Superintendent's Compendium

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Superintendent’s Compendium
Of Designations, Closures, Permit Requirements and Other Restrictions Imposed Under Discretionary Authority.

/s/ Kevin Young
Kevin Young, Acting Superintendent

Date: May 1, 2023

Chickasaw National Recreation Area

901 W 1st Street
Sulphur, OK 73086

580-622-3161 phone
580-622-2296 fax

A. Introduction

1. Superintendent’s Compendium Described

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries, which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment more fully of all the areas of the National Park System.

A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at: Government Printing Office Website


Superintendent of Documents P.O. Box 371954 Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

The CFR is also available on the Internet at: Electronic Code of Federal Regulations website.

2. Laws and Policies Allowing the Superintendent to Develop This Compendium

The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under Title 54 United States Code (U.S.C.) §100101(a) (formerly 16 U.S.C. 1a-1, “Organic Act”) to “….regulate the use of the National Park System by means and measures that conform to the fundamental purpose of the System units, which purpose is to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In addition, Title 54 U.S.C. §100751(a) allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units.”

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970, Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System-wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitors and other users, if use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor uses, or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, then that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

3. Consistency of This Compendium with Applicable Federal Law and Requirements

The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on several small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

4. Development of the Requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium

As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process. The decision criteria used during this process are:

  1. Is the use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
  2. Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
  3. Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
  4. Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
  5. Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
  6. Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

5. Applicability of the Compendium

The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.

6. Enforcement of Compendium Requirement

NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.

7. Penalties for Not Adhering to the Compendium Requirements

A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings.

8. Comments on the Compendium

The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.

Written comments on the Compendium may be submitted to:

Chickasaw National Recreation Area
901 W 1st ST
Sulphur, OK 73086

9. Effective Date of the Superintendent Compendium

The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document and remains in effect until revised for a period up to one year.

10. Additional Information

Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.

11. Availability

Copies of the Compendium are available at Chickasaw National Recreation Area Headquarters 901 W 1st ST Sulphur, OK 73086. It may also be found at



In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 U.S.C. §100751, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.


(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

a. Areas closed to hunting are shown on a map (attached as appendix A), which defines hunting areas within Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The Chickasaw National Recreation Area Hunting Map is hereby adopted and made a part of these orders.

i. All developed areas are closed to hunting, including:

1. Goddard Youth Camp

2. All picnic areas and campgrounds

a. Except Buckhorn Loop A and Loop B, when closed to camping

3. The entire area of the Platt District

4. The areas managed by the Arbuckle Master Conservancy (regularly maintained and fenced),

5. The areas around the boat launching ramps, parking areas and harbor/no wake zones at Buckhorn, The Point and Guy Sandy (areas that are regularly maintained & developed).

ii. Areas shown on the “Hunting Map” as “Archery and Shotgun” are open to the use of shotguns for waterfowl using shot, and turkey using shot no larger than BB. (.180in Dia.)

iii. Areas shown on the “Hunting Map” as “Open to Rifle, Arrow Rifle, Shotgun, and Archery” are open to the use of shotguns for waterfowl using shot and turkey using shot no larger than BB. (.180in Dia.) They are open to the use of shotguns for large game using only slugs.

iv. Running dogs for sport is not permitted. In accordance with Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) regulations, using dogs to hunt waterfowl, furbearers, and feral swine (hogs) is permitted.

v. Feral hogs may be legally taken only during big game seasons in accordance with ODWC regulations for hunting feral hogs on Public Lands. Pursuit of hogs at night is prohibited.

vi. Species other than deer and turkey may be hunted in accordance with state regulation/season, provided that outside of deer seasons or turkey seasons, they may be taken only with shotgun, archery, or .22 rimfire.

vii. Quail, snipe, woodcock, rabbit and squirrel are closed to hunting during the first nine days of deer gun season.

viii. Hunting over bait, to include salt or mineral products, is prohibited, per 36 CFR 2.2 (a) (2)

ix. Displaying of wildlife carcasses, other remains or parts thereof is prohibited in developed areas and campgrounds.

(These restrictions are necessary to allow for public safety and resource protection, while allowing hunting within Chickasaw National Recreation Area)

b. The area known as Goddard Youth Camp is closed to visitor use, except as outlined in a memorandum of understanding between Goddard Foundation and Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

(This closure is necessary to provide for operation of Goddard Youth Camp.)

c. Certain access routes are for administrative vehicle use only, and are closed to all other motorized vehicular traffic. These roads include:

i. The gravel road leading to the water treatment plant in the Buckhorn area

ii. The road leading to the City of Sulphur sewage treatment plant

iii. The road across the spillway at Veterans Lake Dam

iv. The road across Thedford Pond Dam

v. Other routes posted as such

vi. Park hiking trails

vii. Access road off Point Campground to Lift Station 8

(These restrictions are necessary to allow for public safety and to minimize vehicular outside developed areas)

d. Other areas may be closed on a temporary basis in the interest of visitor safety due to the flooding of the Lake of the Arbuckles, Travertine Creek, Rock Creek, or other locations.

e. Emergency closures may be necessary due to natural disasters, construction, law enforcement investigations, or other emergencies.

f. Other areas, such as all or portions of campgrounds, restrooms, or selected roads, may be closed to vehicle traffic, camping, or other uses, during periods of low visitor use, state hunting seasons, high fire danger or other administratively determined purposes.

g. The areas known as Buffalo Pasture West and Buffalo Pasture East (both enclosed by a 7 feet woven/barb wire fence) are closed to public entry.

(This restriction is necessary as required by the Animal Welfare Act, to ensure appropriate care for the Bison and allow for public safety.)

e. Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Chickasaw National Recreation Area is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.

(The term "unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.)

f. Possessing alcoholic beverages is prohibited at all campgrounds and swimming/picnic areas east of U.S. 177 and along Travertine Creek by the authority of a Superintendent’s Emergency Closure (36 CFR §1.5) May 1st through September 30th. (See Appendix 1)

(This restriction is to reduce alcohol related incidents and injuries in this popular visitor area.)

g. Jumping and /or diving into lakes and streams from trees or rope swings is prohibited.

(This restriction is necessary to prevent installation of rope swings or other similar devices from trees and to reduce injuries to the public from diving.)

h. The use of glass containers is not permitted in Rock Creek and Travertine Creek and in the picnic areas along them.

(This restriction is necessary to protect visitors from encountering or being injured by broken glass while swimming and recreating.)

i. Erection of shade structures, tents, tarps, etc. is prohibited in the Platt Historic District, outside of designated campsites.

(This restriction is required to prevent unnecessary crowding and difficulties in maintaining order in crowded areas.)

j. Attaching ropes, containers, hammocks, tarps, tents, etc. to any tree or vegetation is prohibited outside of designated campsites.

(This restriction is necessary to prevent damage to vegetation.)

k. The use of exhaust compression or “jake” brakes is prohibited.

(Noise exhibited by this type of braking system is inconsistent with park values and visitor use objectives, and disturbs wildlife.)

l. Collection of water from springs within the park is limited to no more than 5 gallons each day.

(This quantity limitation is necessary for resource protection and to prevent use conflicts at springs areas.)

(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:

a. Camping.

i. “First come first serve" basis is applicable in all campgrounds except those where reservations are required and made through the reservation system. “Holding” or “reserving” campsites for or by campers that have not yet arrived in campsites operating on a “first come first serve” basis, is prohibited. Once purchased the campsite must have a tent, camper, vehicle, or show some other form of occupancy on the site..

(This restriction provides for camping opportunities for the most visitors. It prevents the Park from turning away campers who wish to camp in unoccupied but paid sites.)

ii. All campgrounds within the National Recreation Area are closed to non-camper use and non-camper vehicle traffic between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am.

