My husband and I come here to enjoy some good ‘ol fashion camping. He especially likes this place because he is able to go trout fishing in the river next to the campsite. The only thing that this campground does not have is electric hook ups and there are only a few restrooms that are dispersed throughout the place. So depending where you stay, you might have to walk a ways to get to a restroom. It can also get pretty busy during the trout season and whenever they host trout derbies.
I’ve been at this campsite a few times and I can honestly say that it’s one of the best in Oklahoma! My husband and I stayed in one of the trailer/RV sites during our most recent visit. The area was clean, spacious, and very close the the restrooms and the lake. We will definitely be back!
We stayed at Loop C site 56. Great view of the lake, clean restrooms and showers! Campground hosts were friendly and helpful! Just beware if you are camping in an RV, the site is VERY unlevel! We we’re in a pop up camper and had one tire up off the ground at least 6 inches with our Baleveler. Otherwise its absolutely gorgeous!
If you have a 30 amp rv/camper you can get a spot at one of the 3 decent Thunderbird parks most of the time same day no reservation. If you have a 50 amp better go parkit on Thursday so you have a weekend spot. On the lake and that's what we want. Lots of yahoos in the summer it's a party spot.
Love the creekside sites but watch out for raccoons. Large campground with 100+ sites but zero electric hookups. Dated bathrooms(same ones from 50 odd years ago). This is where I camped as a kid and it still draws me in. A bicycle trail runs along the creek towards little Niagara. 2-3 miles long. Love this campground.
Perfect place to camp. Very nice facilities.
Check Out The Campground: CLICK HERE
VIVO BareFoot: CLICK HERE
My Full Video Review Of The The VIVO Barefoot Primus Trail SG: CLICK HERE
Pulling into the Chickasaw National Recreation Area several camping options jump out just begging for you to choose them. I selected the Cold Springs Campground on this trip because its great location and access to the many falls of the area.
Along this turn out you can find many of the most popular stops for cool waters, hiking and natural beauty including most arguably the best stop to take a cool dip on a hot day, Little Niagara, a spring fed waterfall system which traverses some 2 mies downstream. With this being one of the first campgrounds in the area you are also just moments from the Chickasaw Cultural Center, a location which hosts many Native American educational events, stomp dance exhibitions and festivals for the community of Sulphur.
The campground has been partially modernized in comparison to other camps around the state, with a digital kiosk pay station as you enter camp, you can come any time, find a site and easily pay using any payment method. By far this surpasses the traditional honor box system which sometimes can be a bit tricky when you don’t bring exact change.
I found that campsites were large and welcoming when pulling into this camp. Big enough for RVs but ideal for tents, a variety of campers could call this space home with 65 campsites. In addition to this being the perfect site for individual campers, a group camp is located just a few hundred yards away for those needing a bit more.
The site I selected was right inside the opening loop, close to the restrooms, shaded in the rear from the road and with a large flat pad for my tent. The pad was constructed from small gravel and took little to no time to clear from fallen debris.
While the sites are dry camping, there are water spigots scattered throughout camp. Sites are equipped with a picnic table, fire ring with grill and lantern post, pretty typical of any government site, however these did look to be much more well maintained than others I have visited in the area. Restrooms at this site were well maintained and had nice flush toilets.
The only downside I found to the particular site I selected was its proximity to the gate itself and the influx of in and out traffic. Typically I would select something a bit further into the campground for privacy, but this site was so welcoming I went against my gut and with it. But for only $14 you could not beat the feeling this place offered with the woods engulfing your site and in the evening the deer roaming around ever so cautiously.
A few things to remember about this campsite:
- Seasonally open from May through September.
- Pets are welcome here but do require a leash at all times.
I would give the Cold Spring Camp a 4 of 5 for its proximity, overall spaciousness and amenities. This site was only a short 5 minute drive from the Nature Center, had access to many hiking trails in the area and was secluded from the major highway just enough to make it feel much further away from town than it actually was.
