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National Park Getaway: Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

SULPHUR, Okla. (National Park Service) – Imagine opening your prescriptions and pulling out a vial of bromide water drawn from a spring in Oklahoma’s Platt National Park. In 1911, the superintendent shipped his park’s liquid assets to people following their doctors’ orders. Almost a century later, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, which includes what was Platt National Park, is still great medicine. The park induces relaxation, nurtures family fun, and soothes with nature – with no unpleasant side effects. Today, however, the waters of Chickasaw won’t arrive in your mail.

So, grab your family and friends and jump in. Visitors to Chickasaw “get two parks in one” – the Platt Historic District and the Lake of the Arbuckles, where they enjoy swimming, boating, hiking, and cycling. In the Lake of the Arbuckles and other fishing holes, anglers can land white bass, catfish and sunfish. Hunters, too, can practice their sport in the park. Picnic areas furnish settings for family reunions and campgrounds welcome overnight stays. In addition to reconnecting with family and friends, visitors can get acquainted with some animals and plants.

Affording opportunities to bird-watch and marvel at wildflowers (at their best from March to October), the park provides a remedy for our nation’s “nature deficit disorder” epidemic. “Just to sit on the banks of this pretty stream [Travertine Creek] and listen to the music of the songs it sings will soothe into the land of dreams the sufferer from insomnia, and make the tired business man forget his cares,” promised a 1912 Superintendent’s Report. Of course, no one need be sleep-deprived, careworn, or nature-deficient to benefit from a trip to wooded, water-rich Chickasaw National Recreation Area. It’s just what the doctor – and the park rangers – ordered.

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