(This restriction provides for visitor safety and reduction in noise and vehicle traffic during quiet hours.)

iii. Please refer to §2.10 of this compendium for specific camping area designations.

b. Wakeless Areas:

i. These conditions are established to protect the lives of boaters and swimmers.
ii. Please refer to § 3.6 (d)(1) of this compendium for specific “No Wake” areas. These areas are designated by “No Wake” buoys.

c. No Boating Areas:

i. These conditions are established to protect the lives of boaters and swimmers.
ii. Please refer to the map of Chickasaw National Recreation Area in the park’s main brochure which depicts the following closures marked by “No Boat” buoys:

• The area around the Point Picnic Area (also known as “The End of 110”)
• The area west of Buckbrush Trail West (Buckhorn Day Use Area formerly known as F Loop)
• The “No Boat” designated area south of Buckhorn Campground, Loop D.
• The area known as Goddard Youth Camp cove

d. Unattended mooring of vessels at courtesy docks shall not exceed 15 minutes, except by permit, or in emergency situations in which rangers are notified.

(This allows for use of the courtesy docks while launching and preparing to tow vessels.)

e. Water Skiing/Towing Areas:

i. Please refer to §3.20 of this compendium for specific Water Skiing designations.

(These conditions are established to protect the lives of skiers and boaters.)

f. Swimming and Bathing:

i. Swimming from boat docks, fishing docks, and on boat launching ramps is prohibited on Lake of the Arbuckles and Veterans Lake.

(This restriction provides for swimmer and boater safety.)

ii. Swimming or wading in Bromide Pavilion Lily Pond, Buffalo Pond, 12th Street Fountain, Vendome Fountain, on the roadway at Sycamore Crossing and Travertine Creek east of NE Perimeter Road bridge at Little Niagara, is prohibited.

(This restriction is necessary for the protection of historic features and water resources.)

iii. Please refer to §3.21 of this compendium for specific swimming and bathing designations.

iv. Washing and bathing is prohibited in all creeks and other waterways within the park by 36 CFR. For the purpose of this document, washing and bathing are characterized by using chemical or organic types of soaps, shampoos, etc. to cleanse one’s body or other objects.

(This restriction is necessary for the protection of water resources and to prevent soaps, cleansers, and chemicals from entering the water.)

g. Personal Watercraft Use:

i. The Lake of the Arbuckles is open to PWC use in all areas open to boats. This is the only body of water open to PWC’s. Please refer to attached map and §3.6 of this compendium for specific Personal Watercraft and other boating designations.

ii. Fueling personal watercraft while on any lake or body of water is prohibited by special regulation.

h. Bicycle Use Areas/Routes:

i. Bicycles must be ridden on the right-hand side of traveled roads, in the same direction of travel as all other traffic and, in general, conform with all vehicle traffic regulations.

ii. Bicycles are allowed on all trails, except as posted by “No Bicycle Signs”

  • Bromide Hill Trail and areas east of the Travertine Nature Center are closed to bicycles.

iii. Please refer to §4.30 of this compendium for specific bicycle designations

i. Rock Climbing Routes:

i. There are no designated rock climbing routes in the park

ii. Bromide Hill is closed to off-trail hiking and climbing.

(This restriction is necessary to prevent injury to hikers from dislodged rocks and vegetation, and allow for public safety.)

j. Food preparation/Cooking:

i. Food preparation/Cooking in the Platt Historic District without a permit is limited to the following designated areas only.

  • Campsites (under permit authorization only)
  • Bromide Picnic Area
  • Walnut Grove Picnic Area
  • Black Sulphur Springs Picnic Area
  • Panther Falls Picnic Area
  • Travertine Island Picnic Area
  • Little Niagara Picnic Area

(This restriction is necessary to minimize food related debris to specific areas, to prevent ashes from being discarded in inappropriate locations, and to limit fire to areas safely maintained for that purpose. See maps in Appendix 3.)

k. Parking:

i. Parking east of U.S. 177 and along Travertine Creek, the Nature Center, and all areas along NE Perimeter Rd and SE Perimeter Rd is limited to parking in designated parking spots only. Roadside parking or parking in areas not designated specifically as parking spots is prohibited.

(This restriction is necessary to prevent excessive vehicles and congestion in the area and to allow for the return of vegetation and grass where parking was previously permitted.)

The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:

Passenger carrying busses are subject to the following conditions/restrictions on all park roads within Chickasaw National Recreation Area:

  • Bus drivers must shut down their vehicle engines when not underway.

(The idling of bus engines adds unnecessary exhaust fumes to the air and diminishes the enjoyment by visitors of the peace and tranquility of the park).

