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Chickasaw National Recreation Area Reopens Majority of Park Following Tornado Damage

Oklahoma’s Chickasaw National Recreation Area has reopened 95% of its areas to the public after significant recovery efforts from the tornado and heavy flooding that struck on April 27. Visitors can now access numerous popular spots within the park, although caution is advised due to potential hazards.

Acting Superintendent Kane Seitz expressed his enthusiasm for the reopening, saying, “We’re excited to have 95% of the park opened back up. Come back anywhere we’ve got open but be careful. Some hazards may still exist, and new ones might pop up as we get more storms,” as quoted in a news release by the National Park Service (NPS).

Among the areas now accessible are Veterans Lake, Bromide Hill, Rock Creek Campground, Cats Eye Road, Bromide Pavilion, Bromide Picnic Area, and Bluestem Prairie. Additionally, all remaining trails, including the Bison Pasture Loop, Inkana Trail, Veterans Lake Trail, and Rock Creek Multi-Use Trails, have reopened.

The park’s reopening allows visitors to enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, and boating. Popular spots like Flower Park and the Platt Historic District east of U.S. Route 177 are also available for exploration. Campgrounds such as Cold Springs and Central Campground are ready to welcome campers.

Despite the progress, some areas remain closed due to ongoing recovery efforts. These include the Northwest Perimeter Road, Black Sulphur Springs, Walnut Grove, Blackjack Road and Picnic Area, The Point fishing dock, Eagle Bay, and Catfish Bottoms. 

Areas marked with physical barriers, such as gates, traffic cones, and flagging tape, are also off-limits.

The tornado and flooding caused extensive damage to both the park and the community of Sulphur. National Park Service crews have worked diligently to restore the park, and their efforts have made the reopening possible. 

According to a report from the National Park Service, the restoration involved clearing debris, repairing infrastructure, and ensuring the safety of visitors and wildlife​​.

Visitors are urged to respect the closures and remain vigilant for any potential hazards as they enjoy the reopened sections of the park. Crews are still actively working in both open and closed areas to ensure continued safety and accessibility.

For up-to-date information on park conditions and operations, visitors are encouraged to visit the official Chickasaw National Recreation Area website and follow the park’s social media accounts on Facebook, X, and Instagram.

Featured image by The National Park Service

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Chickasaw National Recreation Area Reopens Majority of Park Following Tornado Damage! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/oklahoma/chickasaw-national-recreation-area-reopens-majority-of-park-following-tornado-damage/