Report from Louisiana…in Oklahoma

Posted: November 21, 2022 by Pat Austin in Uncategorized
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By:  Pat Austin

HOCHATOWN, OK – We are in Oklahoma this week, in a mountain “cabin” enjoying the great outdoors and visiting with family.

Hochatown is a small, unincorporated community in southeast Oklahoma, near the Texas border. The signs says population here is about 250 people, but with 2,500 luxury cabins in the area, and more in development, this area feels more like Branson, Missouri. The two lane highway is a constant stream of traffic as tourists check in and check out of these mountain homes.

There are multiple companies that rent these places out and the images you see make them look so secluded, so remote, but once here, you see you are in a congested, developed area. Even though as I type this and look out the cabin window I see woods, just behind that tree line is another huge cabin and next door I can see another. Driving through the neighborhood it is just that, a neighborhood.

The homes are lovely; they have open floor plans, lots of windows, fire pits, covered porches for sitting outside, and all the amenities. The one we are in has a hot tub outdoors, a shuffleboard inside, and an arcade machine with a dozen games on it. There’s a sleeping loft and two bedrooms; this one sleeps ten. The décor is your basic Hobby Lobby rustic.

I can’t help but wonder what the actual locals think, those who have lived here for decades. How do they feel about this development boom? This area has always been known for being beautiful for hiking, fishing, camping, and all things outdoors. In the past few years it has become the playground for people in Texas, specifically the Dallas area, to get away from the city for a while. With recent low interest mortgage rates, development has exploded here.

And now the Choctaw Nation is developing a huge casino (on that congested two-lane highway). The casino will bring even more tourists. It will feature 100 hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, a live music venue, and a shopping area.

So the question becomes, is all of this destroying the natural aspect of the area, destroying what people are actually looking for? I mean, you are not secluded or remote at all. And even as there are woods around us, and other “cabins,” we see deer daily in the yard. They have nowhere else to go. We are all over their natural habitat.

Because Hochatown is unincorporated, some developers play fast and loose with the building rules and some of these developments are better than others. Again, something the locals worry about. On the flip side, property values have risen some 65% in the past few years. There is no question that it is pretty country here.

For now there are still many beautiful hiking trails and we spent the afternoon watching people fly fishing in the Lower Fork River, just minutes from the house. Even in these woods we are literally two minutes from the highway, from two breweries, a couple of wineries, a petting zoo, several t-shirt shops, an axe-throwing place, and lots of restaurants and bars. Seclusion is relative.

It’s still a lovely place to get away and recharge. At least until they pave over the pines and hardwoods to build more cabins.

  1. John Ruberry says:

    Beautiful scene

  2. Pod Hamp says:

    Thanks for the interesting article. I had never heard of Hochatown before. So I looked it up on Google maps and realized that it was really near Beaver’s Bend state park. When I was a youngster my family went on a camping trip to Beaver’s Bend, and I still remember how much I enjoyed the area. That was in the early 1960s when I was probably in kindergarten, and we were living in Ponca City, OK. I remember that our camp trailer was parked next to a lake, and that rained most of the time we were there. My parents took us to see some deer that were in a pen.
    Thanks for resurrecting that memory.

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