When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.
When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.
Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.
Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.
Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances

(This restriction is necessary in order to protect the health and safety of NPS employees, volunteers, partners and contractors, and park visitors.)


(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required, subject to limitations imposed by National Park Service Director’s Order 53 on Special Park Uses:

  • §1.5(d) The following activities related to Public Use Limits:
  • Fishing tournaments
  • Parades
  • Demonstrations
  • Athletic events
  • Pavilion use
  • Parasailing
  • First Amendment Activities
  • Other special events
(Only one Special Use Authorization/Permit for organized or competitive fishing events will be issued per day. This is necessary to minimize impact to visitors that may result from multiple events concurrently.)
  • §2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net, pursuant to research or other permitted activities on NPS lands.
  • §2.5(a) Specimen collection (Take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)
  • §2.10 Camping and Food Storage
  • Acceptance of camping or boating fee and issuance of a receipt constitutes the issuance of a permit and is subject to the regulations regarding permits.
  • (8) Failure to obtain a permit where required. (For boating and camping as authorized by Part §71.9[c])
  • (9) Violating conditions which may be established by the superintendent.
  • (10) Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued in accordance with this section is prohibited and may result in the suspension or revocation of the permit.
  • §2.12(a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas
  • §2,12(a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
  • §2.12(a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51
  • §2.17(a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means
  • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft
  • §2.23 Special recreation activities
  • §2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services
  • §2.38(a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents
  • (b) Use or possess fireworks
  • §2.50(a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events
  • §2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views
  • §2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising
  • §2.60(b) Livestock use
  • §2.61(a) Residing on federal lands
  • §2.62(b) Memorialization - (Scattering ashes from human cremation)
  • §3.18(a) Scuba diving in the creeks
  • §3.3 Use of a vessel meeting Oklahoma state vessel registration requirements on Lake of the Arbuckles
  • §4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits
  • §5.1 Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution.)
  • §5.2(b) Sale of intoxicants in certain park areas
  • §5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).
  • §5.5(a) Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television
  • (b) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.
  • §5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The superintendent shall issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available)
  • §5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.
  • §5.10(a) Operation of eating, drinking, or lodging establishments in certain park areas (see 36 CFR for detail)
  • §6.9(a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site

Other parts of 36 CFR that pertain to operations at Chickasaw National Recreation Area

  • Part 71 Recreation Fees
  • Recreation fees will be collected for the issuance of camping and boat ramp permits.



(a)(4) Reasonable quantities of dead wood on the ground may be collected for use within the park in the following areas:

  • In the vicinity of campgrounds and picnic areas
  • See section 2.13 “Fires” in this compendium.

(a)(7) Magnet fishing as well as use of other metal detecting devices are prohibited

(b) Hiking or pedestrian traffic is restricted to the trail tread or walkway on the following trails/walkways:

  • Bromide Hill Trail

(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, or berries may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in quantities not to exceed 5 gallons each, per year. These natural products may be collected without negatively impacting the growth and replenishment of the producing plant.

  • Wild Plums
  • Wild Grapes
  • Persimmon Fruit
  • Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Osage Oranges
  • Mushrooms
  • Acorns
  • Blackberries



(a) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the park is permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

  • All lawfully taken wildlife must be tagged and marked appropriately as required by state laws while being transported through the park.

(b) All areas are closed to the viewing of terrestrial wildlife with the use of an artificial light, except as required by official Government business or specifically permitted scientific studies.

36 CFR §2.3 – FISHING

(a) Fishing is prohibited in the following areas:

  • Travertine Creek and other bodies of water east of U.S. 177 including the areas east of the Travertine Nature Center.

(This restriction prevents swimmers in this popular area from encountering lost fishing line and hooks while recreating.)

(b) Fishing in Veterans Lake, creeks and all small watershed lakes less than 100 acres are restricted to the use of a hand line or rod and reel. 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.

(This is intended to prevent unattended fishing equipment in these smaller bodies of water from interfering with other forms of water recreation.)

36 CFR §7.50 specifically authorizes fishing at Veteran’s Lake and Lake of the Arbuckles according to state law, unless otherwise designated.

