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Birch Lake is nestled into northeast Oklahoma's Green Country. Fall and spring turn the prairie grasses and hardwood tree leaves around the lake into rusted yellows, burnt oranges and boiling reds. Blooming wildflowers add splashes of color to the landscape. An impoundment of Birch Creek, the lake was completed in 1977 and was created for a host of reasons: flood control, water supply, water quality control, recreation and fish and wildlife enhancement. The body of water measures 1,137 surface acres and sits in Osage County, the largest county in Oklahoma, and named after the proud Osage Nation of Native Americans that was forced to move here in 1872.
Natures lovers will find much to marvel at on Birch Lake. The sandstone outcrops that characterize the changing slopes of the shoreline add to the lake's beauty. Convenient amenities on the lake allow patrons to enjoy Birch Reservoir in various ways. Several park areas provide campsites with hookups, drinking water, showers, charcoal grills, boat launches, picnic areas, hiking and equestrian trails and restrooms.
There is a wide range of fish living in Lake Birch's waters, promising to keep anglers eager; largemouth bass, walleye, spotted bass, smallmouth bass, hybrid striped bass, black and white crappie, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and sunfish are the dominant species. Bobwhite quail, mourning doves, squirrels, cottontail rabbits and whitetail deer habituate the tall grass prairie, savannah and woodland environment of the lake, attracting hunters to the area.
Birch Lake is part of a place and lifestyle that many have seen romanticized in western movies. Osage County calls to mind the cowboys of the prairies driving their herd, as well as famous outlaws, entrepreneur oil barons and the unique culture and customs of the Amerindians that inhabited these vast and sprawling lands.
Within 30 miles of Birch Lake, there are many options for getting to know the area. The Osage County Historical Society Museum has exhibits of artifacts and photographs depicting pioneer life, western life, Native American culture, and the booming days of the oil industry. A little over 10 miles from Birch Lake on Highway 123, buffalo, elk, and longhorn cattle roam the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve's 3,700 acres, a personal retreat created by the successful oilman Frank Phillips. In various surrounding towns, hundreds of Osage arts, crafts, clothing, furniture, and decor items can be found. You can explore your creativity with quilting classes at the nearby Red Barn Quilting Education & Retreat Center. Visit the Prairie Rattler Winery in Shidler, which specializes in handcrafted and country wines. Have fun at the Osage Nation Million Dollar Elm Casinos in surrounding towns. Appreciate Osage's beauty with trips to the Osage Hills State Park, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, and Bivin Garden in Shidler. Visitors to Birch Lake can also visit Tulsa, which is just a short drive away.
Perfect your visit to Birch Lake any way you like. In a place of so much solace and beauty, you won't need much. Just you and the earth beneath your feet under a wide Oklahoma sky.
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