- Name: VIVO Barefoot Primus Trail SG
- Retail Price: $150.00
- Size: 7.5
- Color: Olive
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I am sent items to test from time to time to give real feed back about how these items work within my active lifestyle. On this trip I was closing out my review cycle for the VIVO Barefoot Primus Trail SG shoes. These shoes are a part of the vast line of minimalist shoes VIVO Barefoot has released utilizing recycled bottles and other materials to keep in line with a Vegan outlook. The shoes are the “soft ground” version of their outdoor line, designed to grip comfortably the ground below you and provide both support and traction when running, hiking or simply walking.
I placed my order for these shoes and within 5 days they arrived at my home. Shipping for the package arrived in a VIVO red reinforced bag with bold branding on the outside. Inside the box was a hefty box containing materials about the shoe, shipping receipt, 1 pair of shoe laces, 2 insoles and the shoes neatly wrapped in branded tissue paper.
I tested these shoes over 5 different wears over two weeks of doing typical things I do in my day to day life. With my stop at Cold Springs I put them to the final test, navigating on slippery rocks as I traversed the many waterfalls in the area, trekking through boggy wet grounds as I visited the neighboring Fall Festival at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, climbing on steep gravel banks and walking on various types of surface. I can only say that the shoes never seemed to miss a beat or make me feel the slightest bit uneasy in my footing.
For someone like myself, finding a shoe which suits my lifestyle is multi-fold. I have had issues with chronic sciatica over the years which has nearly grounded me from travel multiple times, my joints tend to build pressure and pop often and over time and though playing sports as a child I just wasn’t the most friendly to my body as I could be. I had seen information about minimalist shoes helping retrain your step and get your body more in line with its natural feel by extending the muscles you typically are shrinking wearing highly padded shoes, by allowing your toes to rest more naturally and less hindered while in the shoes and by allowing your joints to naturally cushion your walk. I didn’t know what exactly to expect from the shoes and was not expecting a miracle, but I was curious I will say.
Over the first 4 wears I noticed that taking the shoes off I did not experience the same pain after long days that I typically would in a standard pair of running shoes. Pain is perhaps a strong word, discomfort would be more appropriate. Instead I simply felt like I had removed the shoes. I know that sounds strange but considering I didn’t even know I had an issue it was a strange feeling indeed when I had the ah ha moment. Not only that I noticed following removal, typically I stand and stretch and hear my joint popping, however with the VIVO Barefoot shoes I didn’t have the tension release.
With these I can walk around feeling the ground below me in a comfortable way. On stones and uneven surfaces I feel like I can grip better with my feet to secure my balance and though they are taking a little adjustment I am really enjoying the overall feel of the shoes.
- Water resistant - When I was walking on the rocks and around the waters edge at Cold Springs, I noticed that while I could feel the water, I didn’t feel like it was sloshing inside my shoes. They are water resistant, and while that does not mean I could fully submerge my foot I felt with the hiking around the rocks I was safe.
- Flexible - When you get this shoe you are inclined to test the shoes flexibility considering it is made from recycled plastic bottles, something I feel is much more rigid by nature than what I feel my shoe should be. They completely roll up end to end! Any shoe that will do that is a shoe I know will move and grip in any direction I am moving for sure.
- Tight Ankle - It was great for keeping debris out of my shoe and assisted in my shoe not slipping on my foot when I was wearing it throughout the day or competing with my sock.
- Tight Ankle - It was very difficult to get onto my foot because it was not stretchy enough to easily slip on. Over time I know it will loosen a bit, but that by far is the worst thing about the shoe in my opinion.
- With or without insoles - Inside the box an insert insole is provided, to get the full barefoot experience you can opt to not use these or you can use them for a bit of cushion. I was a bit conflicted by the choice. Without the insoles the shoe slips on much easier but it also is a bit more of a rough ride feel when getting used to them.
Of 5 stars I would give the VIVO Barefoot Primus 4 stars. I love the shoes but the process of putting them on being so difficult (almost 10 minutes the first time I put them on). I feel like it will continue to take some warming up to them to really know how I like that aspect. I have found that when using them to workout that tight ankle does make a small red impression on the top of my foot and while my feet themselves do not hurt, in the long run I would not want the to be the continued outcome. I will continue wearing them and testing them and I assume this will pass.
