As Oklahoma's oldest national park area, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area has been a haven for outdoor traditions for over a century. The park had its beginnings in 1902 when the government purchased 640 acres from the Chickasaw Nation to protect the mineral and freshwater springs. Additional acreage was added by 1906 and renamed Platt National Park. In 1976, Platt National Park and Arbuckle Recreation Area with 2,350-acre Lake of the Arbuckles and additional lands joined to form the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
Visitors to Chickasaw get two parks in one – the Platt Historic District and the Lake of the Arbuckles, where visitors enjoy swimming, boating, hiking and cycling. This area is known as a special family park, offering a variety of activities all year. Its mineral waters, streams and lakes cater to boaters, swimmers and fishermen, while its forests and prairies reward hikers, equestrians, wildlife photographers, fall foliage viewers and campers.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area has six public campgrounds offering a total of 410 campsites. Facilities include showers, dump stations, boat ramps, docks, picnic areas, outdoor grills, pavilions, group facilities, security, limited off-season facilities, planned activities, hiking, bicycling and nature trails, swimming beaches, covered handicap accessible fishing docks and an amphitheater. A favorite swimming hole is Little Niagara.
Informational exhibits about the park's natural and cultural resources are featured in the Travertine Nature Center. The area also features paved, dirt and gravel interior roads as well as 13 group sites, 62 RV hookups and six handicap sites with RV hookups. Senior discounts apply to all campsites except for group sites. Camping reservations are accepted for some of the sites. Remaining sites are available on a first come, first serve basis.