The shortleaf pine and hardwood forest is the largest virgin forest of its kind in the United States. That’s just one of the things that makes McCurtain County Wilderness Area (MCWA) not just an Oklahoma treasure, but a national one too.
You’ll find the MCWA, the oldest wildlife area in Oklahoma, in the northern part of McCurtain County, adjacent to Broken Bow Reservoir and Ouachita National Forest. The area was created from a 1918 purchase, costing about $6.13 an acre. In the 1930’s the Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed a bridge across the Upper Mountain Fork River and installed more than 24 miles of high boundary fence, along with completing several other projects. In 1953 the State named the preserve a wildlife area, and it 1975 it was designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. National Park Service.
With a rugged terrain, the virgin forests and proximity to the reservoir, MCWA has some of the most beautiful scenery in the region. Visitors will discover a variety of wildflowers; shrubs; and numerable species of trees, including sugar and red maple, sweet gum, hickory, and red and white oak. A trip there in autumn can offer a glorious display of color! MCWA is also home to a wide range of creatures—more than 100 bird species, bobcats, fox, turkeys, and flying squirrels among them. The Wildlife Department manages controlled hunts for wild-tailed deer, turkey and some other smaller game; other than that, hunting is not permitted.
McCurtain County Wilderness Area is just north of Broken Bow, and a great place to visit when staying at one of the Beavers Bend Creative Escapes cabins, such as Wildhorse Lodge. Secluded on 2.5 private acres, this 5,000 square-foot lodge has five bedrooms, four built-in patio areas, indoor and outdoor dining, and can sleep up to 15 guests. You can find it and more beautiful rental homes on our website.