Of the campgrounds around the water, this one is perhaps one of the more busy. When visiting we noted numerous boat trailers just waiting for their owners to return to them. Despite it being so busy it was pretty quiet as a whole. Lots of trees around this location make for plenty of shade during warmer months and sites are large enough to easily accommodate rigs of all sizes or tent campers.
Sites are well priced at $14 which wasn't bad considering how the campground was set up. Despite it being a primitive camp and only having vault toilets it was surprisingly comfortable feeling and does have water spigots around. It is also one of the smaller campgrounds at the Lake of the Arbuckles so during summer it can fill up quickly.
The site I checked out here had a picnic table and fire ring and was fairly even. There was a nice grassy pad which was ideal for tent camping like I enjoy.
I lot of people, as I mentioned before, take advantage of the lake from this campsite area so it is pretty noisy during the day at some of the sites and getting in the water can be a bit hard when its super busy because the boats really kick up the waves and there is no designated swimming area, however a bit further away it wasn't to bad. Nighttime, pretty quiet.
These sites are not reservable so it is first come first serve. Arrive early during busy times of year to ensure your space.
If you have a boat, make sure your registrations are cleared by the State of Oklahoma before entering the water, this site is a very active site for game wardens to inspect so if you are hauling anything which does not fit guidelines to the water, you might want to reconsider doing so here.
My first impression of this campground was a little fear…. but let me explain….
When I pulled into this campground it looked like a festival had set up shop right inside the gate with dozens of tents in a clearing. It was a little overwhelming and I was afraid that with the closure of one of the local camps, I felt the overflow had come mostly to this camp and that it was not going to have an ounce of privacy.
But… turns out that it was just a Boy Scout group in the group camp which is positioned right inside the gate. So my fear of overcrowding subsided and as I traveled a bit deeper into camp I noticed it wasn't to bad, in fact there were tons of places because this campground has over 100 sites, spread over several loops. This gave me not only a great confidence that I could find something perfect, but also something removed from the sounds of the populated group camp and enjoy a little time away from it all.
Sites at this camp vary, there are both pull through and back in sites. The strange however, was that online on Receation.gov (where you typically book any sites located on government lands) this campground is known only to be a "group camp". However clearly there are individual sites, and you can access these through the kiosk just inside camp.
The site I selected had a strange configuration for parking, you park beside the spot, but in a large truck it seemed to be a bit in the way of the road, in my car it would have by far been a bit better fit. I was positioned on a corner which meant I had a lot of space and my campsite had both a picnic table and fire ring with attached grill in addition to the lantern post. Overall minus the parking the site was pretty ideal with big shade trees and a pretty even place to set up a tent.
I did notice around camp not all sites are created equally, while my site had a nice even space not he table top some of the sites still were utilizing the older tables which were warped from weather.
If you aren't a group wait til you get here to select a site because online there doesn't seem to be a good reservation system for regular campers.
If you are a rig which uses solar, the sites on the furthest loops might be a better fit, the first loop of camp is pretty tree covered.
When I went to check out this area it was mid-October and the campground was limited to only the loops C & D while the A & B, the first you see when you arrive were barricaded for the season. While I did see a few rogue campers who had parked at the entrance and hiked into these spaces, I chose to go ahead and explore the actual open spaces.
Pulling into the second loop of camping, you first arrive at Loop C, just before the pay station this area has a clearly posted sign that you need a reservation to stay here when you enter. I could see why when traveling through the loop, it was a pretty day and the spaces all seemed full with the exception of one. Toward the end of the loop, the road narrowed and made any passing impossible. Some of the spaces were pretty close to the water line toward the end and one even seemed to be a floating island all its own.
Spaces were open for both tents and RVs in this area for between $16 and $24 a night depending on the amenities you are looking for. All of the spots I looked at on loop C were $24 and had full electric and water in addition to their nice even pads, large paved drives, lantern hooks an both picnic tables and grills. I did notice on the map however there were a few scattered smaller sites without electricity.
