Caddo Lake State Park Travel Guide

  • Evidence of a Culture
    Evidence of a Culture
    by VeronicaG
  • Caddo Lake State Park
    by VeronicaG
  • Camping The Old Way
    Camping The Old Way
    by VeronicaG

Caddo Lake State Park Things to Do

  • Birding At The Park!

    Caddo Lake State Park has been set apart as a Wetlands of International Importance. Is it any wonder that a multitude of bird species can be found here!Here are just the "Key" birds: Wood Duck, Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Red-headed and Pileated Woodpeckers, Fish Crow and the Brown-headed Nuthatch are present at all times of the year.Summer...

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  • Guided Pontoon Tour

    For a serene view of Big Cypress Bayou, a guided tour can be scheduled with Old Port Caddo Rentals and Tours, which is located within Caddo Lake State Park. A pontoon boat will be your transport as you glide past tall Cyprus trees draped in Spanish moss to explore the waterways of the Bayou. Guided tours can be booked on Mondays, Thursdays and...

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  • A Canoe and You!

    These canoes lined up neatly at shore's edge caught our eye as we drove through Caddo Lake State Park.They're available for rent, so you can do more than just enjoy the two trails. A canoe would allow you to be privy to the park's inner beauty from a whole different perspective.Old Port Caddo Rentals and Tours gives visitors an opportunity to take...

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  • Skimming Over the Lake

    Canoes and kayaks are a popular way to explore the lake and maze of bayous. The water level is kept under control by dams and reservoirs.The lake is fairly shallow in some places at 8-10 feet, but goes to a depth of about 20 feet at the bayou. The park brochure sets the number of fish species at seventy one. Largemouth bass, white bass and crappies...

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  • Head to the Trails!

    The temperature this February afternoon was in the 70's, the sun was shining and we couldn't have ordered a more perfect day to visit Caddo Lake State Park. The park has two trails to try out--we chose Caddo Forest Trail, which is only about 3/4 mile in length and an easy hike offering a shaded walk through the forest, traversing over wood bridges,...

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  • Wildlife at the Park

    This was the extent of the wildlife we encountered...one friendly little squirrel, who didn't seem to mind posing for my camera. However, other creatures,such as, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, numerous waterfowl and other birds, raccoons, armadillos, feral hogs, white-tailed deer, minks, nutrias* and beavers call Caddo Lake State Park their...

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  • Oxbow

    A Beavers Lodge - Research discovered an abundance of beaver activity related to the cypress as well as a lack of cypress regeneration because of them. This was one of a few beaver lodges we saw. Researchers believer that beaver populations are reaching historically high proportions in the area..

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  • Don Henley's House

    Don Henley's (of the Eagles Band) grew up on Caddo Lake and threw his support behind the Nature Conservancy's action to preserve the Lake. He has been deeply engaged as founder of the Caddo Lake Institute for wetlands protection. In the Ramsar Treaty, which was signed in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran, the international organization has recognized 13 regions...

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  • Don't Get Caught on the Dry Side

    This house served as a bar and liquor store for Harrison County which was 'dry'. On the other side of the river channel where it sat was Marion County which was 'wet'. As an easy convenience and to save a long travel by land to get to it, the house was built on stilts to allow for boats to travel across the channel to buy liquor..

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  • Easy to Get Lost

    The upper 1/3 of the lake is a 10,000 acre pristine cypress swamp crisscrossed by a maze of boat roads. It was the site of the first Powerboat Mail route. New boaters should carry a map of the lake and a compass to avoid getting lost among the densely wooded, confusing channels. Better yet, hire a guide, or tour the lake on one of several tour...

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  • Wetland Communities

    At least five types of major wetland communities have been identified on Caddo Lake - mesic uplands, willow oak flats, cypress flats, cypress swamps, and marshes..

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  • The River Channel

    Field observations say that Caddo Lake’s ecosystem is one of the most extensive remaining intact cypress swamp wetlands..

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  • Spanish Moss

    Cypress trees are draped with Spanish Moss and when a gentle wind gracefully bends the trees the moss is described as flowing like the hair of an angel in the breeze..

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  • Oil drilling

    The first off-shore oil drilling happened in Caddo Lake by the Gulf Oil Company although the mushy swamp made moving the heavy equipment for drilling impossible. The US Army Corps of Engineers were persuaded by the oil men to construct an earthen weir at Mooringsport, La. The Corps was the same agency which had hired Captain Henry Shreve to remove...

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  • Birds

    I believe in the warmer months you can listen for Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Acadian and Great Crested Flycatchers, Wood Thrushes, White-eyed, Red-eyed, and Yellow-throated Vireos, and at least 13 species of warblers. At almost any time of year, one can hear Fish Crows, Red-shouldered Hawks, Barred Owls, Pileated Woodpeckers, nuthatches and more..

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  • Spring

    In the spring, this lovely lake is accented by yellow Lotus Blooms, purple Hyacinth blooms, white Water Lilly blooms and the yellow buds of the Spatterdock..

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  • A Naturally Formed Lake

    The 32,000 acre Caddo Lake is Texas' only naturally-formed lake. It straddles the boundary between Texas and Louisiana and has as many as five configurations. It has also been called Sodo Lake and Fairy (Ferry) Lake..

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  • Turtle Shell

    Between 1845 and 1875 more than 200 steamboats travelled between Shreveport, Louisiana, and Jefferson, Texas marking up more than 2,500 documented trips. Their route took them through Caddo Lake where they made stops at Mooringsport Landing, Swanson's Landing, Montery Landing, and others. The main exports at the time were Cotton and Beef exports..

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  • A living lake

    There has been a recorded 189 species of trees and shrubs, 42 woody vines, 75 grasses, 216 kinds of birds, 47 mammals and 90 fish and reptiles. Of those, 44 are threatened, endangered or rare. The process of confirming and adding to this data is ongoing..

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  • Bald Cypress trees

    The Bald Cypress trees on Caddo Lake have been ring dated to 400 years of age and give the Lake its unique beauty. Dramatic changes in Lake levels during the past 200 years has contributed to concerns about the health of the bald cypress ecosystem..

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  • Government Ditch

    I looked hard but I couldn't find any alligators lurking. Seems it was still a little warm for them to venture out but they were out there somewhere. I did see little turtles on logs sunny themselves though every now and then..

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Caddo Lake State Park Transportation

  • canoe crazy

    Canoes and other small boats are available to rent at the boat pier at Caddo Lake St. Park. The prices depend upon how long you want to use the canoe. I just did it for an hour, but it was worth it. It gives you enough time to paddle around the inlet and the riverway near the park. I was looking for alligators but no luck...they must have been...

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  • Getting There

    By car : If you are travelling from Jefferson, take SH134 out for about 15 miles until you reach FM2198. Continue straight until you come to the Motor Supply Bldg and turn left for 3 blocks. Caddo Grocery is on your left. Or travel north of Karnack one mile on SH43 to FM2198; go east for 1/2 mile to Park Road 2. Caddo park is 15 miles northeast of...

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  • Caddo Lake State Park Hotels

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Caddo Lake State Park Local Customs

  • The Earliest Inhabitants--The Caddo...

    East and northeast Texas was home to the Caddo Indians. This area is called The Piney Woods and extends from East Texas to the Atlantic ocean in the South. A deep forest of oak, pine and nut trees, like hickory and pecan grow near the rivers and creeks. The Red River and Trinity River cut through this part of Texas.Unlike some parts of Texas, this...

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  • Remants of the Past--The Caddo

    Our family has a love of history and it often influences where we travel, so it was interesting to learn about the Indian culture that once thrived right here in Texas. The Caddo people were able to form large 'confederations' since they were farmers. Large groups like this were able to defend themselves from other tribes.This culture befriended...

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  • Darwin Award Candidate

    January 1999 - A lawyer and two of his buddies were fishing on Caddo Lake in Texas. A lightening storm hit the lake and most of the fishermen immediately headed for the shore. But not our friend the lawyer. He was alone on the rear of his aluminum bass boat and his buddies were in the front. This gentleman stood up, spread his arms wide...

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Caddo Lake State Park Warnings and Dangers

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Giant Salvinia--a menace to waterways!

    by VeronicaG Updated Feb 11, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Giant Salvinia is a "floating aquatic plant" that is quick growing, forms thick mats which push out other vegetation, adversely affects water quality and threatens recreational access.

    This 'creepy" water plant has somehow been transported to Texas waterways. It grows in fresh water and absorbs the oxygen around it, thereby causing a problem for fish.

    The public is urged to carefully inspect their boats before departing the area, since even the smallest bit of Giant Salvinia can easily create new pockets of infestation.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel
    • Sailing and Boating

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Caddo Lake State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Louisiana - Shreveport

    Shreveport in Louisiana is right next door to Texas. The lake lies more on the Louisiana side than the Texas side. There are other lakes on that side as well as all the Casinos for a bit more of a lively nightlife..

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  • Jefferson

    Jefferson is only 30 mins drive and is the most delightful little town with wonderful old world type stores and restaurants. You can either stay in Jefferson and drive over to Caddo Lake area for the day or just visit from the Lake..

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Caddo Lake State Park Favorites

  • Drive Your Camper Right In!

    Caddo Lake State Park offers several different options along with the campsites:1.There are twenty sites that allow Pop-up campers and small trailers, provide water and include a picnic table, fire ring and grill. The charge is $8 per night or $50 weekly. Note: if a generator is used, it must be off between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am.2.Eight of...

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  • Entrance to the Park and Rules to Abide...

    A small fee is charged to enter Caddo Lake State Park--we paid $4.00 for two people. Here are some park rules to be aware of: Guests are required to leave the park by 10 pm unless they have a permit for camping. Permits must be visible on the windshield of each vehicle.There is no picnicking at the park, since the numbered sites are for campers...

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  • How About A Screened Cabin?

    I think I could spend a pleasant night in one of these screened cabins. That is, if you're fortunate enough to have made your reservation early.They're set back from the road in a lightly forested area. Each screened cabin has electricity inside and out*, a water spigot and grill. For these 12 x 16 shelters, you'll pay $20 for each night or $120...

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