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Despite low water levels at Chickasaw National Recreation Area, there is much to enjoy

Cathleen Rychner / Red Dirt Report
Entrance to Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest photo essay and commentary from Red Dirt Report photojournalist Cathleen Rychner.

SULPHUR, Okla. - There is hiking, camping, and exploring to do at Chickasaw National Recreation Area, but if you are looking to swim, you will not be doing so at Little Niagara.  Water levels are low in the park.  Little Niagara is Tiny Niagara, in fact it is just a small stream of water flowing over the rocks, and swimming is prohibited.  The pool at the bottom of the falls is so shallow, it is more of a wade pool.  Stream and spring levels are lower than normal.  Stepping stones, normally at water level, are now standing above it, dry.

Despite the low water levels there is still much to see and do at the national park.  Visit the Travertine Nature Center to pick up a map and see the animal exhibits.  Then head down one of the main trails. 

Walk along the Prairie Loop or the Tall Oaks Loop Trails, each about half a mile, to see wildflowers and cacti.  Visit Antelope and Buffalo Springs, where you might spot a rabbit and plenty of butterflies around the beautiful wildflowers that line the paths. 

Farther in the park, you will find the Bison Pasture.  Park your car at the Viewpoint and go for a stroll to see the bison grazing in the field.

Be sure to drive over to Bromide Hill for more exploring and hiking.  You can see for miles from the top of the cliffs.

Here are a few tips for your adventure.  Be sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, some good walking shoes, plenty of water, and snacks.  The park is a wooded area with thick trees, so be sure to watch out for ticks and poison ivy.  Pets are not allowed in some areas, so find a dog sitter for the day.  Finally, remember there is so much to see and so many paths to trek that you should definitely allow yourself plenty of time to explore.    

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About the Author

Cathleen Rychner

Cathleen Rychner is an Oklahoma native currently working at OU. She also has a passion for...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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