Camping in Turner Falls, Chickasaw National Park, and surrounding Arbuckle Areas
Everyone will appreciate the year-round, wholesome, fun experience of family camping in Oklahoma. Whether you are interested in camping in a tent, camping trailer, RV camping or primitive camping, you will find your perfect camp site here.
Turner Falls Park offers 500 primitive camping sites. Some sites have picnic tables and grills. There are 37 RV camp sites that have water and electricity and one dump station. Camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Restrooms and bathhouses are located throughout the park. Activities include 4 playgrounds, natural swimming pool, hiking, 77 foot waterfall. The banquet room complete with kitchen is available for a small fee and a reservation. Family reunions are welcome. For fees and information please call 580-369-2988. From I-35, take exit 51.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area has 6 campgrounds offering a variety of places to camp. Individual sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Large, organized groups can make reservations in advance for group campsites. Camping fees are charged; pay at the fee machines. Buckhorn and The Point are wheel-chair-accessible camp grounds. Amenities vary by campground so please call 580-622-3161 for information and 877-444-6777 for reservations. Activities such as boating, fishing, hiking swimming abound year-round.
The Cross Bar Ranch offers primitive campsites and RV sites with water. Activities such as ATV off-road riding and ATV rentals are available. ATV riders are required to wear boots and a helmet. The Ranch is located off I-35, exit 55, 1 mile West to Dolese Road, then 3 miles south. Please call in advance, 580-369-2444.
Arbuckle Bluegrass Park is located off I-35, exit 60, turn East to dead end, turn South and follow the road. They offer 300 RV sites with electric and water. Also available are primitive camp sites for tent camping and bathhouses and dump stations. Activities include scheduled Bluegrass music at various times of the year. Please call 405-665-5226 for more information.
Air Donkey Zipline Adventure is located off Dolese Rd. in the Arbuckle Mountains. Zip through over 1 mile as high as 80 ft. off the ground and over the river - Oklahoma's newest zipline adventure. Call 24 hrs. in advance for reservations at 580-369-5010.
Fullerton Park is 1 block North of Hwy. 7 and 7th Street in Davis. There are 6 RV sites with electricity. Activities include a playground and a 1/2 mile walking trail. There is a very small pavilion with picnic tables and a grill. One restroom is located at the picnic area and one along the walking trail. Please call 580-369-3333 for more information and reservations.
Hiking in Turner Falls, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and the Arbuckle Mountain Region
There is no better way to get your exercise than to take a hiking vacation! The Arbuckle Mountain area is the perfect place for a hiking adventure! Bring the family and hike for exercise and enjoyment of nature or for a more experienced group hike, we have trails with steep, uneven climbs.
Experience hiking in Turner Falls Park. You may climb to the side of the mountain and look in Wagon Wheel Cave and Outlaw Cave and see the geological formations up close. Hike through brush or on the trail; hiking at Turner Falls Park can be enjoyed year-round.
There are more than 30 miles of maintained trails in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. There is a trail for every age group and ability; easy trail, multi-use trails, and horseback riding trails. They have a network of hiking trails that pass through a variety of ecosystems. Open year-round, no use fees are required.
Travertine Creek Trail
: Starting at the Travertine Nature Center, this 1.5-mile trail heads west to the Little Niagara Waterfall. Antelope and Buffalo Springs trail is one of the more commonly hiked trails in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. A leisurely walk on the main trail to the east will let you enjoy various shrubs, hardwood trees, vines, grasses and flowers in season. Along the way, you will find benches to relax and enjoy nature's many sights and sounds. The path follows the meandering Travertine Creek, which is fed by Antelope and Buffalo Springs. Normally water flows from these two springs at a rate of approximately 5 million gallons of water daily. Due to occasional severe drought conditions, the Travertine Creek bed is sometimes dry.
Antelope and Buffalo Springs Trail
: The main trail to Antelope and Buffalo Springs is wheelchair accessible with assistance, but the side trails are not accessible. Leisure trail beginning at the nature center and running 1.2 miles. The trail is flat and offers three different side trails that traverse through creeks, limestone hills, forests of sycamore and willows and abundant wildlife.
The following are descriptions of the three side trails you will encounter along the main access trail:
Prairie Loop Trail
: This pleasant trail is approximately 0.6 miles in length. Where the trail leads across Travertine Creek you will see green reed-like plants that are often mistaken for bamboo. This plant is commonly known as horsetail or scouring rush. After crossing the creek, the trail forks. The left trail will take you up a limestone slope covered with cedar and oaks. You will pass by small openings of what once was vast mixed grass prairies, but now the dominant vegetation is cedar and several hardwoods. As you come to the top of the slope, you will see in season cone flowers, prickly pear, yucca and primroses. As you finish the loop, you will return to the starting point at the main trail.
Tall Oaks Loop Trail
: This trail is a 0.5 miles (0.8 km) long and crosses Travertine Creek. The right hand fork in the trail leads you through the thick stand of cedars. The trail then will drop down and cross a normally dry stream bed. You will now find yourself in a stand of tall oaks, sycamore, elm, hackberry and other hardwoods. The trail will lead you along the Travertine Creek and back to your starting point.
Dry Creek Loop Trail
: This trail is the longest of the side trails at approximately 1.8 miles (2.9 km) in length. East of Buffalo Springs, where the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed a rock bridge across a creek, a side trail circles through the cedar, hardwoods and crosses gentle slopes of limestone.
As you walk along, you will see patches of mixed grass prairie, which is being invaded by the hardy cedar. As you complete the loop, the trail will bring you back to the old rock bridge and to the main trail.
Bison Pasture Trail
: Starts at Bison Viewpoint off of US-177 in the Travertine District. The 1.9-mile-long trail has several steep climbs. The trail offers views of a small herd of bison as well as the best view in the park, rising up 140 ft. over the surrounding terrain at Bromide Hill.
Distance: 1.9 miles (3 km)At the start of the trail, you may see the small herd of bison, that has been an attraction to the area since 1920. The original herd came from Yellowstone National Park and Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge. For your safety, please do not enter the fenced area. The trail is a loop that leads you through prairie grasslands, lush stream bed growth along Rock Creek and mixed deciduous forest. This contrast is especially noticeable when you take the Bromide Hill branch and ascend to one of the highest points in the area. Bromide Hill, also called Robber's Roost because of its alleged use by outlaws in the early days, rises 140 feet above Rock Creek and gives a panoramic view of the Platt Historic Area. From this point the town of Sulphur lies to the north, the Rock Creek corridor winds south to the Arbuckle Lake and the remnants of the Arbuckle Mountains rise in the west Also accessible from this loop is the cutoff to Rock Creek Campground. The campground is open year round and provides many well shaded camp sites.
Average Time: 1 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous/some elevation changes/surface is hard packed soil
Starting Point: Bison Viewpoint
: 1.4-mile trail leads from the Oklahoma Veteran's Center to Pavilion Springs.
Distance: 2.8 (4.5km) miles roundtripVeterans Lake Trail offers excellent views of the lake as it winds along the shoreline. Here, you pass through a transition from oaks and red cedars of the Eastern hardwood forest to the tall grasses and wildflowers of Western prairie. Prairie plants along the trail include yucca, prickly pear cactus, eryngo, Indian grass, big bluestem, little bluestem and blue gamma grass. Dominant wildflowers around the lake in the spring include black-eyed susan, purple coneflower (snakeroot) and false indigo. In the early morning, the lake is still and peaceful and in the evenings you can see beautiful sunsets. Perhaps a white-tailed deer or armadillo may venture out in the open. Watch for colorful rafts of Canada geese and ducks, which frequent the lake in the fall and spring. Veterans Lake was built in 1933 and became part of Chickasaw National Recreation Area in 1983. The 67 acre lake was named in honor of American war veterans.
Average Time: 1 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Easy/half of the trail surface is concrete and half is dirt/gravel roadway
Starting Point: Two Trail Heads, Parking lot at the dam and at the Northeast corner of the lake.
Rock Creek Multiuse Trail
: Unpaved, multiple-loop trail with some elevation changes. Trail is 4.4 miles from north to south trailheads with several spurs between main trailheads. Total trail length is approximately 11 miles.
Trail Markings: Marked by the National Park Service.This network of hiking, biking and horse riding trails is located along the Rock Creek corridor of the park. It is along this trail that users will pass through two diverse ecosystems where the eastern deciduous forests meet the western mixed-grass prairies. The future of fragile park resources depends on you. For a safe and enjoyable experience and for the protection of park resources, please observe these regulations:
More Information: 580-622-3165
(Campground, Picnic Area and Nature Viewing)
- All plants, animals, and other natural and historical resources are protected by federal law. Possessing, destroying, injuring, defacing, removing, digging or disturbing from it's natural state, any plants or parts thereof, is strictly prohibited.
- Horses and bikes must stay on the designated marked trail. Creating shortcut trails causes soil erosion and damages fragile vegetation.
- Horses are prohibited in Rock Creek.
- Backcountry camping is prohibited.
- Open fires are prohibited.
- Pets must be on a leash; not to exceed six feet in length, at all times.
- Disposing of refuse in other than refuse receptacles is prohibited on the trails.
- Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on the trails.
- Riding bicycles side by side on the trail is prohibited.
Hunting in Oklahoma's Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Deer Hunting in Oklahoma requires a state license. 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. Trapping is prohibited in Chickasaw National Recreation Area. All deer and turkey taken within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area must be checked-in by a ranger or at a certified Oklahoma Game Check Station.
Not all of the recreation area is open to hunting so you may get hunting maps from park rangers. State licenses are required. For additional information about specific park regulations or activities write or call:
Chickasaw National Recreation Area
1008 West second Street
Sulphur, Oklahoma 73086
(580) 622-3165 or 3161
For Oklahoma state hunting regulations and information, write or call:
1801 N. Lincoln
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4998
Bird Watching & Bald Eagle Watch Tour in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Don't forget to bring your binoculars when visiting our area! Even if you are not here on a bird watching vacation, you will enjoy wild bird watching in Oklahoma. Traveling through the countryside, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, the Cross Bar Ranch and Turner Falls Park you will see wild turkeys, quail, an abundance of cardinals, blue jays and goldfinches. If you prefer woodpecker bird watching, you might be lucky enough to see a pileated woodpecker. Keep your eyes open for the state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher, roadrunners and meadowlarks. Hawks are seen circling in the sky looking for prey.
In the month of January, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area holds their annual winter Bald Eagle Watch Tour. Oklahoma ranks among the top five states for playing an important role in the Bald Eagle wintering grounds. During the severe months, Oklahoma's prime wintering habitat may attract more than 1,000 bald eagles. You may have a chance to catch a glimpse of this majestic bird and learn more about our nation's symbol. The exact date for the Bald Eagle Watch Tour is listed on the Davis Chamber of Commerce Calendar of Events.
. Year-round, Davis Oklahoma and Murray County is the place to be!