Belle Starr South Recreation Area

Monday, July 5 through Wednesday, July 7, 2004

HOME -> Camping

See more pictures from this park here!

Belle Starr South Recreation Area is located near Texanna , Oklahoma. The park is on Lake Eufaula. Texanna is one of many little towns whose economy is dependent on recreational use of the lake. The parks main attraction is Lake Eufaula. Lake Eufaula is large enough to support just about every water activity except ocean going vessels.

Belle Starr is the first US Army Corps of Engineers parks we have stayed in. Linda has observed that the Corps of Engineers parks tend to have rules that mirror the state parks of the state their park is in. It probably isn't good to assume our experience in this park would be similar to Corps of Engineers parks in other states (especially Texas).

When you make reservations in this park, you reserve a specific campsite. We reserved spot W-14.

We arrived at the park on Monday, the fifth of July. Since the fourth fell on a Sunday, the federal holiday was on the Monday. I only mention this because if one is looking for peace, quiet, and nature, showing up at a lake centered park on a major holiday weekend is pretty stupid. I should have known better.

Currently, the park's check-in and check-out rules are different than what we are accustomed to. On your departure day, you are supposed to vacate your campsite by 4:00 PM. On your arrival day, you are allowed to occupy your campsite after 6:00 PM. We showed up at the park at 3:30 after a long and hard drive from St. Louis. There was a group of redneck hillbillies occupying our spot. They were rather irritated to have to give up their spot early. Last year, the rules were that you left before 7:00 PM and arrived after 7:00 PM. Our hillbilly buddies were expecting to stay later. They made a big show of being all packed up and rumbling off in old noisy beat-up pickup trucks and a lumbering motorhome at 10 minutes after 4:00. They made a big point of squealing their tires as they roared off.

Other folks that had spots in the immediate area we were camping in didn't pack up and leave until after 7:00 PM. This is just one of the many rules that were not enforced by the park staff. Another rule which is a bit more important to me is the number of folks that didn't bother to leash their dogs. When we arrived on Monday, I saw a number of dogs. None of them were on a leash.

Our campsite was strewn with cigarette butts, bits of discarded food, and other bits of garbage. The fire ring was loaded up with burning garbage and charcoal briquettes that I finally put out after it got dark.

Moral of the story - don't stay at lakeside parks on holiday weekends if you don't want to put up with the Bubba crowd.

Is this a park I would stay in the off season when there wasn't anyone there? Probably not. We do plan to try out an Oklahoma state park at some point.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0003

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0006

Left top - The entrance to the park is next to a boat repair and storage facility.

Above right - Park hosts man the park entrance. They collect fees and provide information. During my stay in this park I didn't see anyone who looked like a permanent employee. The gates to the park are never closed. The booth is only manned between 10:30 AM and 10:30 PM.

Below left - There are five full hookup spots for park hosts. This park has no other spots with full hookups.

Below right - one of the many dump stations. They all look and work like this one. You dump your waste water into the center ring, pull the lever on the plug to drain it, and open the far water valve to flush it all away. I can't tell you if it works better or worse than other more conventional dump station designs.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0007

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0009

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0013

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0010

Above left - the sign says it all.

Above right - Boat ramp.

Below left - Pavilion

Below right - Father and son. When I took this picture, the wind was blowing on shore at ten to fifteen miles per hour. Their clothes were rippling from the wind.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0015

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0018

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0019

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0027

Above left - The center campground area.

Above right - Fishing on the jetty.

Below left - Approaching the beach. More rules that aren't being enforced.

Below right - The beach area. The water is unusually high. June has been very wet this year.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0021

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0024

Right - Our campsite

Below - We had to share our water spigot with the neighbors. The spigot was so far from the midpoint of the campsite that I had to use three 25 foot sections of hose (75 feet total). Most spots didn't have their own water spigot. Some water spigots were being share between three spots.

Below right - While the water spigot was at the top end of the campsite, the power poles was at the opposite end. I actually had to back the trailer up so that the cord would reach from the trailer back to the power pole.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0028

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0031

Click on image for larger format picture.  Belle Starr South Recreation Area/07/07/2004/0030

Copyright © 2004 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved