COLCORD, Okla. (KFOR) — From the Ozark highlands, and over limestone rocks, Flint Creek meanders toward the Illinois River in Delaware County.

In the shade of the Highway 412 overpass the old low water dam holds back the clear stream just enough to create a deep, blue hole where generations of locals have learned to swim.

You can find Kristina Rhoten manning the front gate on weekdays at the Flint Creek Water Park.

Her mom is the manager.

She lives just across the bridge in Flint Ridge.

Her dad used to drag her and the family all over the state on fishing trips, she tells us, but this is a water that always draws her home.

“I’ve been coming out to this area since I was two years old,” she boasts, “I was raised here. My children were raised here. We’ve all grown up in the area.”

It draws others too, especially on hot days.

Photo goes with story
Flint Creek, image KFOR

Doug and Michelle Reece camped out at Natural Falls State Park (2 miles east).

“This is nice,” smiles Michelle. “We went hiking in the morning and this is a good place to cool off.”

Tammy Hadden brought a whole carload of kids who were in and out of the water all afternoon, guaranteeing a quiet ride home.

“They will,” laughs Hadden. “It’ll be nice and quiet. Perfect for me.”

Read more “Is This a Great State or What?!” Stories

It was a hot afternoon during the KFOR visit.

Plenty of people were jumping in from both banks and from every angle.

The water proved an irresistible lure, and a well chosen location for the first leg of an epic swim.

As the days stretch ahead and a heat dome settles over us for the next couple of months, it’s natural to seek shelter in a cool, quiet spot.

Duck your head and the world above becomes a distant place.

No noise.

No stress.

These are never places for staying long.

You have to come up for air sometime.

But even hours later, Flint Creek is a place that stays cool, and keeps us cool in memory.

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union