BRAGGS — Terry McDonald of Tahlequah said he's gone camping at Greenleaf State Park for 15 years.

Saturday, however, he settled for a day trip.

"This year, we're doing it a little different because my wife's not real comfortable with being around a lot of people right now because of the virus," McDonald said. "She likes having public bathrooms, but she doesn't feel comfortable using them. We're still coming out and doing some fishing this weekend."

Scores of visitors visited the park on Saturday.

But, even in the outdoors were reminders of COVID-19 concerns. As at other Oklahoma state parks, the playground was fenced off.

McDonald spent Saturday morning fishing with his friends.

"It's been busy the past five or six weekends at all these parks," he said. "I think it's just people wanting to be outside and feel more comfortable right now."

Lake levels at other lakes affect how many people come to Greenleaf, he said.

"When the other lakes are flooded, this lake gets a lot of pressure," McDonald said. "It's a spillway lake, so it doesn't flood like the other lakes do."

At 3 p.m. Saturday, Fort Gibson Lake was 8.98 feet above normal, Eufaula was 2.3 feet above normal, and Tenkiller was 4.24 feet above normal. 

McDonald's fishing buddy, Cougun Ledford of Coweta, said they caught some largemouth bass Saturday morning. Ledford's Brittany spaniels, Daisy and Marty, romped around.

Ledford's wife, Donna Ledford, ventured out on a new paddle boat. Joining her was one of their Brittany spaniels, Daisy. Marty, their other spaniel, rode in the fishing boat.

"We caught several fish," Cougun Ledford said. "It was nice."

On the fishing dock, 10-year-old Cooper Atkinson of Bixby stared into the waters of Greenleaf Lake, watching a motionless fishing line.

"I will sit here until I get a bite," he said.

His father, Chris Atkinson, said there were not as many people at the park as he expected. Cooper's grandfather, William Mannon of Coweta, said they had traveled to several fishing areas Saturday morning.

Families with young children came to Greenleaf just for day trips.

Brittany Sheppard of Broken Arrow said her family had never been to the park before. She said she and her family, plus their goldendoodle named Boomer, walked on the trails.

Lindsey and Michael Fladie of Tulsa hiked to Greenleaf's swinging bridge with  3-year-old daughter, Deana.

"I got held though. It was cuz of the mud," Deana said as her mother explained they carried the girl part of the way.

"I liked jumping on the bridge," Deana said.  

React to this story:


Recommended for you