Within 5 miles of famous Route 66 and just a 1/2 mile east of Bernice on Hwy 85A is Bernice State Park, one of the lesser-known beautiful state parks in Oklahoma! This park consists of approximately 88 acres of land filled with breathtaking scenery consisting of gorgeous trees and hiking trails. One paved, easy access trail winds through a wooded area and along the shoreline of Grand Lake. Keep your eyes open and watch for the butterflies, various species of birds, lizards and other critters that hide in the woods. There are beautiful wild flowers that dot the landscape as you venture along the trail. Some like to ride bikes along these trails but the best way to enjoy the natural beauty is to take your time and walk. If you get tired, you can rest on benches that are available along the trail. If you want a better look at the terrain, you can climb several lookout towers.
This beautiful park is located on the waterfront of Grand Lake with lots of room to sunbathe and swim. There is plenty of shallow water area along the edge of the beach which is a plus if you have children that enjoy going out in the water.
There are excellent improved concrete campsites, which are great for parking your RV’s or camper. There are extremely nice clean restrooms where you can shower daily. They have camping sites for tents, some rather primitive ones for those who like to “rough” it and the improved campsites for those who do not. There are plenty of picnic tables and places where you can build a fire for cooking. There are playground areas for the children. The area is patrolled by law enforcement for your protection and safety.
If you like to fish, come to the “Crappie Capital of the World,” Bernice State Park. They have some of the best crappie fishing! Do not feel limited to just crappie though, as there are large-mouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, and bluegill. Be sure to load up on a variety of bait so that you can catch your limit. Also, be sure to pack your frying pan and enjoy some good freshly caught fried fish for dinner while you are there!
There is a boat ramp, a courtesy boat dock for loading and unloading to put your boat in the water. The lake is popular for enjoying many water activities such as fishing, boating or water-skiing. For those who prefer being where there is warmer water, there is the swimming pool to enjoy in the park as well.
There is also a paved walking and jogging path, which is handicap accessible, so even with disabilities you can get out and enjoy the lake and camping sites. This trail is for walking only; they do not allow bikes on this trail. The new Nature Center, which is still adding exhibits, is a huge asset to this park. Kids especially love the Nature Center, with free crafts to make that they can take home with them to help them remember their trip. They will also be able to see exhibits of live lizards and snakes that live in the park, along with a large aquarium exhibit filled with the different fish that live in the lake.
If you plan on staying in the park for several days and enjoy golfing, swing on over to Patricia Island Estates and Golf Club or Cherokee Grove and take in a round of golf.
Be sure to check with the campground area if you plan to go in the winter because they do winterize all the bathrooms and showers except for the ones inside the Nature Center. The primitive tent camping sites do remain open for use. Whether you are passing through Oklahoma on Rt 66 and are looking for a nice off the beaten path place to take a rest, or if you live here in Oklahoma and are looking for a great weekend getaway, go visit Bernice State Park and have a great time. You can call ahead to check on campsite availability or if they have winterized the campground yet, by calling 918-786-9447