird State Park also has many other campgrounds in addition to Little Axe, although they are smaller and most are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the park office before you visit to check availability. The park gets quite crowded during the summer months, so try to arrive early if you want to get a spot.

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Lake Thunderbird State Park

In-Season

Fishing

In addition to boating, the park is also popular for its fishing. The lake is well populated with a variety of fish species, including white crappie, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and saugeye. You can take a boat out onto the water, or use one of the fishing piers located throughout the park.

The fishing is excellent year round, although you’ll have the most luck if you visit April through September, when the fish are more active.

Swimming

Swimmers flock to Lake Thunderbird State Park every summer in droves to enjoy the two beaches and cool off on hot days. Enjoy the waters on a warm summer day, and then head over to one of the many picnic areas dotted throughout the park for a snack. There is a swimming area near the Little Axe RV campground, so you’ll be able to get from your campervan to the water in minutes.

Boating

For visitors to the park, boating is one of the main attractions. Whether you want to kayak, canoe, or water ski, there’s plenty to keep you busy out on the water.

There are two marinas and nine boat launches located throughout the park, making getting out onto the water easy, no matter what type of boat you have. And the large lake gives boaters plenty of room so that you won’t feel crowded even during the popular summer months.

If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddle boat from multiple different park offices located near the water.

Off-Season

Horseback Riding

In addition to all of the aquatic activities, you’ll also have access to over four miles of equestrian trails at the park. These trails weave around the shoreline of the park’s aquatic areas.

The trails also feature 12 obstacles, if you are looking for a more active and challenging ride. Although open year round, the horse trails are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. You can easily connect to the trails directly from the equestrian campground.

Archery

If you’ve had enough of the water, head over to the archery range and see how you do with bow and arrows. You can practice from a wide variety of distances, so archers of all skill levels are accommodated.

The archery range is open year round. There are no equipment rentals, so you’ll need to bring your own bow and target. The range is near some of the park’s main hiking trails, making it easy to reach on foot.

Hunting

Hunters will also find plenty of game populating the park. The park is known for its waterfowl and archery deer hunting. There are designated areas for both types of game, so you’ll be able to hunt in peace.

Thunderbird State Park is often busy during hunting season, so always take extra caution and look out for hikers. And hunting laws and zones are strictly enforced, so make sure you are hunting in a designated area. You’ll also need an Oklahoma state hunting license if you plan on hunting in the park.

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