The exquisite Skiatook Lake is tucked away on Highway 20, just 4 miles west of it’s hometown of Skiatook, Oklahoma. Less than 20 miles away from the city of Tulsa, this tranquil lake is surrounded by the gloriously green hills of Blackjack, Post Oak and the Tallgrass prairie. With a surface area of around 10,500 acres and 160 miles of shoreline, Skiatook Lake is a true picture of beauty that boasts breathtaking views and stunning bluffs.
The lake has come a long way since its formation and no longer is Skiatook Lake seen as merely a part of the Skiatook nature, but it is now widely used by locals and tourists alike for a number of different activities. The town of Skiatook was first established in 1880’s but it can be hard to pinpoint exactly when this establishment took place as a result of conflicts surrounding the meaning of the town’s name. There are many who belief the fable that the town was founded on land that was once home to an Indian called Skiatooka, meaning that the area surrounding his home was therefore ‘Skiatooksa’s Settlement’. Others believe that the name was derived from ‘Ski-A-Took’ which is Cherokee for ‘big injun me’ which describes a large mass of land.
Within the 1920’s, a road was built which linked the town to its neighboring city, Tulsa. Thanks to this connection, Skiatook soon become known as the ‘Gateway’ to its surrounding areas. Although the town initially had to purchase its water from Spavinaw in the 1930’s, the town was given authorization in 1962 to construct the Skiatook Dam and Lake in order to meet the water demands within the area. Not only would the construction of the Lake provide a source of water, it would also aid in flood control, recreation and a place for wildlife and fish maintenance. By the time Skiatook Lake was completed, the town possessed its own water source and since then, the town’s population has grown steadily with a reported 93% increase since 1990.
Over 20 years since the completion of the project, Skiatook Lake offers locals and tourists alike with an abundance of recreation opportunities to suit almost all weather conditions. Boat enthusiasts can explore the many islands and crops surrounding the lake with power boats. With a number of secluded areas surrounding the lake, there are also a number of opportunities in which to enjoy picnics or a spot of exploring. With an ample amounts of camping areas scattered around the lake, such as Tall Chief Cove; there are also plenty of areas in which to tent up and enjoy the Lake at night. During the daytime, why not pack away your camping gear and set off on the Lake’s hiking trail located in the Wildlife Management areas? The lake also boasts deep shorelines, which are ideal for sailboats, giving them the ability to soar across the lake’s surface area. Swimming is a popular pastime within the hotter summer months and the lake’s clean and clear waters make for a safe and pleasant swimming experience. As one would expect, Skiatook Lake is extremely popular with fishing enthusiasts and is renowned for providing one of the best experiences in bass fishing. Thanks to the lake’s clean and clear water due to a lack of wastes or chemicals, the fish are extremely healthy and lively. In addition, the releases of water from the dam maintain the quality of the downstream of water which aids with specific types of fishing.
Since its formation, Skiatook Lake has quickly become a paradise for aqua life and tourists. Whether visiting the town on vacation or strolling around the perimeter on a glorious Sunday afternoon, Skiatook Lake is the ideal place in which to connect with nature.