The Second Act: 1941-1976

Children fishing in a creek
Fishing in Rock Creek - August 1957

NPS/Chickasaw National Recreation Area


Only one year after the Civilian Conservation Corps camp closed, the United States entered the Second World War. The war years meant a decline in funding for the park, yet visitation continued to climb.

The steady increase in visitors quickly increased in the post-war years. In 1949, Platt National Park boasted over one million visitors for the first time. These visitors came to the park for its recreational and outdoor opportunities, not for the healing properties of the water, reflecting new attitudes towards medicine and leisure activities that have continued to this day. Rock Creek Campground was added to the park to accommodate the increase in campers.

side by side faded color images of large entrance signs - left is wood sign for Platt National Park and right is metal road sign style for Chickasaw National Recreation Area
(right) South entrance sign for Platt National Park (1960s)
left North entrance sign for Chickasaw NRA (l970s)

NPS Photos

The completion of the Arbuckle Dam and the filling of the Lake of the Arbuckles in 1966 added an entirely new dimension to the Platt experience. For ten years the two adjacent locations existed as separate parks operated by the staff of Platt National Park.

Additional facilities, most notably lakeside facilities such as Buckhorn, The Point, and Guy Sandy Campgrounds, picnic areas, and boat launches were built. Platt National Park was not neglected in favor of the new recreation area; the Travertine Nature Center opened to the public in 1969.

In 1976 the Arbuckle Recreation Area and Platt National Park were combined to create the modern park visitors experience today: Chickasaw National Recreation Area, named after one of the tribes who helped make the original Sulphur Springs Resevation possible.

Last updated: December 7, 2021

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901 W. 1st Street
Sulphur, OK 73086


580 622-7234

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