The Bureau of Reclamation proposed the construction of Lake of the Arbuckles in 1956 to provide flood control, a water supply, and recreation. Lake of the Arbuckles was administered by Platt National Park. In 1976, the land was combined and the area renamed Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Described here are three prominent trails that are located along the shores of Lake of the Arbuckles, located at the Point and Buckhorn arms of the lake. The two Point trails are Fishing Rock Trail and Lakeview Trail.
Fishing Rock Trail: This one-way trail follows the Arbuckle Lake shore for about 0.8 mile. The roundtrip hike is a total of 1.6 miles. Moving west from the trailhead you will pass through a hardwood forest and then enter an open environment with cedar and mixed grass prairie vegetation. There are several places where you can access the shoreline and try fishing. A state fishing license is required and may be obtained locally. Arbuckle Lake has a variety of freshwater fish including bass, sunfish, crappie, and catfish.
Lakeview Trail: A one-way hike of 0.5 miles will end at a small pebbly beach. The view to the west, is the Point picnic and swimming areas, to the southwest is the Arbuckle dam. The dam, 1,890 feet long and 142 feet high, holds back the water in the 2,350 acre lake. To the southeast you can see the Buckhorn arm of the lake. In the late fall and winter, you might be able to spot bald eagles that winter here. Follow the same trail back for a roundtrip hike of one mile.
Buckhorn Area Trail: This trail begins at the first picnic area, follows the lake and connects with the "D" loop of the campground. It is a one-way trail of 0.9 mile [1.4 km]. As you begin your hike, you may see evidence of where armadillos have rooted up the ground cover while searching for insects and worms. You may catch a glimpse of fox squirrels playing, encounter wild turkeys or other secretive wildlife common in this area. Overhead you may see black vultures soaring on the updrafts along the shoreline. Close to the lakes edge, take a moment to watch the waterbugs, turtles, and minnows bustling around in their tiny worlds.