City park system
Ardmore offers an extensive community park system, comprising more than 12 city parks, which is anchored by the Ardmore Regional Park.
Ardmore Regional Park offers a variety of recreational opportunities including City Lake, disc golf, a softball complex, paved walking and cycling trails that wind through a natural setting, a playground and covered picnic facilities. During the Christmas season, the park is transformed by the Festival of Lights, a 1.5-mile, drive-thru holiday display open to the public in late November and all of December.
The city's newest attraction within the park system is the Community Water Park. The water-based park has all the elements of a major water theme park, featuring twisting slides, water basketball and a zero-depth entry pool for young children.
Lakes and other natural recreation areas
The Ardmore area is home to a number of diverse recreational areas, including medium- to large-sized lakes, and state and national parks that offer waterfalls, spring-fed creeks and natural formations that appeal to both novices as well as experienced outdoorsmen.
Lake Murray State Park, immediately south of Ardmore, is Oklahoma's oldest and largest state park. The park's 12,400 acres feature a beautiful, crystal clear, 5,700-acre lake. The park includes 81 cabins and numerous campsites. Visitors may enjoy golf, tennis, swimming, water sports, horseback riding, a special ATV area and an extensive trail network that permits mountain biking, trail running and hiking. Visitors to Lake Murray often discover an unanticipated piece of Oklahoma history, Tucker Tower Museum and Nature Center. Originally built as a retreat for Oklahoma governors - a role it never filled, the castle-like structure houses local artifacts and hosts nature programs and activities conducted by the state park's naturalist.
Smaller in size, offering 36 miles of shoreline and 2,300 acres of open water, the Lake of the Arbuckles provides a quieter setting. The lake is well known for its fishing, which is permitted year round. The lake is perfect for camping and kayaking as much of the water is encompassed by mature trees.
Lake Texoma is one of the largest reservoirs in the United States and is located less than an hour from Ardmore. This lake includes two wildlife refuges, two state parks, 12 marinas, 26 resorts, hundreds of campgrounds and multiple golf courses. In addition to common lake pursuits – power boating, personal watercraft, water skiing and wind surfing – Lake Texoma has become a major sailing center based on the lake's size, depth and miles of sailing shoreline.
Located in the Arbuckle Mountains, Turner Falls Park is found just north of Ardmore. Turner Falls is a cascading 77-foot waterfall, the largest in Oklahoma, that leads the spring-fed Honey Creek to a natural swimming pool and recreation area. In addition to two natural swimming pools, the park is accented by picnic areas, nature trails, caves and various geological formations to be explored.
Finally, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area was Oklahoma's first national park. Located in nearby Sulphur, the park offers a wide range of diverse natural resources. The unique combination of flora, fauna, waters and geological formations have created an area unlike any in the surrounding region.
Ardmore has three 18-hole golf courses:
- Dornick Hills, a private country club;
- Lakeview, a public facility; and
- Lake Murray, a public facility.
Corporate sports leagues
The Noble Research Institute participates in community and corporate leagues for volleyball, bowling and softball.