Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area

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Sulphur, Oklahoma
Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area - The Beaver Pond during Autumn
Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area - Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Sulphur, Oklahoma
Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area - Travertine Nature Center
Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area - Environmental Study Area Trail during Autumn
Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area - Buffalo Springs

Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area Sulphur Reviews

jaypost jaypost
21 reviews
Nov 20, 2007
Hiking Antelope & Buffalo Springs - Chickasaw National Recreation Area

Highlights: Leisurely hike in the Environmental Study Area, where the Eastern Woodlands and the Western Prairie ecosystems merge.

Season: Year-round

Distance: 1 ½ miles (Round Trip)

Difficulty: Easy

Elevation: Gain 29 feet

Maps: Chickasaw National Recreation Area Trail Guide and Map

Management: Chickasaw National Recreation Area (National Park Service)

Trail Conditions: The trail is wide & well maintained (hard pack and forest litter) Wheelchair Accessible with Assistance (the other loops are not)

Trailhead Amenities: Nature Center, Gift Shop, Restrooms, and Water

Caution: No Bicycles, Horses, Dogs, Swimming or Wading. Beware of water levels when crossing the creeks.

Finding the Trailhead: Take I-35 South of OKC. Turn East onto Hwy 7 (Exit 55). Continue for 12 miles through Davis and Sulphur. Turn Right (South) on W. 1st Street (Hwy 77). You have entered the Chickasaw National Recreation Areas. At the first Left, turn onto Perimeter Road. Beware of the Low Water Bridge. This will take you to the Travertine Nature Center. Travertine Nature Center’s coordinates are N34°30.243 W096°56.985.

Key Points along the Trail:

Distance (miles) Description Coordinates

0.0 Trailhead N34°30.239 W096°56.875

0.12 Intersection Prairie Loop N34°30.248 W096°56.763

0.33 Intersection Tall Oaks (Old CCC Camp) N34°30.237 W096°56.642

0.47 Intersection Buffalo Springs Loop N34°30.258 W096°56.528

0.50 Intersection towards Buffalo Springs N34°30.262 W096°56.494

0.52 Antelope Springs N34°30.275 W096°56.471 0.54 Intersection towards Buffalo Springs N34°30.262 W096°56.494

0.72 Buffalo Springs N34°30.159 W096°56.361

1.02 Intersection Buffalo Springs Loop N34°30.258 W096°56.528

1.15 Intersection Tall Oaks (Old CCC Camp) N34°30.237 W096°56.642

1.46 Trailhead N34°30.239 W096°56.875

The Hike:

From the Travertine Nature Center Parking Lot walk across the bridge over the Travertine Creek to get to the Trailhead. You are now entering the Environmental Study Area. At the Trailhead turn Right. The trail is nice and wide. This is a great excursion for kids and groups. There are signs (plaques) with information about the flora (plant life) along the trail. Please note the info on poison ivy. If you stay on the trail, you should be out of harms way.

At 0.12 miles you come to the Intersection for the Prairie Loop. Continue straight on the main trail. At 0.33 you come to the Intersection for the Tall Oaks Loop (continue Left). The information sign has a nice history lesson about the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp). The CCC had their camp here in the mid 1930’s. You can still see signs of the weathered rock structures that were once grills. The CCC built many dams, trails, and buildings throughout the park.

At 0.47 miles you come to the first Intersection for the Buffalo Springs Loop. Go Left toward Antelope Springs. The pond on your right was once a swimming hole for the camp. Remember there is no swimming or wading allowed in the Environmental Study Area. The pond is still one of the best spots to watch the Fall Foliage.

At .50 miles continue straight through the intersection toward Antelope Springs. At Antelope Springs the water comes right out of the rocky hill. Many consider this the best tasting water in the park. The Native Americans of the area called the spring, Issibulba Kulli.

Turn back to the last intersection and turn Left to continue on to Buffalo Springs. At 0.72 miles is Buffalo Springs (Yunush Kulli). This area was once a marsh with spring water bubbling up. The park built the circular structure so the public could utilize the spring with ease.

Continue the Buffalo Spring Loop trail on the other side of the spring. This part of the trail will loop around along the creek to take you back to the first Intersection of the Buffalo Spring Loop and the pond. At the Intersection turn Left to get back to the Trailhead. Once back at the Trailhead you have hiked 1.46 miles.

Optional Side Hikes: Prairie Loop (0.60 mile loop), Tall Oaks Loop (0.44 mile loop), and Little Niagara Falls (0.17 one-way). To get to Little Niagara Falls start at the Trailhead but turn Left. Along the way you will cross the road, so be careful and look both ways before crossing. At 0.17 you’re come upon the falls.

General Info about the Chickasaw National Recreation Area:

Platt National Park (established in 1906) and Arbuckle Recreation Area merged to create the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in 1976 (nearly 10,000 acres). The Travertine Nature Center was built in 1969. The Nature Center itself was inspired by the school of architecture developed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area…
Travertine Nature Center
The Beaver Pond during Autumn
Environmental Study Area Trail dur…
Link
jaypost says:
One of the best places for a hike during the Autumn. Beautiful Fall Foliage!!!
Posted on: Nov 20, 2007
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