Boiling Springs State Park
|Boiling Springs State Park|
Spring-fed pond in Boiling Springs State Park
|Location||Woodward County, Oklahoma, United States|
|Area||820 acres (330 ha)|
|Visitors||283,261 (in FY 2016)|
|Governing body||Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department|
The park originated in the 1930s and was named for its springs. It was constructed as a park from the natural environment by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park received its current name because its sandy-bottom springs appear to be boiling because of the inrush of subsurface water. The water temperature is actually far cooler than boiling.
Native Americans, Spanish explorers, and pioneers have visited and inhabited the land used for the park. Spanish expeditions from Mexico are believed to have visited the area as early as 1541 as part of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado’s search for the fabled "Seven Cities of Gold". In 1641, another Spanish explorer – Juan de Oñate - reported that several Indian encampments were found near the cool springs and heavy timber of the area. In 1823, U.S. Cavalry General Thomas James established a fur trading post here. Captain Nathan Boone, son of Daniel Boone, explored the vicinity of the park in 1843 on an expedition originating from Fort Gibson in eastern Oklahoma. Pioneers flocking into this area during the land run of 1893 found the location quite suitable for farming and hunting. In the early 1900s, area residents were just beginning to find and enjoy the recreation potential of this site.
In 1935, much of the land comprising the present day park was acquired by the City of Woodward to provide a place for recreation for its citizens and visitors. Although the local "swimming hole" was already present, the primary development work was accomplished by the young men of Company 2822 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1935 to 1939. A monument stands in the main picnic area of the park in honor of the contributions made by these men in making the park a place for so many to enjoy.
The park covers 820 acres and includes a small lake. It is located northeast of Woodward in a portion of Oklahoma known for a semi-arid climate and sparse vegetation. The park itself includes a forest of hackberry, walnut, chinaberry, oak and elms and attracts whitetail deer, wild turkey, raccoon, coyote, bobcat, beaver, badger, skunk and opossum.
Northwestern Oklahoma includes three eco-regions known as the Sandstone Hills, Gypsum Hills and High Plains. Water rising rapidly to the surface from underground streams creates the appearance of "boiling" water on the springs.
The park offers cabins, RV sites and tent campsites. It has an 18-hole golf course and hiking trails. The park provides a variety of services and facilities for the enjoyment of more than 200,000 visitors each year. Two camping areas can accommodate everything from pup tents to modern recreational vehicles. Cabins are situated beside the park's 5-acre lake. Group camps, community building, and numerous picnic facilities are available here along with a host of other activities including hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, exercise walking and wildlife observation.
Proposed park closure in 2018Edit
In March 2017, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation published a list of 16 state parks that may be closed to help offset a reduction in its budget for 2018. Boiling Springs State Park is on this list. This list represents approximately one-half of the parks remaining after the department closed seven parks in 2011.
The Enid News & Eagle reported that Boiling Springs was one of three state parks on the closure list in the Enid area. The others were Great Salt Plains State Park and Alabaster Caverns State Park. In FY 2016, Boiling Springs had the highest number of visitors (283,261) of the three. Great Salt Plains had 144,108 and Alabaster had 24,706. No further information about the proposed closure of Boiling Springs has been released as of March 1, 2018.</ref>
- "Boiling Springs State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Neal, James. "3 area parks at risk of closure." Enid News & Eagle. March 27, 2017. Accessed March 2, 2018
- "Plains Indians & Pioneers Museum." Undated. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Boiling Springs Park, Woodward Online - Parks (accessed May 18, 2013)
- "Boiling Springs State Park". Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "Boiling Springs State Park. OKASLA 2011 Awards Entry." Undated. Accessed March 2, 2018.
- Oklahoma Geography, NetState.com. (accessed May 18, 2013)
- Ohranger.com "Boiling Springs State Park." Oh Ranger, Undated Accessed May 18, 2013)
- Fultenberg, Lorne. "Half of Oklahoma state parks could close with budget cuts." KFOR News. March 13, 2017. Accessed November 1, 2017.