Hike for the New Year

Join an annual tradition of hiking on the first day of the 2021 New Year at Lake Eufaula. These hikes arecalled “First Day Hikes” to celebrate the New Year and began nationwide in 2012 at state parks across our nation. Ever since then, Lake Eufaula looks forward to families, friends, and individuals shutting off electronics, exploring the great outdoors, exercising, and most importantly, enjoying the bountiful nature.

The experienced staff at Lake Eufaula offers a free guided hike. And! You can even bring your pets on leashes! This hike is not an all-day excursion, so it won’t tire out elderly children. The hike lasts about 45 minutes to one hour. Your preparations depend on the weather. The hiking skill levels needed for this guided hike are slim to none. This hike is doable even for people with minor disabilities.

This hike begins at the Chinkapin Trailhead located right across from the park’s Visitor Center. Reviews from hikers report sightings of deer, hogs, armadillos, and many species of birds. Hikers report that the bird melodies are soothing. Although Chinkapin Trail is 3.8 miles, the guided First Day Hike is only 1.5 miles. There are two loops on the Chinkapin Trail, the Savannah Loop and the Longhorn Loop, that extend this trail further. This trail does not follow the lakefront beaches.


What to Bring on Your First Day Hike

First, check the weather, and dress appropriately. This trail will have muddy spots along it after a rain, so waterproof hiking boots are best for footwear. If you bring children and animals, pack enough water and snacks to keep them hydrated and satisfied. Definitely bring a camera device to catch special moments and binoculars for viewing sites of the forests and lakefront.


Time and Location for First Day Hike

Hikers will meet at the Visitor’s Center at 10 a.m. Access to the Visitor’s Center is off of I40 or U.S. Route 69. From 140 between Henryetta and Checotah, go south on SH 150 to the Visitor’s Center. From U.S. Route 69 between Eufaula and Checotah, go north on SH 150.



Lake Eufaula State Park

11563 Hwy 150
Checotah, OK 74426





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More About Lake Eufaula

The U.S. Congress commissioned Lake Eufaula in 1946 to supply hydroelectric power and water, and to provide flood control, recreation, and navigation. Being one of the world’s largest artificial lakes, it covers 102,000 acres. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the dam in 1956 and completed it in 1964. The entire project cost $121,735,000 and has impeded five times that amount in flood damage since its completion.

Two and a half million people play on Lake Eufaula every year. Anglers from all over the U.S. flock to Lake Eufaula to enter fishing tournaments and catch black crappie, blue catfish, bluegill, channel catfish, green sunfish, largemouth bass, longnose gar, redear sunfish, smallmouth bass, walleye, white crappie, white bass, striped bass, and sauger, and striped bass below the dam.

Lake Eufaula sits on the confluence of the Canadian and Arkansas Rivers in Haskell, McIntosh, Okmulgee, and Pittsburg counties. All around the lake, visitors can find boat ramps, cabins, group shelters, marinas, restrooms and showers, RV and tent campsites, and swim beaches. President Lyndon B. Johnson even showed up to dedicate its dam on September 25, 1964.

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Lake Eufaula Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Eufaula Weather Forecast



Hi: 77

Wednesday Night


Lo: 51



Hi: 80

Thursday Night


Lo: 59


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 86

Friday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 60



Hi: 88

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 65

Lake Eufaula Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 10/18: 583.50 (-1.50)

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