Day Trips: Tucker Tower, Okla.

Stone castle tower provides spectacular view of Oklahoma's Lake Murray State Park

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Tucker Tower in Oklahoma's Lake Murray State Park was built as a retreat for the governor. It was never used for that purpose, but the 65-foot tower does offer the public a panoramic view of Oklahoma's first and largest state park.

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depres­sion, the park south of Ardmore and about 30 miles north of the Red River was begun in 1933. Many of the buildings were designed by Herbert Maier, the same architect who produced facilities at Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite national parks.

Although Lake Murray opened to the public in 1938, work on the castle-like tower was suspended in 1935 by federal officials. The state completed the project in 1954 and opened the tower as a geological museum to house the world's fifth-largest meteorite. A separate modern nature center was added later. Made of locally quarried stone, the tower offers a breathtaking view of the lake's serrated shoreline. The numerous coves are considered some of the best fishing holes in the state. Thick stands of trees come right down to the blue water's edge.

Lake Murray State Park has a number of amenities including cabins, a lodge with a restaurant, swimming beaches, marinas, campgrounds, and hiking and ATV trails. Covering more than 12,000 acres, the park is five miles off I-35 and about 100 miles north of Dallas. For more information or to make reservations, go to

1,307th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 40312, South Austin, TX 78704.

Follow "Day Trips & Beyond," a weekly travel blog, at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Day Trips
Day Trips: Rooftop Bars, San Antonio
Day Trips: Rooftop Bars, San Antonio
Catch a bird’s-eye view of the Alamo City

Gerald E. McLeod, Sept. 30, 2022

Day Trips: The Vanishing Texana Museum, Jacksonville
Day Trips: The Vanishing Texana Museum, Jacksonville
Train ticket leads to museum demolition

Gerald E. McLeod, Sept. 23, 2022


Tucker Tower, Lake Murray State Park, Ardmore, Oklahoma

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle