“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die,
life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
Medicine Park, OK – This small town has been an enviable attraction for the last 100 years. No wonder, considering its idyllic creek-side setting at the foothills of the Wichita Mountains. Mind you, we’re talking about the oldest mountains in North America here.
But it is the wealth of historic cobblestone architecture that represents Medicine Park’s first and foremost draw. Those who seek the unique and characteristic will definitely feel right at home here. Why? Well, cobblestone architecture can’t be found anywhere else in the country. Therefore, this is the quintessential destination for everybody on the lookout for something you don’t see every day.
A Place With Humble Beginnings
Situated in Comanche County, OK, Medicine Park can be found near the entrance to the 60,000-acre (240-square kilometer) Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Boasting a population of just under 500, this place is referred to by both visitors near and far as the Treasure. That being said, the town continues to be an integral part of any worthwhile trip to the Great Plains Country and the aforementioned Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.
Founded in 1908 by Oklahoma Sen. Elmer Thomas, Medicine Park started as a 900-acre planned resort community on the banks of Medicine Creek. Early on, the place consisted of just a few campsites and a wood-floor dining tent. However, over the years it grew to include a health sanitarium, a dance hall and several inns. Of course, a collection of cottages built with the region’s natural round cobblestones also had a part to play.
Take Your Pick From The Medicine Park, OK Pool Of Adventures
In its heyday, Medicine Park attracted the likes of Dale Evans and Roy Rogers, Will Rogers, Al Capone, but also Bonnie and Clyde. In fact, people from all over Oklahoma, as well as North Texas, came to this town to boat, fish and swim in the waters of Medicine Creek. However, as cars became common, Medicine Park suffered the fate of many resort towns. Because cars had allowed people to become more adventuresome in their travels, the town went into a downward spiral and eventually bottomed out in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Today, however, Medicine Park is alive and well. More than 15 blue water lakes dot the environs of the town. These offer water-skiing, swimming, boating and fishing opportunities. Also, wildlife photography, bird watching, hiking and rock climbing adventures are ideal here, due to the breathtaking natural terrain.
Recreation Opportunities Are Virtually Countless
The town of Medicine Park is full of interesting opportunities regardless of whether you’re passing by or are here on vacation. For example, the Bath Lake Swimming Area will cost you $2 per person per day, but has been fully renovated and historically developed for swimming. The Medicine Park Trail is also another interesting place to check out. Lined by cobblestones, it is a solid surface walkway that winds alongside scenic Medicine Creek. The Old Plantation, Gondola Lake and Dam, and the Lake Drive are also at visitors’ disposal in town.
Near the town, there are also countless opportunities and amenities to enjoy. Lake Lawtonka is one, built in the shadows of Mount Scott. Lake Elmer Thomas Recreation Area or LETRA, offers waterslides, RV sites, miniature golf, boat ramps and docks. The Meers Restaurant and Store is a definite must-see, and the Fort Sill Museum, as well as the Museum of the Great Plains, offer plenty of interesting historical facts.