I was going through more of my grandparents’ old postcards and found this one:
The problem I noticed is that there isn’t a Platt National Park. Or at least I was pretty sure there wasn’t one. I’ve lived in Texas all my life and have spent a fair amount of time “north of the border” in Oklahoma and was pretty sure I’d remember a national park lurking nearby.
Turns out that there was a Platt National Park at one time, but not any longer.
Established in 1902, it was the 7th national park and was carved out of the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations (and for once, the feds actually bought the land from the Native Americans rather than taking it by fiat) in order to protect mineral springs in the area.
During the Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps built out a very large amount of infrastructure in the park, including campgrounds, trails and roads; as well as planting over a half-million trees and other plants.
It remained fairly-popular until the 1970s, when the National Park Service combined it with the neighboring Arbuckle Recreation Area to become the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.
As for the park, it seems that it’s been wiped from the collective memory of the nation. There are few resources or images of it online and the NPS barely mentions it on their website.
That said, having done this little bit of research, I think a day trip to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is in my future.