Situated in the state of Oklahoma, the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees is beautiful and majestic. It is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the United States. The Grand Lake, as it is popularly known, has existed since 1940 when the Pensacola Dam was created on the Grand River.
History of the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees
The Grand Lake was created as a result of the Pensacola Dam being constructed. A Cherokee tribesman, Henry Holderman, had campaigned since the early 1900s for the creation of the dam, but it was only in the 1930s that the matter started being considered. The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), a state agency, was formed in 1935 and three years later, in 1938, work began on the construction of the Pensacola Dam. In 1940, the dam was built on the Grand River and the Grand Lake was created behind the dam.
The Grand Lake is synonymous with the Pensacola Dam. The dam is the largest dam in the United States of America. It is also the longest multiple arch dam in the world. There are 51 arches in the main span and the total length of these arches amount to 5,145 feet (1,568 m) lengthwise. You can even find a walkway and a small highway over the arches! The dam comprises of a 120 megawatt, 6-unit powerhouse on the west end, along with 21 spillways on the east end.
Geography and location
The Grand Lake is located in a very beautiful part of the country and this adds to the majesty of the lake. Situated in the northeastern comer of Oklahoma, the lake is nested in the foot hills of the Ozark Mountains. The area is absolutely stunning and the views are breathtaking.
The lake has a surface area of 46,500 acres (188 km2) of water and 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of shoreline. This makes it one of the largest lakes in the country. However, unlike many other lakes, the surface of the grand lake is rocky. The lake is also one of the deepest lakes around. The Grand Lake is situated at 742 ft (226 m) above sea level.
Things to do in and around the Grand Lake
The Grand Lake and the areas around it are famous tourist destinations. The lake itself has a lot to offer. It is one of the largest fishing pools for bass fishing. A number of fishes, including the lager mouth bass, the white bass, channel catfish, crappie and bluegill swim the waters of the lake and attract fishing enthusiasts from around the country. Then, the tourists can opt for a boat tour on the lake. The tour, called the Cherokee Queen, has been around since the 1940s and is one of the best recreational options in the lake.
Apart from in the lake, there are a lot of things that one can do around the lake as well. The scenic area around the Grand Lake, with the stunning view of the water, the shoreline, the mountains and the greenery around, is perfect for picnics as well. There many resorts and hotels where tourists can spend a holiday or a relaxing weekend.
The Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees is a fascinating natural beauty and is among the most famous lakes in the country. So if you are looking for a perfect spot to enjoy a relaxing holiday or you want to go fishing, the Grand Lake is the destination for you. Take your family along, your partner or just go alone and enjoy the majesty of nature in all her finery.