A sojourn in the wilderness pits man against nature, much like a Jack London story about a pinecone-eating contest. Challenge the outdoors with today’s Groupon: for $35, you get a one-night cabin stay for up to six people at Lake Wister State Park (up to a $70 value). The stay is valid for the following types of cabins:
- One-bedroom park-view cabin; accommodates up to four guests
- One-bedroom lake-view cabin; accommodates up to four guests
- Two-bedroom lake-view cabin; accommodates up to six guests<p>
Positioned near the border of Oklahoma and Arkansas, Lake Wister State Park encompasses the 7,300-acre Lake Wister and surrounding rustic cabins, hiking trails, and wildlife areas, all shown on the park map. Amid groves of dogwood, wild cherry, and northern spruce, adventurers can take shelter from the elements or tabloid nature photographers inside one- and two-bedroom cabins that boast stone-framed fireplaces. Each bedroom houses 1–2 queen beds with all linens provided, and a full-size sleeper sofa in the living room adds enough space for visiting cousins or very large dogs. Pets can tag along for $10 per night.
During the quieter winter months, wintering golden and bald eagles may be sighted winging overhead or posing for campaign ads. A self-guided nature trail and 6.4-mile hiking trail wend past other wildlife such as deer, ducks, and rabbits. Alternatively, with an Oklahoma fishing license, anglers can try their hand at pulling a catfish, bass, or particularly juicy tin cans from the waters.
Lake Wister State Park
Located near the Oklahoma–Arkansas border, Lake Wister State Park is a gateway to the Ouachita National Forest, an area known for its hiking trails and mountain scenery. There are five camping areas throughout the park, each filled with a mix of cabins and sites for tents and RVs. Although the area is surrounded by wilderness, you won’t have to rough it—each site has access to amenities such as comfort stations with showers, full kitchens, and picnic shelters.
Naturally, most visit the state park for its many outdoor pursuits. There’s 115 miles of shoreline, which include a swimming beach and lighted boat ramp. The area is especially popular in the summer, when Lake Wister bustles with water-skiers and anglers out for the water’s catfish and sand bass. Meanwhile, the cabins have direct access to nature trails that show off the resident white-tailed deer, rabbits, and bald eagles. You can also learn more about the local wildlife by checking out the exhibits at the park’s nature center. When the kids aren’t out exploring nature, they can take enjoy the onsite water spray park and miniature golf course.