Oklahoma Used to Have a National Park and I Visited What Was Left of It
Because it’s what I do.
Platt National Park (?!), which apparently was still a national park through 1976. Surprisingly, I don’t remember seeing anything in the paper about its dissolution into the Chickasaw National Recreation Area (I think it’s an NRA) back when I was 4. Was a voracious newshound back in the pre-K days.
Anyway, it’s pleasant. It’s not exactly Yellowstone. I mean, *way* less traffic. I think it was supposed to be famous for its natural (tepid) springs. Maybe they were actually famous once. We saw the springs. They were tepid. But: nice for Oklahoma.
Here are two photos.
I thought it was cool that they built this wading pool around one of the springs, but then they don’t want you to enter the water. There was also a natural (?) swimming pool in the park.
The pool is what’s on the left side of the rocks there.
I mean, basically the national park had that spring situation and this pool here. There were a couple of other cascades of < 5′ height, plus a couple of (closed) campgrounds, some picnic tables, a 1.5-mile nature walk that introduced visitors to black oak trees and poison ivy, and a nature center where they were keeping a pygmy owl in a cage for some reason. Probably it just prefers living there, like those people who commit crimes to go back to prison for the free food and healthcare. Anyway…
I kind of wanted it to be more of the ruins of a national park than it was. I don’t think there was ever all that much infrastructure to get ruined is the main thing.
I think it was probably at least as impressive as that wildlife refuge out by Lawton people sometimes talk about.