Chickasaw National Recreation Area has been described as an oasis in the Oklahoma prairie. It is situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur. It is full of natural springs and mineral springs that attract visitors from all over the country.
Travertine Creek, joined by Rock Creek, flows through the district, rising in Antelope Springs and Buffalo Springs at the eastern end of the park. The springs produce 5 million gallons per day of cool, crystal clear-water and form Travertine Creek which is joined by Rock Creek about 2 miles from its source.
The water of Travertine Creek maintains an average temperature of 65 degrees year round, which makes for an invigorating plunge on hot summer days. Travertine Creek tumbles over 75 natural rock falls and down six man-made dams as it winds along its 2 1/2 mile course from the Travertine Nature Center to Pavilion Springs.
There are a number of cold-water mineral springs in the park which give rise to sulphur, bromide, and iron-bearing waters.
Folklore says that the ancient people called this place “the Peaceful Valley of Rippling Waters."
Most of these are enclosed in pavilions or pools constructed of native stone and shaded by groves of large, old trees which present a pleasant and comfortable setting for the use and enjoyment of the springs. Shown below: Buffalo Springs
And Pavilion Springs.
Flower Park contains pools of sulphur water (flowing from the Vendome Well) and mud which historically had some therapeutic qualities attributed to it.
An overview map of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
With over 18 miles of trails including a newly constructed two-mile long paved handicapped trail, Chickasaw National Recreation Area is sure to have a trail just for you.
Enjoy a walk across Lincoln Bridge and all the beauty that surrounds it. Chickasaw lies in a transition zone where the Eastern deciduous forest and the Western prairies meet. It has flora and fauna from both environments, and other flora and fauna specific to such transition areas.
Wildflower viewing is best from March to October. Rock Creek Trail is the perfect trail to view these wildflowers.
Two small dams form the swimming area at Bear Falls. Garfield Falls is located immediately downstream. Due to its proximity to the Cold Springs Campground, this is one of the most heavily used swimming areas in the park.
Now you can see why these springs are a must-visit!
Have you ever been to Chickasaw National Recreation Area? If so, what part of the park is your favorite?