|City/Town: • Granite|
|Location Class: • Amusement Park|
|Built: • N/A | Abandoned: • 1990's|
|Status: • Abandoned|
|Photojournalist: • Jennifer Burton|
Summertime. It is every kid’s favorite. School is out and you are care free. For some, going on family vacations was a staple in the summer and a lot of kids spent time at area lakes. There is so much to do at a state park in Oklahoma and each offer a variety of different experiences. For many, the tradition of family outings to the lake continued on into adulthood and a new generation of lake lovers were born. Summertime seems to be the best time to make some memories with your family and friends.
Down in Southwestern Oklahoma, there is a stretch of road that leads up into the mountains and to a beautiful lake. Down this road, sit many reminders of the past where it is evident that a good time was had by many. For years, families have been coming here to camp and explore. Enjoy the mountains and the scenery that is unique to Southwestern Oklahoma. Have family reunions and enjoy all the fun roadside oddities this stretch of road had to offer. At one time, there were restaurants and Motels. Roadside family attractions that offered carnival style rides. There was putt putt and go carts. A Waterpark with a slide that zig zagged down the hillside. All the fun you can imagine having as a kid and as a big kid too.
Around 2007, was the start of an 8 year drought that would almost deplete the lake of its water supply. The lake is used as a water source for municipal water for nearby towns and cities. In the spring of 2015, heavy rains caused flooding conditions and also helped to replenish the water supply in the lake. Unfortunately, it was too late for some of the roadside occupants.
Since the drought continued for so many years, the financial damage was significant and many of these roadside attractions weren’t able to recover from the decline in tourism. The water level at the lake stayed at historical lows for many years making water sports almost impossible. Without the support of the lakes visitors, many places were forced to close. The restaurants have sat empty for years. There are no vacancies at the old Motel. Times aren’t what they used to be down this once lively stretch of road.
A waterslide, along with putt putt, go carts and bumper boats have long sat unused at the top of a hill. For years, this place was a source of summertime joy. A place that kids looked forward to as they planned their family trips to the lake. I have heard stories that the waterslide was one of the fastest anyone had ever gone down. It makes its way down the side of the hill with twists and turns and dumps you out into a small pool. There were go karts, a putt putt course and bumper boats too. It was there one summer and like so many other things, it was gone the next.
Another “Quartz Mountain Water Slide” opened near by and is still in operation today.
This location has a care taker and at this time there are no plans for the property.
Article and photos by Jennifer Burton.