Little Niagara Among Waterfalls Drawing Visitors To Oklahoma
SULPHUR, Oklahoma - It's hard to believe but Oklahoma is home to some beautiful waterfalls. When you head south to Davis, you can swim near the one at Turner Falls. However, we headed east to discover a little know gem, the Little Niagara.
The beauty and peaceful sounds of rushing water is what brings thousands of people to Oklahoma each year, and for some families, it's become a tradition.
"We love the park," said Betty Knight, a park visitor from Texas.
"The sound of the creek running, the smell of the creek running, it's just heaven," she said.
A heaven on earth that lures Knight and her family back to this spot each year.
"For 53 consecutive years we camped up here at least once every summer," Knight said.
The Little Niagara Falls is part of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur. The popular swimming hole and national park area attracts one and a half million visitors annually.
"The water flows out between 62 and 64 degrees year-round so it's a nice cool spot to swim in, you can imagine how welcome that is on a hot summer day," said Ron Parker, with the Chickasaw National Park System.
The falls are surrounded by dozens of trails and several campgrounds. You can also visit the Travertine Nature Center to learn about the plants and animals in the area.
"Part of the park includes Lake of the Arbuckle's and so people come to boat, fish, and water ski and just enjoy the outdoors around the lake and in the park," Parker said.
Just a stone's throw away is downtown Sulphur, where you can take a break from the water to browse the quaint shops or stay at the Artesian Hotel, Casino and Spa. You can also visit the nearby Chickasaw Cultural Center. The 109-acre campus is home to historical museums and interactive exhibits about the Chickasaw tribe.
Then before you head home, don't forget to stop in for a sweet treat at the Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies.
"It's just an old grandma recipe," said Delyssa Daniel, with Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies. "There's nothing like this anywhere."
The shop makes dozens of pies, from sweet to savory, each day.
"We've got people coming all over the place for these pies," said Daniel. "All of our traffic in the summer especially is really, really busy."
Busy with people stopping in for a quick snack that for some, brings back a lot of old-time memories.