Swimming in the Platt Historic District

 

Looking for a good place to swim and perhaps picnic for the day? Swimming opportunities, including other small waterfalls, exist along the entire length of Travertine Creek.

Panther Falls | Garfield Falls | Bear Falls | Little Niagara | Travertine Island |
Flower Park | Black Sulphur Springs | Veterans Lake

 
Yellow warning sign with text
Bathing Beach Monitoring Program
The park samples and tests water to determine the levels of bacteria that might indicate the presence of disease causing organisms. Elevated readings have been recorded during high use periods, after heavy rainfall events, and during periods of extended drought. The water quality monitoring program continues during the summer swimming months.
more information...
 

Closures/Restrictions

  • Swimming or wading on the roadway at Sycamore Crossing is prohibited.
  • Swimming or wading in Travertine Creek, upstream of the Travertine Nature Center is prohibited.
  • Pets are prohibited in all swimming areas along Travertine Creek.
  • The swimming and picnic areas east of along Travertine Creek are closed to Open Container of Alcohol from the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend through the Monday of Labor Day Weekend.

Below is a list of the traditional swimming areas and their available facilities.
 
Grassy picnic area leading to the waters edge
The Panther Falls swimming area

NPS/E. Leonard

Panther Falls
Location: .3 miles east of Highway 177 on the northeast Perimeter Road.
Facilities: Picnic tables and BBQ grills
Description: The Panther Falls dam and swimming hole, located between Cold Springs and Central Campground, is the oldest in the park. This five-foot high, curved concrete wall creates an excellent area for swimming and a wide grassy area provides opportunities for picnicking.
Notes: As the first swimming hole that most visitors encounter, Panther Falls can often be crowded and have little available parking. The nearest restroom is located 1/4 of a mile distant in the Central Campground.
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Looking down to a swimming area in the creek
Visitoris enjoying Garfield Falls

NPS/E. Leonard

Garfield Falls
Location:
.8 miles east of Highway 177 on the northeast Perimeter Road.
Facilities: No nearby facilities
Description: Two small dams form the swimming area at Garfield Falls. Bear Falls is located immediately upstream. Due to its proximity to the Cold Springs Campground, this is one of the most heavily used swimming areas in the park.
Notes: Little parking is available at Garfield Falls; most use comes from campers using the Cold Springs Campground.
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People on a very small water fall
Cooling off at Bear Falls

NPS/E. Leonard

Bear Falls
Location:
.9 miles east of Highway 177 on the northeast Perimeter Road.
Facilities: No nearby facilities
Description: Two small dams form the swimming area at Bear Falls. Garfield Falls is located immediately downstream. Due to its proximity to the Cold Springs Campground, this is one of the most heavily used swimming areas in the park.
Notes: A small turn-out provides some additional parking at Bear Falls; most use comes from campers using the Cold Springs Campground.
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People on the rocks and in the water
The cool waters at Little Niagara attracts many visitors.

NPS/N. Moore

Little Niagara
Location:
1.3 miles east of Highway 177 on the northeast Perimeter Road.
Facilities: Restroom, picnic tables, BBQ grills, water faucets
Description: Little Niagara Falls is composed of two dams which create the largest and most popular swimming area along Travertine Creek.
Notes: Little Niagara can be very crowded on warm summer days.
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Children in swimming suits crossing a wooden bridge
Crossing the bridge to Travertine Island

NPS/E. Leonard

Travertine Island
Location:
1.8 miles east of Highway 177 on the northeast Perimeter Road.
Facilities: Restroom, picnic tables, BBQ grills, water faucets
Description: Located to the north of Little Niagara, Travertine Island offers alternate access to the park's most popular swimming hole. A short trails leads from the parking area and to the north shore of Little Niagara Falls.
Notes: This access point to Little Niagara is generally less used and less crowded. A stone picnic area is located nearby.
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Children wading in water
Flower Park is a great place for wading!

NPS/E. Leonard

Flower Park
Location:
In the heart of the Platt Historic District, immediately southwest of the intersection of Highway 7 and 177.
Facilities: A restroom is centrally located in this area and picnic tables are scattered throughout.
Description: The central feature of Flower Park is the Vendome stream, dams and wading pools. Created by the Vendome Well, the stream travels under the Vendome parking lot and emerges just east of the parking area to flow through Flower Park to cascade into Travertine Creek. In the warm months, waders and bathers use the Vendome stream and bathing pools, and some visitors still apply mud from the stream and pools to their skin.
Notes: Flower park is ideal for small gatherings and picnics, and is generally not as crowded as Travertine Creek. The shallow water of the Vendome Stream and the flat, shaded landscape provide one of the best locations for small children to wade.
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A creek side beacj area with picnic tables
The beach at Black Sulphur

NPS/E. Leonard

Black Sulphur Springs
Location: .15 miles west of Highway 177 on the northwest Perimeter Road.
Facilities: Restroom located a short walk to the west.
Description: Adjacent the Back Sulphur Springs pavilion is a beach area where Travertine Creek flows into the larger Rock Creek.
Notes: Bacteria levels at this location often exceed National Park Service standards for beach recreational use.
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Veterans Lake
Location:
1.7 miles west of Highway 177 on the northwest Perimeter Road; .7 miles west from the 12th Street Entrance on the northwest Perimeter Road; 1.4 miles west of Highway 177 on the southwest Perimeter Road
Facilities: A boat ramp, vault toilets, picnic tables, BBQ grills, and picnic shelter are all located along the shore of the lake.
Description: Veterans Lake is a hidden jewel within the park; a paved trail follows the south shoreline and many locations with picnic tables are present. Compared to Travertine Creek, this area receives substantially less use.
Notes: Veterans Lake is also excellent for small watercraft, such as canoes or kayaks.
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Last updated: March 31, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

901 W. 1st Street
Sulphur, OK 73086

Phone:

(580) 622-7234

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