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Chickasaw National Recreation Area

1008 West Second Street

Tradition touches the present at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. You park your car and pursue the same diversions people enjoyed at the turn of the Twentieth Century— after parking their buggy or getting off the train. You no longer see women in full dresses and sunhats sidesaddle on mules, but you can still follow pleasant trails, enjoy a picnic or just people-watch. Surely that’s what attracted some of the folks who crowded the old train station and put up at Sulphur’s former grand and popular hotels and bath-houses.

Only the styles have changed. Tents have evolved from simple white cottons and poplins to pop-ups, umbrellas, and domes sewn of multicolored canvas or bright, lightweight nylons. And the campers have traded horse-drawn buggies for automobiles. But the tents are still pitched by families seeking a week of fun and relaxation in shaded woodlands threaded by clear-running streams and dotted with mineral and freshwater springs. The quaint old cars and campers foreshadow today’s recreational van which might be parked by the Lake of the Arbuckles.

First native Americans and then early settlers of the surrounding plains sought recreation here. Summer weekends still find family reunions picnicking at favorite spots in the Platt Historic District. Some have returned every year for more than half a century.

For over one hundred years the park has been a refuge for outdoor tradition; a protected niche of parkland where styles may change, but where recreation remains a relaxing way of life.


Keith P

Thursday, July 12, 2018
Great place to visit when it is so hot outside. Water is so cold. Plus you can drink from some of the springs. Check with the park service to ensure safety. Nature center has great displays and love animal exhibits. Glad the first nations were able to protect their land's heritage for generations to come.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018
The facility is clean, modern, and full of fantastic information. The staff were also very helpful in helping us find a campground in the area, but they didn't tell us about the negative aspects of each, only the positive. Had they been more forthcoming about the alcohol laws and to which campsites those laws apply, we could have made better decisions about where to camp. We ended up camping in a crowded campground with almost no breeze in the middle of the summer, and because it was so crowded, there was no standing dead or fallen wood to gather, so we went back into town to get wood. Also, even though we hadn't drank any of our aluminum clad, low point beer, we were almost fined $1800 just for bringing it to the campsite. They made no mention of the lack of enforcement of quiet hours, so we dealt with headlights shining into our tent and waking up our toddler daughter. Sometime around midnight, a couple of yahoos decided to pitch their tent in the neighboring campsite. Lightbars turned the night to day and the sound of hammers on tent spikes finally woke our child past the point of returning to sleep, and we had to end up going to a hotel just so she would quiet down. Hands down, it was both the most miserable and expensive camping experience of my life. I'd give the center no stars, but don't hold people responsible for the actions of others. They should have been a little more forthcoming though.

Jack Foo

Sunday, April 1, 2018
Staff were friendly and extremely helpful. My best experience at a national park. Keep up the great work!

Chris Bloomfield

Friday, April 6, 2018
Friendly staff. No rangers though, they only have National Park administration offices here and you can't turn in Junior Ranger books. The Nature Center in the National Park has the educational displays and rangers.

Jaime Rios

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Real neat people with knowledge about sorrounding parts. The ranger Athena was really cool and down to earth.

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