Flatwater Paddling Near
Hitchita, OK & Dewar, OK. Grave Creek to Lake Eufaula.
We encountered strange mists during our morning of kayaking on
Grave Creek in McIntosh County, Oklahoma. As the sun began to peek
through the leafy green canopy of treetops, it created tiny,
swirling, white tornados. The thin columns of white mists spiraled upward
spirits, rising into the heavens on golden beams of morning sunlight.
This particular access to Lake Eufaula is less commonly used than
most. If you paddle upstream you will find it to be more
remote than if you go downstream. Motor boats like to launch
here but 90% head straight down toward Lake Eufaula.
you can see from the pictures, Grave Creek might have been just a little creepy, if I had been
paddling alone. Since Dianne wanted to sleep late, I paddled Grave
Creek with Greg, a fellow kayaker that lives nearby. Kayaking alone
is not unknown, but it is unhealthy & anti-social. Kayaking
buddies are vital for paddlers. The shuttle you save may be
Greg is one of the nicest folks you are likely to ever meet. He paddles
one of the largest kayaks of my kayaking buddies and he roof racks
it on one of the smallest cars. He is excellent company, but DO NOT
park directly in front of OR directly behind
his top-heavy Honda.
Greg chases fish like I chase sunsets... often and by kayak. You
will see his smiling mug on our new
Kayak Fishing page.
bridge over Hwy 266 is a nice boat ramp access to Lake Eufaula near Hitchita, Oklahoma. It offers a few miles of shady,
curvy, tree-lined flatwater teaming with beaver, heron, catfish,
crappie and alligator gar. My kayaker friend Greg and I met up there
for some sunrise kayaking on a fine Friday morning at the end of
July. Best of all, the Highway 266 Bridge access to the Deep
Fork River is just a short drive away. If you camp and Gentry
Creek Campground on Lake
Eufaula, you can easily paddle Grave Creek in the morning, break
for lunch and then paddle the Deep Fork
River for the sunset.
I don't know why the area is called Grave Creek. Like several members of my own family,
Native American actor and artist Will Sampson is buried in the local
Grave Creek Cemetery in Hitchita. If that is not why they call Grave
Creek, then maybe some folks in the
past chose to paddle without wearing a Paddling PFD
like Greg here. Wear your PFD every time you
kayak. Can't stand the bulk or the heat, try
an inflating PFD. They feature a self-contained CO2
cartridge that fills your Life Vest in a snap! I am
Pro-Lifejacket and I boat.
Although the water level is often too low to interest the
big bass boats, they often use it to access Lake Eufaula. Grave Creek is a great spot for recreational
kayakers to enjoy some sunrise or sunset paddling in shady
conditions. Expect paved road all the way to the gravel road
leading to the parking area. As a side trip or backup paddling
location, you will find another boat ramp right on Highway 266
near Hoffman, Oklahoma. This Deep Fork River boat ramp is just a
short distance west of the Grave Creek boat ramp.
Lodging Around Grave Creek
There are a couple spots near the boat ramp that you could pitch
a tent, but I would recommend setting up camp at Gentry Creek Cove
Campground, a Eufaula Lake camp a few miles East of Graves Creek.
Other options fairly nearby include the Lake Eufaula Motel and the
Checotah KOA off I-40, both offer swimming pools. My advice would be
to go with the KOA. They rent canoes, kayaks and paddleboats
onsite and have their own private access to Lake Eufaula. We have
visited the KOA twice and found their shower facilities nicer than
those we have at home!
Checotah / Lake Eufaula West KOA
HC 68, Box 750
Checotah, OK 74426
Lake Eufaula West Campground
Phone: (918) 473-6511
Reserve Online Now!
Or By Phone: (800) 562-7510
Eating Out Near Grave Creek
After Greg and I paddled Grave Creek down to Eufaula and back, we
had worked up quite an appetite. For eating out near Grave
Creek your best bets are to head East on Highway 266 back to
Checotah, Oklahoma OR you can head West on Highway 266 to Dewar or
Henryetta. Greg and I chose to hit El Charro in Henryetta, OK. I
think that their Pescado Mexicana is best piece of fish for sale in
Okmulgee county, El Charro has locations in Okmulgee, Glenpool and
If you go back to Checotah, check out Barnstormers
BBQ and order the ribs. Dianne and I just ate there recently
and they had the best barbequed ribs I have ever tasted. Their
baked beans, potato salad and sweet potato fries were also
exceptionally good. Sadly, the sliced beef brisket was tougher
than any other I have tried. The Lake Eufaula KOA also has a
restaurant but I have never eaten there. We also enjoy Lin
Cuisine, Our place and the Katy Grill Cafe in Checotah, Oklahoma as
Two Great Highway 266 Boat Ramps in Oklahoma
Deep Fork Boat Ramp
- From the junction of Highway 266 and
Highway 72 west of Checotah, take Highway 266 west approximately
7.5 miles (1 mile west of the Hitchita turn off). On the south
side of the highway, there is access to the north side of the
Deep Fork Arm of the Eufaula WMA. The Deep Fork River offers
many miles of paddling in either direction from this put-in. As
far as I know, it is the only boat ramp on this river.
Grave Creek Boat Ramp - From Highway 75 and I-40 at Henryetta
(Exit 240B), take 75 north to the third stop light which will be
Highway 266 junction. Turn east on Highway 266 through Dewar and
go approximately 4 miles. Turn south and continue to access WMA.
This accesses the portions of the Deep Fork Arm and the Deep
Fork WDU of Eufaula WMA. Continuing west another .7 miles, and
immediately upon crossing the Grave Creek bridge, there is an
access on the north side of the highway including a boat ramp
which gives boat access to the upper end of the Deep Fork Arm of
Lake Eufaula (with sufficient lake levels). You with find plenty
of peace & quiet, if you paddle upstream from the Grave Creek boat
ramp. You cannot usually paddle very far, but the route is shady,
shallow, curvy and scenic.
April 10, 2010 - There is another public access to Grave Creek
that is upstream from the Boat ramp off Highway 266. Read all
about this Grave Creek
Put-in on our kayaking blog at its shiny new web address:
Kayak.OklahomaRoadTrips.com and leave us a comment while you are
there! Paddling the upper portion of Grave Creek was very
different from the section near the boat ramp. Dad showed me
the creek access and I am happy to share it with my Oklahoma
paddling buddies. Take Cedar off Highway 52 between Morris,
Oklahoma and Wildcat Junction (Highway 266), follow it until it
crosses Grave Creek at a small cement bridge.
Big Ol' Lake Eufaula
Lake Eufaula is a massive man-made lake with nearly limitless
shoreline. As you head south on this massive lake you will the
scenery begin to change from plans, to cross-timber woods, to
greener forests rich with pine, cedar and juniper. To find the best
kayaking on Eufaula, look for the crooked, shady creeks that feed
local rainwater into the lake. The main parts of the lake are
so wide open that wind is almost constant. Waves can get very
large here so paddle with care. Quarter the waves and keep a
weather eye on the skies on Lake Eufaula.
Learn about more great
kayaking spots around Lake Eufaula.
Modular Kayaks - shuttle without roof racks
Oklahoma Float Trip Outfitters List for canoe & kayak trips.