What's so special about this place?

A group of people swimming near a small waterfall, seen through the trees
A summer's day at Little Niagara

NPS/Natasha Moore

Chickasaw National Recreation Area is in southcentral Oklahoma, between Dallas, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Chickasaw National Recreation Area was originally authorized in 1902 as Sulphur Springs Reservation and was renamed and redesignated as Platt National Park in 1906. In 1976, Platt National Park, Arbuckle National Recreation Area, and additional lands were combined to establish Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

From prehistoric times to the present, access to the combination of cool water, mineral springs, cool breezes, shade, and wildlife has created at Chickasaw National Recreation Area an experience that sets it apart from the surrounding environment.

Water rushing out of a stone fountain
Interior of the Pavilion Springs pavilion

NPS/Chickasaw NRA

The springs and streams in Chickasaw National Recreation Area originate within a region of Oklahoma characterized by complex geology. Intensive faulting, folding, and deformation associated with major uplift and subsequent erosion of the area have combined to form a land surface characterized by gently rolling hills dissected by streams. The springs and streams have had cultural, economic, and environmental significance throughout the history of the region.

Dating from the public works era of the 1930s, classic examples of NPS design and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) work can be found in the Platt Historic District of Chickasaw National Recreation Area. This area is a unique and fascinating piece of CCC development that has kept its integrity. The site work and landscape structures are elaborate and of high quality. This district has also been identified as one the finest examples of CCC work in existence in terms of rustic design, the number and variety of structures, and construction techniques and materials.

Canvas tents and old cars in a campground
Central Campground, 1920s

NPS/Chickasaw NRA

Chickasaw National Recreation Area has a diversity of natural resources. These unique flora, fauna, waters, and geological formations have withstood the external pressures of humanmade and natural changes. The combination of these resources has created an area unlike any in the surrounding region.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area 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. The view at Veterans Lake, especially beautiful at sunset, illustrates this transition.

Boats and personal watercraft on the lake
Boats on the Lake of the Arbuckles

NPS/Natasha Moore

Chickasaw National Recreation Area provides opportunities to experience a wide range of outdoor experiences — swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, observing nature, hunting, camping, and picnicking — reminding us of the rural character in the history of the American people. It adds measurably to the quality of life for visitors and area residents.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area has been the setting for generations of traditional family activity that represents part of the American heritage.

Last updated: March 31, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

901 W. 1st Street
Sulphur, OK 73086


(580) 622-7234

Contact Us