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Reviews for Cedar Lake Equestrian Camp
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Heavener, OK

Overall TRAIL RATING with 12 votes:
Overall CAMP RATING with 11 votes:

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Individual Reviews

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We really enjoyed this campground, nice sites and pens for horses. The trails were great.
Reviewed by: kcpaterson on 6/21/2018 3:26:47 PM
More reviews by kcpaterson
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 5/27/2018 Hometown: Huntington, IN

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We last rode these trails around 2004. The camp was just as nice and clean and spacious as we remembered, excellent camping experience. BUT, on my! The trails! Do not take 4 to the scenic outlook, it is through a burn and very, very rough, rocky and obstructed. DO NOT take 4C through the south route. It is all covered with downed trees, we worked hard to go around up or down on very steep and difficult hillsides. We were too far to turn back, so went on. The intersections are not well marked, we rode over an extra mile at the trail's intersection with the highway, no markers to show entrance to the forest trail. North of the highway 4C is better, but intersection to trail #2 is not well marked, we got turned around and we are experienced trail riders. Once we got onto 2 all was OK back to camp, we rode 6 hours covering 16 miles on gaited horses. You cannot gait, the trails are so rocky and full of ruts that this is for SLOW riding only, probably best for mules. We love the camp, but if we go back we will ride trail 1,2, and 3 only.
Reviewed by: Sara & Coy Bartlett on 10/2/2014 11:15:31 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/26/2014 Hometown: Fayetteville, AR , AR

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We were super excited about our trip to Cedar Lake, I had read all of the reviews and this was our last trip of the year before the kids had to go back to school. We stayed 6 days and five nights. Unfortunately maybe we had our expectations set a little too high. Know before you go: Reservations must be made 10 days prior to your stay, several sites are 1st come 1st serve so if you can't get reservations you might be in luck. You can make reservations on line or by calling the 1-800 number. Unfortunately you will get a help desk that services all national parks. While the operator was friendly, she really didn't have any information that wasn't on the web site and didn't have any 1st hand knowledge of the park. Oklahoma Highway 2 is the only way to get to the camp, it is a narrow 2 lane highway with a speed limit of 65 MPH. The HWY has very steep inclines and declines usually followed by 90 degree turns. Make sure your truck's engine and transmission are in good working order, I also recommend that you get your truck and trailer breaks serviced prior to getting on this road. Towns are pretty spaced out and your gas mileage will suffer in the hills so make sure you top off your tank when you can. Camp site: The sign in the bathroom says it all: "We are short staffed so we can not keep the facilities as clean as normal, please pick up after yourself". The camp sites are extremely small, if you are planning on pitching a tent you will need to get a double site. If you have a large trailer stay on Loop E, the other loops are small and the turns are very tight. Each site had a picnic table, grill, fire ring, two lantern poles, two 12x12 corrals, and poles for a tether line. Unfortunately at some of the sites the grills and fire rings were in need of repair. The grass in the campsites was knee high, which meant ticks and chiggers were an issue at the site. The bathrooms have not been maintained and were never cleaned while we were there and frankly looked like they haven't been cleaned for a while. Be careful of the spiders in the bathroom, several black widows are nesting in them. Manure doesn't have to be bagged but you must drop it at the front of the campsite by the road. There was manure there when we arrived and no one picked it up while we there so flies were a big issue also. Trails: As you have read in the reviews the trails are rocky, not as bad as Robber's Cave but shoes are required, I would recommend that you have boots as a back up. Our group had several horses freshly shoed that lost shoes during the week. Even the horses that were shoed had stone bruises after two days of riding.Seasoned trail horses are required and make sure they are in shape. You will be going up and down several steep hills on every trail that you ride. Beware the maps you get on line or from the park rangers as they are useless. Our first day we wanted to do an easy ride to get the horses stretched out for a long ride the next day. We selected a simple four mile trail, the four miles actually turned out to be 12 miles due to the map inaccuracy. Do yourself a favor and drive down to the ranger station on Hwy 59 about 9 miles from the camp and purchase one of Hank's Hankies. It has a more accurate map with distances and rates the trails based on terrain. This was very helpful and really saved our trip. The trails are marked but in some areas you will have to hunt for the next maker due to fires and trees falling over. It rained while we there so the creek crossings were flooding but we experienced no issues with crossings. Several of the trails had water standing in them but for the most part they drained effectively or had gravel bottoms. I do not recommend getting off the trails these areas, the area is littered with several holes from trees falling over and you can easily miss them with the dense vegatation. Other activities: Cedar "Lake", really just a large pond, does have a swimming area but has a muddy bottom and lots of vegetation growing in it. Their is a fishing peer, but we were advised by the locals that the mercury levels in the lake were high and not to eat the fish. There is a small playground for the kids at the non-equistrian horse camping sites. Heavner is roughly 12 miles away but there isn't a lot to do in town. Final Recommendation: If you don't mind a little roughing it, are a very experienced rider and want to challenge your skills, this is a good place to go. There are some terrific views from the mountains along the trails. However if you want to have other activities beside horseback riding and don't want to put your horse through some pretty rough terrain I would recommend that you travel north to Robber's Cave. I would have loved to have been to this park when the facilities were first opened, unfortunately budget cuts or poor management have put this site on the decline. We may return to this site next year but it is not in our top five places to visit. It is very unfortunate because this is a really great area and little work would make this horse lovers dream riding spot.
Reviewed by: Joe Young on 8/19/2013 1:43:49 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 8/14/2013 Hometown: ,

