Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Chickasaw National Recreation Area


(580) 622-3161

Map Directions

Things To Do


Chickasaw National Recreation Area is an ecotone, or meeting place, where two different ecosystems overlap - the eastern deciduous forest and the mixed-grass prairie. Hikers, birdwatchers, and wildflower enthusiasts enjoy the variety this diverse ecosystem has to offer. The springs and streams in Chickasaw National Recreation Area originate within a region of Oklahoma characterized by complex geology, beautiful springs and pools, as well as unique flora and fauna.

Recreational opportunities in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area include canoeing, kayaking, motor boating, fishing, and bird watching. Chickasaw National Recreation Area also has a trail system that was designed and constructed during the 1930s as a CCC project, but fortuitously still meets the needs of both casual walkers and avid runners. Over 20 miles of trails lead visitors to the area through a variety of wooded areas and along the scenic shores of several bodies of water in the park. In addition, hunting is seasonally available in the recreation area; check with the park office for more information.

Map of Chickasaw

Latitude, Longitude: 34.503889, -96.949555



  • Boating

    Four launch ramps provide excellent access for all users. Fishing, sail, and skiing boats and canoes all share the waves of Lake of the Arbuckles, though boating permits are required. Veterans Lake is open to canoeing, kayaking, and no wake boat use. Jet skis may also be used with some restrictions.

  • Bird Watching

    The park is on located in the Central migratory flyway and offers bird watching opportunities year-round.

  • Bicycling

    A paved loop road and a variety of trails offer good experiences for riders of all types and abilities.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    ATVs and OHVs are prohibited.

  • Camping

    There are six campgrounds with over 400 campsites in the park. Group sites, electrical-hookup campsites, and non-electric sites are all available at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Sites are available year-round in the park, but most campsites are only open during the summer.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed in the Lake of the Arbuckles, Veterans Lake and along portions of Rock Creek and Travertine Creek. Wheelchair accessible fishing docks are available at Veterans Lake, and adjacent to the Guy Sandy and The Point boat launches. Rods and reels only are allowed on Veterans Lake. Methods such as trotlines, yo yo's, sail lines, jug lines, nets, and other means of fishing are prohibited, except at Lake of the Arbuckles.

  • Hiking

    The park has over 20 miles of hiking trails. Many of the park trails in the Platt Historic District hug the banks of the streams, pass by the cool rushing waterfalls, and encircle the mineral water and freshwater springs. Though wilderness backcountry hiking is not available, many natural settings are only minutes away from your vehicle. Sturdy tennis shoes are satisfactory on most trails; hiking shoes may be worn if preferred. The Rock Creek Multi-Use Trail is open to horseback riding, mountain bikes, and hiking. With all of the loops, the trail is approximately eight miles. Finally, the park offers a two-mile concrete trail around Veterans Lake that is fully accessible.

  • Horseback Riding

    Equestrian trails are available in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. On the eight-mile Rock Creek multi-use trail riders must share the trail with mountain bikes, and hikers.

  • Hunting

    A variety of game including quail, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, dove, ducks, geese, and deer may be found here. However, due to the small size of the area and heavy hunting pressure, success is limited. All deer and turkey taken within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area must be checked-in at the nearest certified Oklahoma Game Check Station.

  • Picnicking

    Campgrounds and managed recreation areas all offer extensive picnicking opportunities for enjoying this wonderful natural setting. There is also a picnic pavilion available for rent.

  • Water Sports

    Opportunities for swimming can be found throughout the park at the Lake of the Arbuckles, Veterans Lake, and in Travertine and Rock Creeks. There are little waterfalls and adjacent pools that offer more thrilling swimming experiences. The cool waters found here are famous as a natural and fun way to cool down in the summer heat. Scuba diving is also allowed in Lake of the Arbuckles in Chickasaw National Recreation Area.


Summers are hot and humid. Temperatures above 100 F occur, and humidity often exceeds 50%. Winters are mild and prolonged freezes are rare. Thunderstorms are common April through July. Water-based activities such as boating, canoeing, fishing can be enjoyed from year-round, but are most common in the summer months.



Chickasaw National Recreation Area is located on State Highway 177, just south of the town of Sulphur, Oklahoma. The park is approximately 90 miles south of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and 120 miles north of Dallas, Texas. Driving south on US I-35 take exit 55 to State Highway 7. Driving north on US I-35 take exit 51 to State Highway 7. Drive through the towns of Davis (3 miles) and Sulphur (10 miles) to the intersection of Highway 7 and Highway 177. Drive south on Highway 177. The Park Headquarters is located at 1008 West Second Street in Sulphur, Oklahoma.


Both Dallas and Oklahoma City have international airports that are served by most major airlines.

Phone Numbers


(580) 622-3161