"Oklahoma's Biggest Wonder in the Park System" Chickasaw National Recreation Area by mrclay2000

once a national park, but we came to our senses

Originally set aside as Platt National Park in 1906, this homogeneous area of hardwood forests suddenly felt the pressure that it was valued above its worth, and in 1976 stepped down from park status to that of national recreation area. Thanks to the earthmovers that carved out great holes in many parts of Oklahoma (giving tourism directors a chance to claim the escalating but artificial miles of shoreline), Chickasaw National Recreation Area soon boasted its own "Lake of the Arbuckles." When a bulldozer has to create the crown jewel of a park, the title "Lake of the Arbuckles," a high-fallutin label for "Arbuckle Lake" (the preferred, down home title), easily establishes that we are boasting far more than we can deliver. However, the park gets 3.4 million annual visitors a year, most of them returning Oklahomans who come here to fish or water ski, but very few come for the wildlife (deer and the customary ground rodents) or the trails. My one positive remark about the area is that the forests are superb, thickly composed of maple and oaks in most places, but poison ivy is also abundant, so use caution if you choose to hike.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Plenty of water for water sports and fishing
  • Cons:We had to ship in everything but the trees
  • In a nutshell:Bring a fishing pole and your water skis, but you won't need your Visa
  • Last visit to Chickasaw National Recreation Area: Jun 2003
  • Intro Written Jun 26, 2003
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Reviews (6)

Comments (5)

  • annk's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2004 at 5:56 AM

    Looks like a nice park despite the poison ivy.

  • herzog63's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2003 at 2:14 PM

    Dang Dude! The picture of the hand has made me itchy!! Chickasaw looks great except for the poison ivy!

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2003 at 10:05 AM

    Ugh. Whose hand is that? Do you blame me for not adding Chickasaw to my list of must see parks?

  • btex's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2003 at 10:48 AM

    compared to Turner Falls, Chickasaw is a paradise. the forests were nice. I would return to hit the trails.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Jun 26, 2003 at 9:33 AM

    Nice park! Thanks for the virtual visit!

mrclay2000

“I have no illusions. I lost them on my travels.”

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