Consistent with ODWC, the National Park Service considers all waters at or below 885.3ft above sea level to be lake waters, for the purposes of fishing regulations. (See Appendix 4)


In accordance with §2.4(a)(1-2) weapons may be carried, possessed or used at the following designated times and locations where the taking of wildlife is authorized by law in accordance with §2.2:

  • According to applicable state hunting laws, weapons may be used for hunting in those areas depicted as “open” on the Chickasaw National Recreation Area Hunting Map.
  • Under provisions of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act, persons possessing Concealed Weapons Permits issued by any state recognized under a reciprocity agreement by Oklahoma, may possess handguns either concealed or openly.
  • Under provisions of Public Law 108-277, qualified law enforcement personnel (retired or active duty) are exempted from this regulation.

Firearms (including those carried under provisions of Public Law 108-277 and the Oklahoma Self Defense Act) are prohibited in all the federal buildings that are clearly marked as a closed to firearms building, to include:

  • Travertine Nature Center
  • Park Headquarters (901 W. 1st, Sulphur, OK)
  • Buildings within the maintenance operations area
  • Platt Ranger Station
  • Point Ranger Station
  • Buckhorn Ranger Station
  • Resource Management Lab.


(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • Camping is permitted only in numbered and designated sites in established campgrounds. Those campgrounds are:
  • Cold Springs
  • Central
  • Rock Creek
  • Buckhorn
  • Guy Sandy
  • The Point
  • Persons may camp up to 14 consecutive days, not to exceed 30 days total between Memorial Day and Labor Day (summer season), and 21 consecutive days, not to exceed 60 days total between Labor Day and Memorial Day (winter season).
  • No more than two vehicles per site are allowed in Platt District campgrounds (Cold Springs, Rock Creek), except group sites.
  • Camping equipment must be kept within designated areas provided per site (i.e. on site pads).
  • No more than eight campers per site for all campgrounds.
  • Group sites are available for nine or more people in the Platt District.
  • All disabled designated sites are reserved for disabled persons only.
  • It is prohibited to use lighting devices which cast light into adjacent campsites.
  • Checkout time is 12:00 p.m. at all campgrounds.
  • Generators may only be used between 7:00-9:00 AM and 7:00-9:00 PM

Non-compliance with campground regulations may result in the revocation of the camping permit. The entire camping party may be removed from the campground by Park Rangers and/or violation notices issued.


(a) Picnicking is prohibited in the areas east of the Travertine Nature Center.

(This restriction is intended to protect the natural resources in the area, preventing the introduction of exotic plants and food products that may harm native flora and fauna in the area.)

36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

(a) The lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas: Open fires may be lighted and maintained in grills or permanent fire rings that are located in designated camping and picnic sites.

Receptacles Allowed: Government provided grills or fire rings or personal elevated fire rings. Fuel powered stoves and charcoal grills may be used in locations other than those closed to open fires, however, charcoal grills shall not be used on picnic tables or in close proximity to combustible materials.

(b) High fire danger closures will be in effect as noted:

  • In certain periods of the year the Superintendent may impose fire closures or other restrictions under high fire danger notices.


(a) Recreational Vehicle sewage holding tanks containing or deodorized by the following chemicals are prohibited from being discharged in any RV dump station operated by the park:

  1. Formaldehyde
  2. Bronopol
  3. Dowicil
  4. Glutaraldehyde
  5. Paraformaldehyde
  6. Para-dichlorobenzene

(This restriction is intended to assist in preventing operational disruption to the City of Sulphur Municipal Sewage Treatment Plant.)

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a) Pets are prohibited on the trails east of the Travertine Nature Center, within the Travertine Nature Center, and in all swimming areas along Travertine Creek east of US 177, south of the Northeast Perimeter Road, and north of the Southeast Perimeter Road east of Sycamore Crossing. This includes the swimming areas known as Little Niagara, Bear Falls, and Panther Falls, and their immediate environs.

(This restriction is intended to prevent pets in popular visitor use areas, and to keep pets out of waters popular with swimmers.)

An exception to this rule is granted for service dogs accompanying persons with disabilities, regardless of the disability requiring the use of a service dog.