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I have been riding all over the state for many years, and it's my favorite. Ran by the National Forest Service, the campground is completely paved - no gravel roads. Only at campsites do you have gravel, and some of those have concrete pads, depending on where you can get a site. There's over 100 miles of trails, and the best thing is that you can ride all the way to the top of three vistas and see for miles, including two that are located on the famous Talihina Drive. Your horses need to be shod and in shape because you'll want to ride for at least four days, one day each to the top of all three, including my favorite, Blue Mountain, and another day on the "bottom" trails that loop around the camp. I personally would advise you to get off trails 1 and 2 asap, because those are the two most-traveled, due to the close proximity to camp. Absolutely breath taking views. It's a horseman's paradise!
Reviewed by: teri on 1/9/2012 1:22:28 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 11/2/2011 Hometown: Edmond, OK

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We spent 6 days at Cedar Lake in May, 2011. It was a beautiful place to ride but the rocks were AWFUL!! You MUST have shoes or boots (we used Old Mac's) to get through this. It rained every day that we were there but mud wasn't an issue due to the rocky terrain. The camp host was very informative and came around at least daily to make sure we didn't need anything. I think that the campsites were rather small, especially since we had reserved a double site and there wasn't any way to get another trailer in beside ours. Admittedly, our trail is rather large (6 horse, 12 ft living quarters). The fishing was good at the lake also. Campground was safe for the kids to wander around in. Ticks weren't bad as long as you stayed on the trails. Would definitely recommend it.
Reviewed by: Tabitha on 10/4/2011 12:47:04 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 5/20/2011 Hometown: Alva, OK

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This is our first time here. Absolutly LOVED it!! We will return many many more times. Definitly for shawed horses. Everyone we have met here has been very friendly, nice and helpful. The bad things having to leave but we have already decided next weekend we will be back. The concrete slab that the picnic table is on is great! Our only suggestion is they need to have trail maps available. Lucky for us a man had an extra one he gave us.
Reviewed by: Ron and Doyalyne Gardner on 9/5/2011 5:21:02 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 9/5/2011 Hometown: Seminole, OK

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This was our first trip to this camp. We wet for a day ride and rode 4 hours the first trip and 2 1/2 hours the second ride. This was only the second time out for the little horse I was on and she did ok, went across everything the big horses did. Didn't come across water on the trail till almost 2 hrs in, our horses like to play in the water. Camp was packed and the weather was awesome. Rode in a group of 7, everyone except us had been there so we didn't need to worry about getn lost. Had several steep up and downs that made my horse think. Didn't have alot of trail traffic to deal with, trails marked nicely. If your taking more than 2 horses and they don't picket u may want to take panels or a hot pen so your horse can relax n stretch out after a long days ride. I loved that there wasn't dogs running all over-my horses don't like dogs and tend to kick at them. We will go back again!
Reviewed by: Joni on 3/14/2011 7:44:13 AM
Experience: Beginner Ride Date: 3/12/2011 Hometown: Charleston, Select State

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We absolutely LOVE this place ... we have come here for a week at a time, every April, every year since 1990. This is our "friends and family" camping vacation spot packing up kids, dogs, horses, friends and family - we look like a caravan of gypsies traveling across the states to get here! The trail maps are detailed letting you know where the most challenging spots are for you to avoid when you have little ones or inexperienced riders with you. You can take a short loop or be gone all day and not see the same trail. From lush creek bottoms with flowing streams to the top of Blue Mountain or Emerald Vista there is riding for what ever your favorite footing is. Just be sure to have shoes (or boots) on your horses. For those who don't ride, there's swimming in the lake and great bass fishing too and beautiful hiking trails. Everyone is always friendly and we love our host rangers who are always looking to make our stay at Cedar Lake better! The campgrounds are immaculately kept, all the roads and camping spots are paved (NO DUST to choke you), and the bath house is to die for - huge, clean, warm when it needs to be and cool when it needs to be! If it were possible to give this place a 10-Star rating I would!!!
Reviewed by: Jamie Snider on 1/12/2010 3:02:22 PM
Experience: Intermediate Ride Date: 4/15/2009 Hometown: El Dorado, AR

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Don't miss this place in Autumn! Reservations can be made six months in advance via recreation.gov. Very rocky; shoes are mandatory. Go on Trails 1 and 3, and there's a beautiful lookout on Trail 4. Take your cameras!
Reviewed by: Cathy Truelove on 11/6/2009 11:30:22 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/23/2009 Hometown: Red Oak, TX

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What can I say other than 5 stars all the way around? Have been all over the states and now have found the best.
Reviewed by: Anonymous on 9/13/2009 11:05:20 AM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 9/13/2009 Hometown: , Select State

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We go to Cedar Lake every year, We had a great time! the trails were wonderful, there seemed to be allot of trash thrown around on the trails this time. Don't understand people who do that sort of thing. The campgrounds were great! It rained the first night and got very cold. So if you go in October be prepared for both warm and cold conditions. The showers were a little cold to start out with. But we asked one of the camp hosts to turn the heat up and they were more than kind. They jumped right to it. I would advise anyone who is going to go camping and riding to come here. It is a great place for the kids to go. I felt very comfortable with them walking and riding around the campgrounds.
Reviewed by: Norma Riley on 10/23/2006 10:25:19 AM
Experience: Not Specified Ride Date: 10/23/2006 Hometown: Warner, OK

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Just spent 18 days at Cedar Lake, the trails are great. Some trails had problems with ground hornets, water could be found on all the trails this trip. Best time to go is fall or spring. November finds the woods full of hunters and not a safe time to ride unless blaze orange is used and bells are on horses. Rangers are wonderful and keep campers informed of trail problems. ReserveUsa.com is best for making reservations.
Reviewed by: Katrina on 10/31/2004 12:47:26 PM
Experience: Expert Ride Date: 10/8/2004 Hometown: Talco, TX