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Nestled in emerald hills, Hulah Lake and its surrounding lands are an outdoor enthusiast's dream location. Located in Osage County, in northeastern Oklahoma's Green Country, Hulah Lake is an Army Corps of Engineers lake project with thousands of acres dedicated to pursuit of outdoor happiness. Completed in 1951 for flood control, water supply, and low-flow regulation, Hulah Lake is named for the nearby community of Hulah which is an Osage Indian word meaning "eagle."
The lands around Hulah Lake have been home to Osage people for years. First used as hunting grounds, lush pasture land for grazing and then in 1916 oil was found in the Osage lands. With the discovery of oil, the Osage Nation became the richest Indian Tribe in North America. The area was a popular trail for cowboys driving cattle through Indian Territory during the civil war. Infamous outlaws like Jesse James, Belle Starr, and the Dalton gang were known to have hide outs in the rolling hills and caves in the area.
The Corps of Engineers maintains two campgrounds at Hulah Lake, Boulanger Landing and Turkey Creek. Wa-Sha-She State Park also offers campgrounds for tents and RVs with water and electrical hookups. "Wa-Sha-She" means "The Water People" and Wa-Sha-She State Park offers people many opportunities to enjoy the clear water of Hulah Lake with a swimming beach, canoeing, boating and waterskiing in addition to mountain biking, playground, picnic areas, and a marked nature trail. There are a wide range of vacation rentals at convenient locations around the lake including cabins, inns, and lodges.
Hulah Lake has a boat launch at Turkey Creek operated by the Corps of Engineers. Wa-Sha-She State Park offers many lighted boat ramps and loading docks to ensure the avid angler can fish around the clock. Bullhead catfish, channel catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, white bass, and sunfish are abundant in the lake. With 62 miles of shoreline, Hulah Lake also has great spots for fishing from the shore where you can stretch out and lazily watch your line as you take in the picturesque view of the rolling hills around the water. The shoreline view changes with each season as the native trees of flowering dogwood, redbud, and wild plum goes from spring blossoms to lush green foliage to vibrant colors of fall.
Approximately 89,000 acres around the Hulah Lake area are managed by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. With two thousand acres dedicated as a State Waterfowl refuge, bird watchers will be busy with the many varieties of waterfowl and birds in the refuge. The lake's namesake Hulah or eagle, is derived from the fact that eagles are common site on Lake Hulah from January to mid-March. The other 87,000 acres is managed for upland game and whitetail deer and is open to the public for hunting.
For some time away from Hulah Lake, there is plenty to do in a short drive away from the water. Osage County boasts that it is the largest county in Oklahoma and larger than the states of Rhode Island or Delaware. The area remains relatively unchanged from the days of the Wild West with true cowboys who still work on the unspoiled prairie, the proud Osage Indians who still strive to keep their culture alive with colorful powwows, and the many bison and wild horses that can be seen in the wide open spaces. But if you want some noise and excitement, take in a rodeo, try your luck in one of the casinos, or visit one of the music venues. Museums, including the Osage Tribal Museum which is "oldest tribally-owned museum in the United States since 1938", shops, and dining establishments offer visitors many opportunities to get a taste of life in Osage County.
Hulah Lake offers year round adventure on and off the water. Come for a visit and leave with great memories of an exciting trip.
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