This restriction does not apply to animals used by authorized Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties.

(b) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:

  • All pet excrement must be removed by the owner/keeper from all trails, roads, camping areas, picnic areas, and parking areas, and shall be deposited in refuse containers or removed from the area.

(c) Pets may be kept by park residents under the following conditions:

  • Chickasaw National Recreation Area employees residing in government quarters may keep pets in accordance with the NPS and park Pet Policy as approved on October 29, 1990.


(a) The following animals are designated as pack animals:
Horses, burros, mules, llamas, or other hoofed mammals used to transport loads or draw equipment and/or conveyances.

(b)The use of horses or pack animals is permitted on the following trails, routes or areas:

  • U.S. Highway 177 within the Platt District is the only road where horses or pack animals may be used.
  • Horse or pack animal drawn passenger conveyances may be used in restricted areas upon proof of need and issuance of a special use permit by the Superintendent.
  • Horses or other saddled livestock used for riding may be ridden south of Veterans Lake and east of the Lake of the Arbuckles on the designated multi-use trail only.

(c) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:

  • In order to protect public health and safety, horses and pack animals are prohibited in all park campgrounds, unless otherwise permitted by the Superintendent.
  • These conditions do not apply to the use of horses by authorized government officials and public safety-related operations such as search and rescue.


(a) In-line skating, roller skis, roller skating and non-powered scooters are allowed on Veterans Lake Trail.

(b) Skate boards, mini motorcycles, gas, battery, or powered scooters, and road luge devices are prohibited in the park.

(This restriction is to protect riders, other visitors, and property that may be injured by the devices.)

Otherwise “street legal” vehicles, including mopeds, are allowed on designated roadways.

36 CFR §2.21 – SMOKING

(a) The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking:

  • Within all government buildings, facilities, and vehicles.


(b) Recreation fees, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Areas:


Use Fee Areas:

Campsites, with hook-ups: $30
Campsites, without hook-ups: $20
Group Campsite: $50
Pavilion Reservations: $30
Daily Boating: $4
Annual Boating: $30

(c) The collection of recreation fees will be suspended during the following periods:

• As designated by the Director of the National Park Service


Unless specifically authorized by the Superintendent, the consumption of an alcoholic beverage or the possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage in Government buildings is prohibited within Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Such activities are inappropriate considering the intended use of the facilities and the purposes for which they are maintained. This does not include Government-owned residences or pavilions.


The solicitation or demand for gifts, money, goods or services requires a special use permit under §2.50, §2.51, or §2.52, and is subject to the terms and conditions specified therein.


Public assemblies and meetings are allowed by permit only in the following areas:

  1. The front sidewalk at the Travertine Nature Center (an 8’x20’ area totaling 160 square feet, located adjacent to and north of the flagpole located near the entrance), and
  2. The Buckhorn Pavilion (total of approximately 8,000 square feet, including the surrounding perimeter a distance of 30 feet from the building footing on all sides), and
  3. The Bromide Pavilion (total of approximately 15,000 square feet, including the surrounding perimeter on the north, east, and west sides, a distance of 30 feet from the wall surrounding the building, and excluding all areas south of the south wall and steps, including the lily pond).

Not all of these sites may be available at any given time due to other scheduled or unscheduled park functions or events. Approaching vehicles by permit holders is prohibited. (These areas are designated in Appendix 3)


Sale or distribution of printed materials is allowed by permit only in the area of the front sidewalk at the Travertine Nature Center and the Bison Viewpoint Parking Area on U.S. Highway 177. (See Appendix 3) Vehicles may not be approached.


(a) Absent a special use permit, the running-at-large, herding, driving across, allowing on, pasturing or grazing of livestock of any kind in a park area for agricultural purposes is prohibited. Additionally, a special use permit can only be issued in the following circumstances:

(b)(1) As specifically authorized by Federal statutory law; or

(b)(2) As required under a reservation of use of rights arising from acquisition of a tract of land; or

(b)(3) As designated, when conducted as a necessary and integral part of a recreational activity or required in order to maintain a historic scene.


(a) Authorization from the Director of the National Park Service is required to install a monument, memorial, tablet, structure, or other commemorative installation in a park area.

