Chickasaw National Recreation Area
|Chickasaw National Recreation Area|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
|Location||Murray County, Oklahoma, USA|
|Nearest city||Sulphur, OK|
|Area||9,899 acres (4,006 ha)|
|Established||July 1, 1902|
|Visitors||1,212,139 (in 2011)|
|Governing body||National Park Service|
Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur in Murray County. It includes the former Platt National Park and Arbuckle Recreation District.
Established as Sulphur Springs Reservation on July 1, 1902; renamed and redesignated Platt National Park on June 29, 1906; combined with the Arbuckle Recreation Area and additional lands and renamed and redesignated on 17 March 1976. Of the park's 9,888.83 acres (4,002 ha), water covers 2,409 acres (975 ha). The park contains many fine examples of 1930's Civilian Conservation Corps architecture. CCC workers created pavilions, park buildings, and enclosures for the park's many natural springs.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area preserves partially forested hills of south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur. Named to honor the Chickasaw Indian Nation, who were relocated to the area from the Southeastern United States during the 1830s (and who later sold the original 640 acres (260 ha) of land for the park to the Federal government), the park's springs, streams, and lakes provide swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and hiking. As part of the Chickasaw tribe's arrangement with the U.S. government, the park does not charge an admission fee.
In 1983, the city of Sulphur traded the 67-acre Veterans Lake to the recreation area in exchange for a strip of land above the State Highway Seven bridge.
Travertine district 
Travertine district, embracing the old Platt National Park, is like a large city park, three miles long and less than one mile wide. A narrow road circles the district, passing by parking areas, camp and picnic grounds, the Travertine Nature Center, swimming holes, springs, and a bison pasture. 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 (20 million liters) of cool, crystal clear-water and form Travertine Creek which is joined by Rock Creek about 2 miles from its source. A number of other fresh water and mineral springs contribute to Travertine and Rock Creek as they flow through Travertine District, dropping in small waterfalls over several small ledges. Several miles of walking and biking trails wind through the heavily forested creek bottomland. Very popular and often crowded in summer, the Travertine district has been described as an oasis in the Oklahoma prairie.
Lake of the Arbuckles 
Most of the National Recreational Area is taken up by the 2,350 acre (950 ha) Lake of the Arbuckles and the prairie and woodland along its shores. The scenic lake is a principal water supply reservoir for the city of Ardmore, some 30 mi (48 km) to the southwest. Lake of the Arbuckles was built by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1966 by impounding Rock Creek. Water quality and clarity are excellent. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has rated the lake as the best for bass fishing in the state. The lake features 36 miles of shoreline. Fishing is permitted year-round for crappie, catfish, largemouth bass, white bass and bluegill. Facilities include three campgrounds for tents and RVs, picnic areas, public restrooms, boat docks and ramps, and several miles of multi-use trais.
Commemorative Coin 
In 2011, the United States Mint issued a quarter featuring the Chickasaw's Lincoln Bridge, a limestone bridge built in 1909 to commemorate the 100th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, as part of its America the Beautiful Quarters series.
- "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-16.
- "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- Rudd, Constance A. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Chickasaw National Recreation Area."
- Chickasaw National Recreation Area - History & Culture (U.S. National Park Service)
- "Chickasaw National Recreation Area" Visitors Guide, National Park Service.
- http://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.4362 accessed on 6-28-2010
- Michael Overall, "Chickasaw quarter to debut as part of special coin series", Tulsa World, November 16, 2011.
- The National Parks: Index 2001-2003. Washington: U.S. Department of the Interior.
Further reading 
- Hanson, R.L. and S.W. Cates. (1994). Hydrogeology of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Murray County, Oklahoma [Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4102]. Oklahoma City: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
- Official NPS website: Chickasaw National Recreation Area
- Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture - Chickasaw National Recreation Area
- The short film Oklahoma Oasis (1974) is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory