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By Oklahoma Tourism Staff
If the spinning windmills in western Oklahoma had colors like a pinwheel, each blade would represent the variety of hues in the prominent landscape. Sky blues, rust-colored canyons and mesas, the sandy browns of the dunes and golden grasses are reflected in the western countryside. Blending into the midst of the color wheel, Boiling Springs State Park is an autumn kaleidoscope.
The motto adopted by the park refers to it as an “Oasis of the Plains.” The slogan is appropriate because of the location of the park; near the town of Woodward, but far enough away from the lights, traffic and noise pollution to offer a peaceful getaway.
From the east, the short roadway leading into Boiling Springs is lined with a thick forest of tall shade trees. Although the introductory view is pleasant, the true beauty of this small but picturesque park comes into sight when you emerge from beneath the canopy of trees.
One of the first structures on the main road is the historic community building. The structure incorporates native stone and timber and was built by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Boiling Springs State Park is one of seven original Oklahoma state parks built under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” Plan, which originated in the 1930’s.
Further along, but off the entrance road, are two public campgrounds that are tucked away in a quiet undisturbed setting. Each campground has sites for recreational vehicle and tent camping. Not too far from the campgrounds are three large picnic shelters with built-in grills, that can accommodate large groups and playgrounds nearby to keep the younger ones occupied.
One of the most popular features in the park is the large swimming pool. The rock and log-beamed bath house adjacent to the pool is another historic building constructed by members of the CCC. Currently, the bath house is undergoing major renovations to include updated restrooms, dressing areas and a concession stand. Below the swimming pool is a labyrinth of native stones that form a rock passageway where water trickles down small waterfalls into a concrete holding pool and flows beneath foot bridges.
In this same area atop a hill overlooking Lake Shaul are comfortable duplex cabins. Each side has one bedroom and includes a kitchen and fireplace. Lake Shaul is a small spring-fed lake with a variety of stocked species of fish. Swimming, boating or other water sports are not allowed on the lake. Two group camps, each on opposite ends of the park are perfect for large gatherings and reunions. Three separate trails are available for hiking, biking or leisurely strolls to observe wildlife and native plant varieties.
If all of these amenities aren’t enough to keep visitors coming back, there’s one more. The newest and most impressive feature of the park showcases the namesake of the park itself. Boiling Springs State Park is named for one of several natural springs within the park that has the appearance of boiling. This is caused as the sandy-bottomed spring is churned by the strong inflow of sub-surface water.
For many years, the featured spring was housed in a small well-type box behind the park office. Recently the entire area underwent a complete “facelift,” from the parking lot to the walking trails to the box that surrounds the spring. This area is now an interpretive station where visitors have a much larger viewing area of the spring. Conveniently placed signs offer explanations of the region, the history, native plant and animal species and other educational information. In addition, natural wood benches for seating and a peaceful, flowing water feature entice visitors to linger at this haven of relaxation that is Boiling Springs State Park.
For more information on Oklahoma State Parks, visit TravelOK.com or call a Travel Counselor toll-free at 800-652-6552.