(b) A special use permit is required for the scattering of ashes from cremated human remains in the following areas, and/or according to the following terms and conditions:

  • The scattering of human ashes from cremation is allowed pursuant to the terms and conditions of a special use permit as outlined below:
  • The remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized.
  • The scattering of remains by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water.
  • The scattering of remains from the air is to be performed at a minimum altitude of 2000 feet above the ground.
  • No scattering of remains from the air is to be performed over developed areas, facilities, or bodies of water.


(a) Scuba diving is prohibited without a permit in Travertine Creek, east of Hwy. 177.


(a)(2) The following areas/sites are designated for the launching of vessels:

  • Veterans Lake boat ramp
  • Buckhorn boat ramp
  • The Point boat ramp
  • Guy Sandy boat ramp
  • Eagle Bay boat ramp (Upper Guy Sandy)
  • Catfish Bottom (light weight single axle trailers only under 1400 lbs GVW)

(b)(3) Vessels, including PWC’s, shall not be operated at a speed greater than a NO WAKE speed in the following locations:

• Veteran’s Lake and all other lakes 100 acres or smaller (PWC’s are prohibited on all bodies of water except Lake of the Arbuckles)

(This restriction is in place to insure the safe navigation of small or shallow bodies of water and to protect these areas as natural habitat for wildlife.)

  • Anywhere “No Wake” buoys are present.
  • On Lake of the Arbuckles within the confines of Guy Sandy Harbor as defined by the breakwaters.
  • Within 150 feet of all docks, launch ramps, boats at anchor, boats from which people are fishing, and shoreline areas near campgrounds.


(a) The towing of persons by vessels is permitted in the following areas under the terms and conditions noted:

• On the main body of Lake of the Arbuckles downstream from the “No Wake” buoys in the Buckhorn, Rock Creek, and Guy Sandy arms of the lake.


The following areas are closed to swimming and bathing:

  • Boat docks, fishing docks, and boat ramps.
  • Travertine Creek, east of the Travertine Nature Center.
  • Buffalo and Antelope Springs
  • Bromide Pavilion Lily Pond
  • Vendome Fountain and it’s adjacent concrete spillway/channel
  • 12th Street Fountain
  • On the roadway at Sycamore Crossing
  • Travertine Creek east of NE Perimeter Road bridge at Little Niagara


(b) Violating a provision of State law is prohibited. (Title 47 Oklahoma State Statutes)

  • 47 OS 74-1151: “a minibike cannot be operated on streets and highways in Oklahoma. A minibike is defined as any self-propelled vehicle or motor-driven cycle having less than an eight-inch wheel rim, or less that a forty-inch wheel base, or less than a twenty-five inch seat height.” This would include small “pocket bikes” which are becoming popular.


(a) Park roads, open for travel by motor vehicle are those indicated in the following publication:

The official National Park Service pamphlet depicting roads.


(b) The following speed limits are established and posted for the routes/roads indicated:

  • U.S. Highway 177 has posted speed limits of 45, 35, and 25 mph, depending on location
  • Perimeter roads have posted speed limits of 25 and 15 mph, depending on location
  • Gravel roads have posted speed limits of 25 and 15 mph, depending on location
  • Campground roads shall be posted as 10 mph.
  • Parking areas are 15 mph zones, unless otherwise designated.
  • The facility management compound is a 5 mph zone.
  • Goddard Youth Camp Road, maintained by Murray County, is a 50 mph zone.
  • During Goddard Youth Camp school hours, flashing yellow lights will indicate a 20 mph school zone along the Camp area.

36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES

(a) Bicycle use is permitted on park roads, parking areas, and on the following designated routes:

  • All Trails, except as designated by “No Bicycle” signs

The following routes are closed to bicycle use:

  • East of the Travertine Nature Center
  • Bromide Hill Trail

Bicycles must be ridden on the right-hand side of traveled roads, in the same direction of travel as all other vehicular traffic, and in general, conform with all vehicle traffic regulations.

(b) The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in Chickasaw National Recreation Area, where traditional bicycles are allowed.

E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Chickasaw National Recreation area is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.


Last updated: May 15, 2023

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