The nice thing about the sites on Loop C were that they seemed large, especially toward the beginning and end of the loop, while these were not waterfront they were within yards of the water front and backed up to the wooded areas which made for a quieter evening and also for more space in the sites themselves.
Book in advance if you are wanting to stay at this campground, you will have a full listing of all sites and be able to chose from your amenities you are looking for. In addition, you will be able to assure you will have a space at the campground. For those not able to do so, try Loop D during fall and winter.
Beware of snakes in brush near shoreline and raccoons which often can be spotted trying to pillage through camp. Make sure you take precautions to keep animals from your camp by storing food inside vehicles when not in use and utilize dumpsters near camp instead of leaving trash near camp.
Cell phone coverage might be spotty in this area. Though with AT&T I had good coverage reports from other providers have netted a less desirable signal.
The crystalline baryte red rose rocks are easy to find
The waterfall added the perfect background. Clean restrooms and large shady sites. Convenient water spigots for filling tank. Very relaxing.
We had a nice time there and weather helped out, not 110F, though there is a big BUT.
Portapotties were in great shape. They were cleaned every day and mostly restocked with toilet paper. Blue Moose did a great job
The on-site built restroom/shower house were terrible.
Every trail we hiked was struned with trash.
9am Saturday they closed the park to new arrivals. 5000 person capacity.
The overnight camping fees are a little ridiculous. We stayed Friday, Saturday, and left on Sunday 10am (must leave RV spot by noon). We arrived after 4pm to avoid the day fees on Friday. We had to pay for the Sunday day fees whether we stayed all-day or not.
Two adults, one 30amp RV spot for two days and two nights = $150!!
There is a designated swimming area in the campgrounds. Beautiful, wooded park with large lake that has a section for watersports and fishing. I wish we had stayed here for more than one night. Definitely a place to return for a visit. It is a little remote, but there was cell phone reception. Perfect for biking/scooters/walking/swimming.
I will try to stay on the outer rim the next time we go, so that we can enjoy meals by the water.
If you have the luxury of checking this place out on a weekday as opposed to weekend you will be a lot more pleased with your stay during late Spring or Summer. The campground is very popular because it has a lot of room to spread out and with campsites only $12.50 per night for primitive camping the price is right for most.
Turner Falls is a popular swimming spot so naturally the campground instantly has a built in following of people who come out. A lot of families but also a lot of younger thrill seekers just wanting to get their feet wet. By coming during the week you avoid a bit more of the party type crowd and get more of the fun.
They do also have spaces for RVs however that wasn't ever where I personally was staying so my knowledge of that area is a bit more limited. It always seemed a bit more claustrophobic than the primitive tent area.
When I was there last I noticed an influx of security from previous visits, I am sure it is because the busy campground tends to entice those summer style parties and they want to keep the incidents down to a minimum.
The area I stayed in was well shaded and had no real amenities. It is the furthest from the falls itself but has creek swimming and more hiking. I enjoyed it because being a bit away from the falls it was a bit more quiet than the closer sites. It was still accessible to the action without having to be in the middle of it all. This was considered to be the "Green" area according to the maps at the park.
A short walk into the "Blue" area and you could find restrooms and showers. I was just off Butterly Road which is literally right up from this zone. I will say however, this section of road is more heavily trafficked than others because it is the main road into the primitive camp area. I noticed that a lot of people were coming and going in the attempt to turn around because they had passed the Blue section somehow so it made for a little more noise than I had anticipated even on a regular day, I can only imagine what it would be like on a weekend.
- Arrive early on weekends for any type of site.
- Check park maps for the best route to your destination, they are placed throughout the park and clearly marked.
- Drink Responsibly! There are plenty of patrols out for safety but also to make sure you aren't getting unruly so if you are bringing the party to Turner Falls don't get out of line.
This park and its flow of water along the river which is sits experienced abnormal flooding which closed the park as swells of water engulfed much of the lower pool area including roads and some buildings. At the time I visited again to witness the powerful waters of the flood I took the attached videos and photos. Signs were posted that the park would remain closed until further notice, so if attempting to camp here in late 2018 make sure you check the website or call. (Photos taken from upper vantage point where zip line is located just past camping area)
The camp grounds were packed, but the staff was helpful and everything was very organized. The campgrounds were extremely clean.
Excellent hiking trails, though no opportunity to explore off the trails. The star of the campgrounds is the spring fed water. Cold and refeshing after hiking in the heat.
Turner falls is gorgeous park with plenty of room for everyone to swim and lots to explore. There is also a castle you can explore but the park has gone a little downhill. People have spray painted all over the place and there is trash everywhere.
The campsites are awesome for someone who enjoys spread out and more secluded sites away from others. You can find some that are fairly spread out and hidden if you look hard enough.
This is my favorite campground in the state of Oklahoma. The sites are nice size and some of them back up to the water. Plenty of room to spread out. Bath house is super clean. Lake of the Arbuckles is beautiful for water recreational activities. Some in our group kayaked. I'll be trying that the next time I go. Lots of shoreline to walk, if you're so inclined. Camp host was helpful and on top of things. For a busy campground (it was full when we went) the noise level wasn't bad. No issues with unruly campers. Can't wait to go visit again.
Some sites are nice and spacious and others are crowded. Check the map before making online reservations. Easy access to the lake for swimming, kayaking, etc. Playground, day use pavilions and swim area on site. Bathrooms near the day use area require quarters to use. Bathrooms away from the day use area don’t require payment, but aren’t as nice. They are passable though. This campground stays full. I highly suggest making online reservations well in advance if you want to camp there.
Nice campground. Quiet lake as only fiahing boats, kayaks, canoes, etc. allowed. Loved the sites. We had a group and camped around pavilion 2. Playground was nearby as were bathrooms. Bathrooms were passable, but not well kept. We will definitely camp there again.
We spent Monday thru Friday here and it was wonderful. this loop is reservation only and the map on recreation.gov is not very accurate, I am including an accurate map in the photos, so please be aware when making your reservation. the sites are all very nice and have a raised pad for tents and canopies. the bathrooms and showers were some of the cleanest I've seen at a campground. the creek and waterfalls are only about a 10 minute drive and we loved playing in them, the ice cold water felt great in the afternoon. there is a swim beach closer in loop d. be sure to check out the nature center & chickasaw cultural center.
The sites are large and many of them have large shade trees. There are clean restrooms stretched throughout the camp ground. Water faucets are spaced near by. Alcohol is not allowed. There are not hook ups or showers. Campers can travel to a nearby campground for a hot shower. Hiking trails and swimming spots are nearby. The skies were full of stars and it was pleasant hearing water rush over the falls while going to sleep.
We have been camping at the Blue River for years and it doesn't get old. Expect VERY rustic camping. Small falls and rope swings make this the perfect way to cool off in the hot Oklahoma sun. There are some snakes, so be watchful, but they don't bother us ever. Stars are bright and it is generally very peaceful. plenty of spots for privacy or larger group camps… lots of places right by the water or nestled around trees. The bluff spots are my favorite in the Fall. Scotty's one stop shop will keep you in ice and they have a fantastic grill, when it's open. The raccoons can be aggressive, keep your food put up in your car or a cooler and throw away your trash nightly unless you want to pick it up in pieces the next day. They may rip your tent to get to food, seriously, put it up. I think they're hilarious… my friends did not… Still, we all love this place.
we had excellent weather June 9-10. Breezy and cool evenings. We had a small class camping and were recommended to Critter Alley by staff due to area and proximity to water and the nature center. The pavilion was perfect for our class and the stars were bright. Bathrooms were right there as well, but could use some work. All in all, would totally go back again. Ernie at the nature center is fantastic and the kids all had a blast. Misti and Dawn, from the camp offices were wonderful.
$14 camp fee per night. Pay ahead or they will wake you up and they come by early. Once you pay they have a slip for your dash so they don't have to wake you. Kiosks are available. Very well kept areas. Lots to see and do and only minutes from town of needed.