Incorporating some 500 acres, the park features a dazzling landscape of pine hardwood forests and stunning foliage. It is also centered around the shimmering waters of the lake which gives its name.
For those who love to immerse themselves in nature, it is a terrific spot to enjoy a range of outdoor recreational activities like fishing, swimming, boating and hiking.
Located 5 miles south of the town of Clayton, this Oklahoma park is easy to get to from most parts of the state. It is also a great base to explore Sardis Lake, Ouachita National Forest and Tuskahoma, which is where the Choctaw National Capital is situated.
Clayton Lake State Park is located within the Choctaw Nation part of Oklahoma and can easily be reached from several major nearby cities.
From Oklahoma City, the state capital, it will take you about 2 hours and 45 minutes to drive to the park. While from Tulsa it will take closer to 2 hours and 30 minutes to get there.
This means that you can probably visit the park as a day trip destination. Though it is recommended that you camp there for a few nights.
Further afield, it will take you about 3 hours to drive to the park from Dallas, in Texas, and 3 hours and 45 minutes to get there from Little Rock.
For those wanting a relaxed getaway in nature, the park provides plenty of recreational opportunities.
Many of them take place around the 80-acre lake which is a haven for fishermen and boating enthusiasts.
As well as an ADA accessible fishing dock and lighted boat dock, Clayton Lake State Park also has a scenic beach for swimming and sunbathing.
If you are into walking or hiking, you can also stroll through the lake’s shoreline and explore several trails.
Boating at Clayton Lake State Park
Overall, Clayton Lake has 2 miles of shoreline and 66 surface acres. This makes it a haven for those who enjoy canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and boating. Unfortunately water sports are not allowed on it though.
Swimming At Clayton Lake State Park
Near the campgrounds, you’ll find a small, yet well-maintained beach that has specially designated areas that are good for swimming. During the heat of the summer this is a lovely spot to cool off while paddling.
Hiking At Clayton Lake State Park
For those who enjoy hiking, the park boasts a 2-mile hiking trail that showcases magnificent views of the Kiamichi Mountains, surrounding wilderness and, of course, the lake.
The trail is rated as easy to moderate and has plenty of ups and downs. It should take you between one and two hours to complete.
In addition to this trail, there are several others which will take you into the nearby wilderness. Collectively they are great for hikers, mountain bikers, and off-road use. Particularly for those operating ATVs, jeeps, dirtbikes, dune buggys and pickups.
Fishing at Clayton Lake State Park
During the spring, summer, and fall, Clayton Lake State Park is a popular destination for fishing.
Despite this, it remains a quiet area, where you can enjoy plenty of solitude whilst catching crappie, sunfish, largemouth bass and channel catfish.
During the winter months fishing is unfortunately not permitted here.
Birding At Clayton Lake State Park
The reason the lake is closed to fishing in the winter is because it serves as an important stopover for a number of species of waterfowl.
In addition, during this period you can also spot the likes of teals, mergansers, mallards, pin tails and geese.
While other predatory birds like harrier hawks, blue herons, bad eagles and several species of owls can also be seen.
Wildlife at Clayton Lake State Park
As well as numerous species of birdlife, you can also spot a wide range of other wildlife in the park. This includes the likes of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and squirrels. As well as elk, black bear or bobcat on occasion.
Pets At Clayton Lake State Park
Pets are allowed in both the park and some of the cabins, however not on the designated swimming beaches.
Other restrictions do apply too. So it’s worth contacting the park for clarification if you want to bring your dog with you.
Camping at Clayton Lake State Park
Clayton Lake State Park offers a wide range of accommodation options for those who want to stay a few nights.
This includes 30 reserveable RV sites – some of which come with 30 and 50 amp electricity – as well as 60 tent sites that are available on a first come first served basis.
These tent sites are set across three camping areas, and all offer grills and picnic tables. They are also just a short walk from some of the park’s best fishing spots.
Cabin at Clayton Lake State Park
2 Bedroom Cabins
As well as the RV and tent sites, there are also 26 cabins available to hire including those with two furnished bedrooms and other primitive cabins.
The furnished cabins are climate controlled and come with an in-room fireplace, refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, cable/satellite TV and either a balcony or deck.
Amenities at Clayton Lake State Park
As well as an ADA compliant fishing dock, amenities at Clayton Lake State Park include four comfort stations with hot showers.
There are also five picnic pavilions, two boat ramps, WI-FI and playground equipment for children to enjoy as well.
Clayton Lake State Park
170591 US Hwy 271
Clayton, OK 74536
The park office is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm.
Below is a brief YouTube video showcasing different things to do at Clayton Lake State Park: