Lake Murray Information

Lake Murray lies in Love and Carter Counties, Oklahoma, in Lake Murray State Park, just south of the Arbuckle Mountain Range in the Ardmore Basin. Lake Murray covers 5,876 acres and has 150 miles of shoreline with a maximum depth of 100 feet and visibility from six to 20 feet. Oklahoma State Parks operates Lake Murray, and all facilities on the lake. Fees begin at $10 per vehicle per day, and other fees vary for different services for visitors to Lake Murray.

The closest town to Lake Murray is Ardmore, Oklahoma. Anadarche Creek and Fourche Maline Creek feed Lake Murray. Lake Murray has two northern arms on Anadarche Creek and one eastern arm on Fourche Maline Creek. Lake Murray State Park is Oklahoma's oldest and largest state park with over 12,500 acres of wilderness. Lake Murray State Park became the first Oklahoma State Park listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


History of Lake Murray

Lake Murray is named for Governor William H. "Alfalfa Bill" Murray who served from 1931 to 1935. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression began construction on Lake Murray State Park in 1933. The property of Lake Murray sits on land formerly which formerly belonged to the Chickasaw Nation.

When geologists mapped the Ardmore Basin in the early 20th century, they named one natural structure the Devil’s Kitchen Conglomerate, which stood out as a topographical feature at the future Lake Murray site. The Devil’s Kitchen Conglomerate is a massive bed of sand and chert that stands as an almost vertical wall consisting of 200 feet of quartz sandstone mixed with chert cemented by silica and is resistant to erosion. Thick masses of impermeable clay shale, which prevents outward leaking of water, flanks this geographic wonder. Geologists recognized this feature as a suitable use for a dam.

Construction was completed in 1937 and Lake Murray opened to the public in 1938. Lake Murray occupies two valleys previously used for hunting grounds by the Paleo-Indians from 12,000 BC to 7,000 BC. They the hunted now-extinct mammoth and mastodon and the larger ancestors of our present-day buffalos.

A famous landmark at Lake Murray is Tucker Tower, which was to be built for Governor Murray’s summer home, and now a museum occupies Tucker Tower. Work on the tower ceased in 1935 because federal officials thought the project was taking too long to complete and had cost too much. The tower was then left open to the elements because windows, doors, floors, and ceilings were not installed. Tucker Tower was built based on photographs of a European castle taken during World War I by veteran Senator Fred Tucker, the local legislator for whom the tower is named.


Fishing Lake Murray

Predominant game fish in Lake Murray are largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and white bass, black and white crappie, channel catfish, bluegill, green and redear sunfish, and walleye. Sight fishing is relatively easy because of Lake Murray’s clear, spring-fed waters. Anglers can actually see the fish follow their lures swimming through the water.

Smallmouth bass are found in the south end of Lake Murray where the water is deeper with rocky points and are fighting plentiful. Anglers will find largemouth bass primarily in the northern arms of Lake Murray in the shallow areas with grass, reeds, and other fish structure.

There are two major fishing piers on Lake Murray. One is located just south of the main state park entrance off of Scenic Highway 77S. The other fishing pier is located within the Rock Tower campground area. Other boat ramps and fishing piers are located within the ten campgrounds around Lake Murray. Resident and Non-resident fishing licenses are required.

Lake Murray Resident Fishing License Options

  • Annual Fishing - January 1 – December 31
  • Annual Combination, Fishing & Hunting - January 1 – December 31
  • 2-Day Fishing - Two consecutive days of choice
  • Youth Annual Fishing (16 & 17 years old) - January 1 – December 31
  • Youth Annual Combination, Fishing & Hunting (16 & 17 years old) - January 1 – December 31

Lake Murray Non-Resident Fishing License Options

  • Annual Fishing - January 1 – December 31
  • 6-Day Fishing - Six consecutive days of choice
  • 1-Day Fishing - One day of choice

The Lake Country Store at 18550 Scenic State Highway 77 is the closest place to buy bait and tackle at the northern end of Lake Murray. There are several other bait stores in Ardmore. Lake Murray Marina, North Boat Ramp, and Murray Harbor are where you will find the boat launches. There are limited fishing guide services on Lake Murray, but many of the nearby Lake Texoma fishing guides will happily venture out to Lake Murray to get your catch of the day.

Find experienced local guides on our Lake Murray Fishing Guides page.


Boating Lake Murray

Oklahoma State Parks created Lake Murray and Lake Murray State Park solely for recreational pleasure. The Lake Murray Marina and the Murray Harbor marina on Lake Murray welcomes all types of fishing boats and pleasure boats from sailing to pontooning to motorboating. Kayaks and canoes can be portaged from many locations around Lake Murray. Boat ramps are also located within the campgrounds surrounding Lake Murray.

Boaters can easily access the marina’s floating store from the water or land, and it is located centrally within the marina so that boaters can buy their fuel, beverages, and snacks all in one place. The marina offers wet and dry slips for ski boats, small cruisers, and houseboats, plus it rents paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, water bikes, lily pads, and different sizes of pontoon boats up to a double-decker party barge with slides.

Find or sell a boat on our Lake Murray Boats for Sale page.


Rental Cabins and Lodging on Lake Murray

The Lake Murray Lodge offers 32 guest rooms and 56 cabins for rent. The lodge and cabins are located on the west side of the lake near the main entrance of the state park. Most of the cabins are not located with views of the lake, but are within a short walk or drive down to the lakeshore. Most of the cabins are small with a kitchen and include fire pits and picnic tables.

The lodge overlooks the lake and has beautiful lake views from many of its rooms. The Lake Murray Lodge offers a waterfront restaurant, spacious meeting rooms, a ballroom, and luxurious guest rooms with patios or balconies overlooking the lake. The lodge has a playground for the kids to enjoy, along with nearby trails for hiking.


Camping at Lake Murray

There are ten beautiful campgrounds and RV parks at Lake Murray. Visitors need to contact Lake Murray State Park directly before driving long distances to check camping availability. Daily parking fees are required throughout Lake Murray State Park and fees start at $10 per vehicle per day, plus extra fees for camping.

The Lake Murray campgrounds all offer different amenities, but include:

  • Boat docks
  • Boat ramps
  • Fishing piers
  • Picnic pavilions
  • Picnic tables
  • Playgrounds
  • Restrooms with hot showers
  • RV campsites
  • RV dump stations
  • Swim beach areas
  • Tent campsites
  • Trailheads

Explore camping options on our Lake Murray Campgrounds & RV Parks page.


Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Horseback Trails at Lake Murray

The trail system around Lake Murray offers an excellent adventure for hiking and mountain biking. The trail system consists of two main trails, the Anadarche Trail at 5.71 miles and the Buckhorn Trail at a 3.4-mile out-and-back. They are located on the west side of Lake Murray. Their trailheads are located at the Pecan Grove picnic area and Lake Murray Lodge and Cabin area.

There are many sections on these trails that veer off of the two main trails like the Lake Shore Trail and Beaver Trail, which takes you closer to the lake’s shoreline with amazing views of Lake Murray. These trails altogether cover ten miles of trails. Water and restrooms are available on some of the trails, but visitors should take water and other necessary items for long hikes and mountain biking.

The Lake Murray hiking trails are rated at strenuous hiking skills levels with rocky, tree lined, and sandy terrains, and present numerous inclines and obstacles that make for a challenging hike at parts of the trails. Hikers will cross over numerous bridges and waterways. The trails are clearly marked for the most part, but Oklahoma State Parks advises hikers to take a trail map with you. Trail maps are available at the park office at the main entrance to Lake Murray State Park, located at 204 Scenic State Highway 77, Ardmore, Oklahoma.

The Lake Murray Mountain Bike Trail is a 3-mile moderately trafficked loop trail. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and mountain biking. Dogs are welcome to use these trails, but must be kept on a leash. Parking fees of $10 per vehicle are in effect.

The Lake Murray Riding Stables offers a horseback riding experience with a casual ride along Lake Murray’s beautiful nature trails. The riding stables are located in Lake Murray State Park and have trail ride schedules leaving every hour, on the hour. The horseback rides last between 45 minutes to one hour. Hayrides are also available for those who want to sit back and enjoy without the bowlegged effects of straddling a horse. 


Things to Do at Lake Murray

There is one restaurant inside Lake Murray State Park, Foggy Bottom Kitchen off of Scenic State Hwy 77 on the shoreline, and two more on Scenic State Hwy 77. Lake Murray Water Sports and Miniature Golf Course offers daytime and sunset cruises. Their miniature golf course has 18 holes and a concession stand serving cool treats for a hot day on the waterfront.

Tucker Tower is in the Lake Murray Nature Center and houses a museum. The main level and floor of Tucker Tower have exhibits and displays about the history of the tower and the surrounding area. A patio on the main level of the building overlooks the Lake Murray from 60 feet above the lake. You can walk up to the top of the tower where you can see for miles 125 feet above the lake. It is located at 13528 Scenic Highway 77, Ardmore, Oklahoma.

The Lake Murray Nature Center features exhibits about the Lake Murray’s history to local wildlife to the water. The Nature Center has many displays and info-graphics to that explain the Lake Murray region. It has a huge deck overlooking the lake. Both the top of Tucker Tower and the deck at the Nature Center provide great photo opportunities.

The Lake Country RC Flying Club operates a radio control airstrip between the two northern arms of Lake Murray on Lem Roberts Road. You can ask park staff for more details on their events and contact information.

The Lake Murray ATV area offers about 10 miles of marked trails for three- and four-wheelers. Dune buggies and other types of off-road vehicles are not allowed.

WinStar World Casino and Resort with 400,000 square feet of gaming floor plays host to nine impressive, city-themed gaming plazas, and over 8,500 electronic games, 100 table games, a 55-table poker room, a racer’s off-track betting parlor, and bingo high-stakes rooms. The Chickasaw Nation owns and operates WinStar World Casino and Resort  two miles north of the Red River’s Texas/Oklahoma border on I35, just 33 miles south of Lake Murray on I35.

There is so much more to the WinStar World Casino and Resort, with headlining musical and entertainment acts like John Legend, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5, John Mellencamp, Dolly Parton, Sting, and Jerry Seinfeld. There are several nightclubs featuring various themes scattered throughout the complex along with hotels, a convention center, the Golf Academy and Club with two championship 18-hole courses, and unique shopping opportunities.

Explore our What To Do At Lake Murray page to plan your next adventure.


Lake Murray Weather & Climate

Lake Murray sees an average of 38 inches of rain per year, with 2 inches of snow and 238 days of sunshine. The winter low in January is 28 degrees with a summer high in July of 94 degrees. April, May, and October are the most comfortable months for this region.

Keep an eye on the skies with our Lake Murray Weather Forecast page.


Lake Murray Zip Codes

Carter County: 73401, 73402, 73403, 73435, 73436, 73437, 73438, 73443, 73444, 73458, 73463, 73481, 73487, 73488.

Love County: 73448, 73459, 73430, 73453, 73441.


Flora and Fauna at Lake Murray

A variety of small mammals, bats, carnivores/omnivores, and ungulates live at Lake Murray. Wildlife sightings include red and evening bats, bobcats, coyotes, red foxes, possums, eastern cottontail rabbits, raccoons, skunks, thirteen-lined ground squirrels,   and white-tailed deer.

Geologically, Lake Murray lies in the Ardmore basin, which is nearly 100 miles long and 20 miles wide. The Ardmore basin is a deep sedimentary basin filled with rocks of Precambrian to Permian ages from 340 to 290 million years ago.

Lake Murray is in the Cross Timbers region of the central plain, and creates a complex mosaic of upland deciduous forest, savanna, and prairie communities that collide in an ecotone between the eastern forests and the grasslands of the Great Plains.

Lake Murray Email Updates


 

Lake Murray Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.

 

Lake Murray Weather Forecast

Tuesday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 92

Tuesday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 68

Wednesday

Mostly Sunny

Hi: 89

Wednesday Night

Clear

Lo: 62

Thursday

Sunny

Hi: 90

Thursday Night

Clear

Lo: 66

Friday

Sunny

Hi: 93

Friday Night

Clear

Lo: 67