Past Field Trips

Beavers Bend Fall Weekend

Friday, November 15, 2019 through Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Plano Photography Club will return to Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake in Oklahoma for a fall color shooting trip. Beavers Bend State Park is 170 miles from West Plano, about three hours driving time. Besides the state park and the lake, features of interest include Mountain Fork River, trees, hiking trails, and a distillery.

Beavers Bend State Park is located in an idyllic setting among towering pines and hardwoods. The park is a favorite for summer water activities and trout fishing. A constant-flow stream fed from the cold water of Broken Bow Lake form a fishing stream with small waterfalls and rapids, offering great photography morning and evening. Trails can take you up wooded hills for grand vistas. Broken Bow Lake and Hochatown State Park offer views of the hills for sunrise and sunset shots.

Also of note:

  • Mountain Fork Park: Travel through Broken Bow and east on 70 for a trip to Mountain Fork Park. If the water is high, you will experience a dramatic flow of water from the dam.
  • Talimena Scenic Drive is north of Broken Bow and travels east and west along ridges with fall color. It’s about an hour from the state park, but allow as much time as you wish to drive along the Scenic Drive.
  • Choctaw Casino, Broken Bow
  • Circus Cemetery: This is in Hugo, OK, on the road up to Beavers Bend

You are on your own for lodging. Where to stay:

  • Rent a cabin in the state park
  • Camp or RV in the state park
  • Beavers Bend Lakewood lodge on the lake
  • There are numerous vacation cabins for rent
  • Broken Bow has motels (15-20 minute drive)
  • Hochatown has cabins and motels

Where to eat:

  • Café in the park (Great pies!)
  • Hochatown – Grateful Head Pizza and Abendigo’s are good. This area is growing and there are many more choices than five years ago.
  • Broken Bow – many restaurants with numerous choices

Camera Gear to bring:

  • Wide to telephoto lenses
  • There is not much wildlife so a super long lens is probably not needed
  • Tripod
  • Neutral density filters to slow down water motion
  • Polarizing filter to make fall colors pop


Cedar Hill State Park

Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 7 am to 2 pm

Please note the state park opens at 7 am. Sunrise is at 7:17 am on that date. Cedar Hill State Park is in southwest Dallas County, adjacent to Joe Pool lake. The Cedar Hill area has several photogenic areas. It is one of the few places that has hills covered in hardwood trees that provide fall color if the timing is right.

Cedar Hill State Park, located on Joe Pool Lake, has several lake access points with good waterscapes. The best views are located to the southwest from the entry. (Turn left after entering the park.) There are hiking trails and a marina as well.

Penn Farm is in the state park. There are several old barns, two period houses, and pieces of farm machinery. Good opportunities are architectural studies, closeups of machinery and weathered wood, the spinning windmill (bring neutral density filters), and abstracts.

Cedar Ridge Preserve is located across the highway from the state park and is operated by Audubon Dallas and Dallas Parks. It offers several miles of hiking trails over hilly terrain. The hike to Cattail Pond is long but worth it.

Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is a wooded area with a nice walking path. Occasional vistas of fall-colored hillside can be found.

Cedar Hill has a small old downtown area and is worth a walkabout to work off lunch.

For lunch after visiting the park, there are a few places to eat in downtown Cedar Hill and many along Highway 67. One favorite in downtown is Sam’s Pizza and Pasta. It’locally owned with a large selection of Italian dishes.

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