Enjoy some of the very best of Oklahoma’s natural beauty in this large protected park, which centers on the shimmering Lake of the Arbuckles.
Many of Oklahoma’s most impressive natural sights and beautiful landscapes are concentrated in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Head here for a daytrip from the town of Sulphur, right next to the recreation area, or camp out overnight to experience this idyllic patch of wilderness after dark.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area includes the wide Lake of the Arbuckles and a large portion of the countryside surrounding it. The lake itself covers about 2,300 acres (9 square kilometers) in area. Bring your hiking boots when you visit, as around the lake’s edges and running over the surrounding hilltops are more than 30 miles (48 kilometers) of picturesque hiking trails. Find paths here to suit all levels of fitness and experience. Several campsites are dotted around the lake, offering a range of options for those who want to spend a night or more inside the park.
The lake’s clean, clear waters offer an ideal environment for a range of activities. Go swimming, boating or fishing or simply walk a section of the shoreline and enjoy the beautiful views of the sparkling water. Find another lovely body of water east of Lake of the Arbuckles. Veterans Lake is much smaller, but equally scenic and is also a good spot for active pursuits.
Look for waterfowl and a diverse array of other plants and animals as you explore Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Stop at the designated Bison Viewing Area to see some of the most impressive animals that roam this landscape, a wonderful herd of bison.
Continue learning about the area’s biodiversity in a more controlled environment, the Travertine Nature Center. See displays showing local animals and learn about nature through the center’s interactive exhibits. This is also the place to meet up for ranger-led hikes, tours and nature-spotting sessions.
Find the Chickasaw National Recreation Area directly south of the town of Sulphur. Stay in the quiet, welcoming little town or pack up a tent and supplies and sleep in the wilderness itself.