by Lin Stone
There are two wonderful ways to get to Lake Thunderbird, near Norman
#1 is to go east out Alameda Drive from Norman.
#2 is to go east on State Highway 9 from Norman.
Great Gray Herons, egrets, sea gulls, ducks, geese and scissortail flycatchers
Call this area home.
So do deer and wild turkey, so tame you can take pictures.
if you have a wife who spots them in the first place.
|Now, you've heard there are two sides to every
story? Well, there are two sides to Lake Thunderbird, and both of them
are wonderful. The Highway 9 side is a bit more open, has better
trails to explore, has the dam with its LONG walkway, and it has a better
beach area. There is also good food, a riding stable, great views of
the lake, wonderful campsites and great restroom facilities. The deer
will come right up into the camping areas and stand there until you get your
best shot, then graze off as if you weren't even there. The wild
turkey aren't that much more timid. On the weekends and holidays
sailboats lean over rippled waters, able to tack in all three directions.
This is commonly called the Clear Bay Area. Crows Secret nature Center
and Information Center are found on this side.
I like to tell people that Indian Point, the other side of Lake Thunderbird starts in Norman proper because Alameda Drive has such a wonderful way of letting you unwind, all the way out to the lake. Everything is so peaceful, green and clean on the way out to the lake. When you reach 84th Avenue take a good look to your right. This paved road is the only one that takes you, to and from, all the way across to Highway 9 so you can get on the other side of the lake.
At West Sentinel (going on past 84th Avenue and still on Alameda) you get your first look at Lake Thunderbird. On the other side of the bridge is East Sentinel, which offers picnic tables and safe shelter.
A little farther on 108th Street crosses Alameda Drive. Turning to the right will take you down to Denver Corner where you can launch your small boat in safety. By this time you are experiencing deep, spiritual peace. The next street on your left is 120th, or Choctaw Road. It leads you away from peace and quiet and ends up on I-40. The next paved road on your right will take you down to Fisherman's Point. Here you will find restrooms, RV camping spots, tent camping spots, a boat ramp, picnic tables and even an RV dump station.
Keep going down Alameda Drive and you'll see a stop sign. Begin slowing down, if there's no traffic behind you, and you will probably see a whole bunch of ducks and other water fowl in here. Off to your right is a sail boat dock. Turn to your left and you'll be able to wander all along the water's edge into Little Sandy, Zoom Beach and Hog Creek Camp. During the week you practically have this whole area to yourself. Even on heavy holidays there is usually enough room to park one more vehicle.
|Lake Thunderbird is THE source of water for
Norman and Del City. It has 6,000 acre of water surface, with 86 miles
of shoreline and the (State) park has 1,874 land acres.
There are eleven group shelters for parties and seminars, eight lake huts to stay in that have air, fireplaces, ceiling fans and picnic tables. There are nine full hookup, 50 amp RV sites, 23 full hookup RV sites, and 239 semi-modern RVsites. Tent sites are almost without number and each one has an outdoor barbecue grill. There are showers available, lots of picnic tables, and community play areas. There's even an archery range.
There are eight boat ramps and five of them are lighted.
The Clear Bay side of Lake Thunderbird has ten miles of multi-use trails. Bicyclists are REQUIRED to wear helmets, and to yield the right of way to hikers. Horses are not allowed on these trails, but there are 500 acres of rolling hills and wooded trails overlooking Lake Thunderbird that you can ride horses on. Call 405 321 5768 for more information.
The deepest part of the lake is forty feet. In dry years there is a danger of tree trunks and other obstacles for small boats. The State Park Service keeps the lake stocked.
Scissortail Flycatchers like this area. They are specialists in apprehending high flying insects, but can also scoop down to ground level and come to almost a complete stop in mid air to make a catch. A list of other birds familiar with this area are found HERE. Park Rangers said there are almost 200 species of butterflies in this area to be caught.
The two snakes said to be found here are pygmy rattlers, and copperheads. Pygmy rattlers will get out of your way if you let them know you are coming through, and give them time. Copperheads prefer that you go around them. They can protest violently if you step on them. Water snakes haven't been seen in this area, thank goodness.
There are five kinds of bats known to inhabit this area: Hoary Bats, Cave Myotis, Mexican Free Tailed Bat, Red Bat, and the Silvered Haired Bat.
The Lake Thunderbird State Park Office can be reached at 405 360 3572. email address is firstname.lastname@example.org The Nature Center phone number is 405 321 4633. The Cleveland County Sheriff can be reached at 405 321 8600
Lin Stone manages several
directories of Insurance Carriers
so you can contact YOUR company's web site.
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