A Canoeing & Kayaking Guide to the Ozarks


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The Kiamichi River near Antlers, Oklahoma.
Scenic Kayaking on The Kiamichi River in Southeastern Oklahoma.

Grave Creek Access to Lake Eufaula offers nice flatwater paddling near Hitchita, OK.
Kayaking from Grave Creek to Lake Eufaula


Class II Kayaking in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.



Bixhoma - Low Wake Lake Near South Tulsa

Small rocky bluff on Lake Bixhoma near Leonard, Oklahoma.Bixhoma Lake is just off Highway 64 near the small village of Leonard, Oklahoma. It is a small, fairly clear, no-wake lake with no camping or facilities to speak of. It was built back in the 60's to serve as a reservoir for the City of Bixby.  Dianne and I recently enjoyed some fine lake kayaking at Lake Bixhoma. It offers some excellent flatwater paddling near Tulsa, Oklahoma.

You do need to buy a boat permit from the City of Bixby to kayak on Lake Bixhoma, but it is well worth the money if you live nearby and are looking for a place to do some flatwater paddling or kayak fishing. Lake Bixhoma is only a short drive from South Tulsa. If you are a Tulsa kayaker looking to get your new boat wet someplace safe, Bixhoma is a pretty good choice. 

However, I think Bixby would find their permit sales operation more profitable if they would install a boat permit vending machine at the boat ramp like the one at Guy Sandy Boat Ramp on Arbuckle Lake.

Bixhoma Lake Kayaking Trip Report 08-29-2008 

Paddling Lake Bixhoma today was lovely. The water was still as glass when we first launched. The ridge line that surrounds the lake was vivid green with a mixture of hardwood trees. You could just barely see the first blush of autumn on the woods around Bixhoma. The park only has a couple picnic tables and an outhouse, but it makes a fine escape for the kayaker who values silence and solitude. We saw a family of three fishing from a tiny Bass Scamp and a lone man float fishing in a tube on our visit.

Dianne and I saw a large number of heron, turtles and bait fish schools.  The lake is well sheltered from the wind and the woods around the lake appear are loaded with squirrels.

Canoe paddle on Bixhoma Lake near Bixby, Oklahoma.
Paddling on Bixhoma Lake

The late summer water level was too low to paddle very far up the feeder creek for Lake Bixhoma. However, as we drove down Highway 64 toward Leonard, I could not help but notice Snake Creek. Snake Creek looked fairly wide and deep enough for paddling when we drove across the Highway 64 bridge, but I did not see any place to park and launch the kayaks.

Any folks out there know where you can launch a boat onto Snake Creek outside of Bixby, Oklahoma?

Lake Bixhoma Fishing & Boating Permits

Lake Bixhoma requires a city permit for every boat that uses the lake and another permit for fishing. Permits are $2 daily or $10 annually for each. As with many municipal boating permits they run by calendar year and are not pro-rated, so it pays to buy your annual lake boating permits early in the year.

Bixhoma Lake near Bixby, Oklahoma offers a nice spot for kayak fishing and sunrise paddling.
Lake Bixhoma near Bixby, Oklahoma


Directions for Getting To Lake Bixhoma

Bixhoma Lake is located about seven miles south of Bixby on Oklahoma 64 in Leonard, Oklahoma.

Head down 64 East all the way through Bixby and watch for the Leonard Store on the right-hand side of the Highway...Bixhoma Lake Road is right across from the Leonard Store.

The Arkansas River

The run-off from Bixhoma Lake travels down a short creek and dumps into The Arkansas River.  I've been told that during the right conditions you can paddle from just past the spillway down to the Arkansas, but there certainly wasn't enough water visible from where we were to launch a boat. 

Summer Flowers on the banks of Bixhoma Lake South of Tulsa near Leonard, Oklahoma.
Summer Flowers on Lake Bixhoma


Bixhoma Lake Map (PDF)

Get a city boating permit from City Hall in Bixby, Oklahoma.




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We post the photos we take on our Oklahoma road trips to Flickr.  Click here to see a map that includes loads of paddling spots in the Oklahoma area.







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