Showing Local Love

Showing pride for the state you’ve grown up in is always a great thing. Each state has different, unique landscapes that add to their individuality. When you begin exploring the state you live in it can help you realize that your state carries its own hidden gems that show their true beauty.

If you happen to live in Oklahoma, or enjoy a good road trip, visiting the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a must. When you think of a national park or national recreation area your mind may immediately jump to the big leagues such as the Grand Canyon National Park or Yellowstone National Park, but sometimes smaller parks near you can have attractions and history just as great as the bigger national parks.

Joe, father of two and longtime outdoorsman, always appreciates traveling to new places and being out in the wilderness. He has visited the Chickasaw National Recreation Area and enjoyed his time there.

“My favorite part of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is how remote it seems, even when it’s so close to civilization,” says Joe.

Travertine Creek Source: Jonathan C. Wheeler

Travertine Creek
Source: Jonathan C. Wheeler

The Chickasaw National Recreation Area is located in Sulphur, Okla. It along with The Artesian and many other new businesses have given Sulphur a new name for itself. The town is becoming a great place to take a little getaway to enjoy nature or do some shopping at some of the upscale shops.

Dan Winings, a park ranger at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, has knowledge and firsthand experience working in the area.

“The Park was originally established as Sulphur Springs Reservation in 1902, in order to preserve the natural mineral springs found in the park. The land was purchased from Chickasaw Nation. In 1906, the U.S. Congress designated the area Platt National Park. In 1976, 9,000 acres were added to the park and it was renamed Chickasaw National Recreation Area, in honor of the Chickasaw that originally owned the land,” says Dan.

According to the Sulphur Chamber of Commerce, streams and lakes cater to boaters, swimmers and anglers, while its forests and prairies reward hikers, wildlife photographers and campers.

“The most unique feature of the park is its location within the Cross Timbers area of Oklahoma. This area is where three different ecosystems meet together. The eastern deciduous forest, the tall grass prairie to the north and the mixed grass prairie to the west,” says Dan. “This makes Chickasaw National Recreation Area one of the most diverse areas in the U.S.”

Little Niagra Source:  Jonathan C. Wheeler

Little Niagra
Source: Jonathan C. Wheeler

Little Niagra is considered one of the hot spots at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It draws several visitors, especially during the summer months, to its refreshing and clear water. I remember spending several great summer days enjoying the cool water at Little Niagra and relishing in the nature surrounding me.

“My favorite memory is when I was young we would travel there and campout, fish and hike. I loved Travertine Creek, it is a beautiful place to take the family,” says Joe.

There is definitely no shortage of activities to participate in when you visit the area. Dan says some of the most popular activities are:

  • Auto touring
  • Biking
  • Bird watching
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Swimming
  • Water skiing

With so many activities to choose from boredom doesn’t exist during your time at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Whether you are traveling alone for a peaceful retreat or planning a memorable trip with family and friends, there’s no chance you’ll be disappointed in choosing the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Always remember to show appreciation for local parks in your state, some of the best memories can be made at them!

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