Chickasaw National Recreation Area Travel Guide

  • Visitors Center
    Visitors Center
    by Basaic
  • Little Niagara Falls
    Little Niagara Falls
    by Basaic
  • Hiking Trail
    Hiking Trail
    by Basaic

Chickasaw National Recreation Area Things to Do

  • Trail to Antelope and Buffalo Springs

    A wonderfully easy and quite pretty trail. This one starts right outside the Travertine Nature Center. To make it out to the two springs is a 1.2 mile round trip, not including a few loop detours you can take if so inclined. The trail is marked as handicap accessible, and is generally very flat and wide, packed earth in most places. You can watch...

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  • Travertine Nature Center

    At the end of the loop road, you can stop off at the Nature Center. On hand, they have a number of nature displays, including a stuffed bison. They also have aquariums with several live specimens from the area, including snakes and turtles. Most importantly to some, they have restrooms! There's also a small bookstore and an opportunity to pick up...

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  • Little Niagara Falls

    This waterfall is just west of the Travertine Nature Center. There's a little picnic area right next to it. You can see the falls from the shoreline, but if you are more adventurous, there is a rock path that cuts across the creek so you can view the falls from dead on. While I doubt anyone would really mistake these falls for their larger...

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  • The various springs

    Throughout this section of the park, you can see various springs that are on the map. The first is Vendome Well, which is in the little park before you get to the park entrance on 1st street. This is the only water producer that I noticed with a strong sulfur smell (my five year old asked why it smelled like eggs!) Right near the 1st street...

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  • Water Sports - the last on the agenda

    The Lake of the Arbuckles is not overwhelmingly scenic, and its artificial character is likely to put some off from its merits. The lake itself is nestled in thick forests and commands a large area, more than you can see from any cove or jetty. Water sports are permitted here (speak with the rangers for regulations) but fishing continues to be the...

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  • Fishing - Not Enough to Float My Boat

    As suspected in these parts, the main pasttime is fishing. Even though the pretentious "Lake of the Arbuckles" is artificial, it is stocked with "real" fish, but you are not likely to get much more variable catches than a small sand bass or a 4-lb catfish. I don't know my fishes particularly well, but I know that the fishing depicted in this...

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  • Hiking - But Watch Your Step

    There are trails throughout the recreation area that follow under the shade of oak and maple trees, one of the most forested areas of the state after the eastern third. Stay on trails to avoid damaging fragile flowers and to avoid contact with poison ivy and poison oak, one of the unfortunate by-products of the woods.

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  • Downtown Sulphur

    Actually, Historic Downtown Sulphur isn't very big, and I don't know the history - maybe, I'll make one up. But, there were some old-looking buildings - and restaurants too.

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  • Lake of the Arbuckles

    This was a great lake. It's well-kept with plenty of room for water sports and camping. There were several hiking trails that connected Chickasaw with Lake of the Arbuckles. I didn't have time for that but next time I will.http://www.lasr.net/leisure/oklahoma/murray/sulphur/ff2.html

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  • Swimming in Travertine Creek

    Swimming in Travertine Creek and/or Rock Creek. It gets pretty hot in Ok. and a swim in the spring-fed creeks is a good idea. There are even a few small waterfalls - one called Little Niagara - it's about a 3 foot drop. In the picture, it's hard to see, but I got a picture of a deer crossing the stream.

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  • Pavillion Springs

    It can't be seen very well in the picture, but, inside the structure there's a bubbling spring. The town of Sulphur sprang up around these...springs in the late 1800's. I read that this area was a trendy tourist spot during the 1920s - with people coming from all over to drink the spring water - which they thought was a cure-all. I tasted the water...

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  • Bison View

    It's a stop that's easy to drive right by. It's on 177 on the way from Chickasaw to Lake of the Arbuckles. The brown blob in the center of the picture is a bison - the state animal of Oklahoma. There were a few bison just resting in the field and mingling freely with those horses.

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Chickasaw National Recreation Area Transportation

  • btex's Profile Photo

    by btex Updated Oct 11, 2002

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    You gotta drive it! It's only about a 2.5 hour drive from DFW. Take I35 to Davis and Turner Falls. Sulphur is east on 7 from Davis. Take US177 into Chickasaw. Lake of the Arbuckles and Gene Autry are on turn offs from 177. Cedar Blue Road and Buckhorn Road for Lake of the Arbs. And, OK53 for G.A. The drive from Chickasaw Park to Madill on 177 is very scenic too. The countryside/farmland is picturesque.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Chickasaw National Recreation Area Warnings and Dangers

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo

    by mrclay2000 Written Jun 26, 2003

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    For those unfamiliar with what poison ivy and poison oak look like, most of us are familiar with what it does. The common feature of these noxious shrubs is its three leaflets (three leaves extending from the same stem). Before you go traipsing through the underbrush in your shorts, be aware of this rule "leaflets three, leave it be." Otherwise your next few weeks might keep you grounded.

    blisters from exposure to poison ivy

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Chickasaw National Recreation Area Tourist Traps

  • btex's Profile Photo

    by btex Updated Apr 14, 2008

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    Turner Falls Park wasn't in such great condition last time I was there...there was too much trash laying around (but that seems to be everywhere these days.) And, it was too crowded for me. The campsites weren't kept up. The $7 admission price seemed a bit too high. It's right next to the city of Davis - just west of Sulphur.
    http://www.turnerfallspark.com/

    Unique Suggestions: The falls are worth seeing, but they can be seen from a view point on the drive to the park.

    Fun Alternatives: My tip is to take a picture there and then head off to Chickasaw for swimming or anything else.

    Turner Falls
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel
    • Family Travel

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Chickasaw National Recreation Area Off The Beaten Path

  • The Best Museum in the Area

    The Davis Santa Fe Depot in nearby Davis is rightfully listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside the museum (open 10-4) you'll find mannikins taking the place of conductors, ticket window attendants, armed services recruiters, and the stationmaster's family, but their environs are as authentic-looking today as they would have been...

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  • Sulphur's Main Street

    Sulphur is part of the National Main Street Program, but from my evaluation none of the buildings deserved any special recognition. Though slightly more extensive and more "set off" than the Main Street in Davis, I found the latter's to be more meritorious. Sulphur boasts three listings on the National Register of Historic Places, but neither of...

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  • Gene Autry, Ok.

    Gene Autry, Ok. I drove through a small town named after Gene Autry - the singing cowboy. There really wasn't much here, but I couldn't resist visiting with a name like that. There was a Gene Autry museum - which wasn't open when I was there. There were also a few restaurants and shops. Some of the town looked pretty run-down though. My detour to...

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Chickasaw National Recreation Area Favorites

  • btex's Profile Photo

    by btex Written Oct 5, 2002

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    Favorite thing: Go hiking in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. I found Chickasaw by accident - I was disappointed with Turner Falls, so I left there, went east, and stumbled upon Chickasaw. There are several trails...I actually only made it to two of them. The park itself is very nice and well maintained. It's a great place for camping, swimming, hiking and other outdoor activities.
    http://www.nps.gov/chic/index.htm

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park
    • Camping

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