Caddo Lake State Park Texas

Caddo Lake State Park is considered to be one of the many East Texas treasures with its bald cypress trees draped with Span­ish moss tower over the maze of bayous, sloughs, and ponds of Caddo Lake. People who come to Caddo Lake find themselves paddling the waterways, staying at historic cabins, and giving a go at fishing. Exploring Caddo Lake State Park in East Texas may be just what you need for your outdoor adventure.

Things to Do At Caddo Lake State Park

At Caddo Lake State Park, you can fish, paddle, hike, picnic, camp, or stay in a cabin if tenting or RVing is not your thing. You can hunt for a geocache and go boating while you are here. If you have a group meeting or reunion, you may find this to be the perfect venue. Be aware alligators live in the park and they don’t like to be petted! Be sure to follow the safety guidelines.

Fishing

Access the 26,810-acre Caddo Lake, which houses more than 70 species of fish. There is a fish­ing pier and a boat ramp for easy access to the water. You do not need a fish­ing license to fish from shore in a state park.

Paddling

Paddle through Caddo Lake’s twists and turns. You can rent a canoe in the park or bring your own canoe or kayak. You will love the more than 50 miles of paddling trails in the Caddo Lake area.

Camping

We have 46 campsites to choose from, ranging from water only to full hookup sites for an RV.

You can also stay at a screened shelter or rent a historic cabin. The cabins range in size from two to six-person cabins, and several are ADA accessible.

Hiking

Explore the forest afoot. One-quarter mile of the Caddo Forest Trail is ADA accessible. Learn more on our Interactive Trails Map page.

Shop for gifts and souvenirs at the park store.

Near By Area Attractions

Nearby cities include:

Marshall, home of the Starr Family State Historic Site
Karnack, childhood home of Lady Bird Johnson
Jefferson, once the largest inland port in Texas
Take a boat tour! Schedules depend on the weather:
Shady Glade Marina, Motel and Restaurant – (903) 789-3295
Jefferson Landing Riverboat – (903) 665-2222
Johnson’s Ranch Marina – (903) 789-3213

For other information:

Marshall Chamber of Commerce – (903) 935-7868

Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau – (800) 551-8682.

Directions To Caddo Lake State Park

Travel north of Karnack one mile on State Highway 43 to FM 2198; go east for 0.5 miles to Park Road 2. The park is 15 miles northeast of Marshall.

Park Address:
245 Park Road 2
Karnack, TX 75661
The Park HQ is located at:
Latitude: 32.680233
Longitude: -94.176361

Campsites At Caddo Lake State Park Texas

Full Hookup Campsites

People per Site: 8 Number of Sites: 8
These sites (#18-25) are in Woodpecker Hollow. Sites #18 and 21 are wheelchair friendly. Tents are not allowed in these sites.
Picnic table
Outdoor grill
Fire ring
Water hookup
Sewer hookup
Restrooms nearby
50-amp electric

Campsites with Electricity

People per Site: 8 Number of Sites: 18
Tents must be on the 15’ x 15’ tent pad. Located in the Armadillo Run (#26-36) and Squirrel Haven (#37-45) camping areas. Campsites #34 and #38 are wheelchair friendly.
Picnic table
Fire ring
Water hookup
30 amp hookup
Lantern post
Restrooms nearby
Upright grill

Campsites with Water

People per Site: 8 Number of Sites: 20
Motor homes are not permitted in the Mill Pond Camping Area. Pop-ups and small trailers are allowed. Tents must be on the 15’ x 15’ tent pad. Campsites #49 and #54 are wheelchair friendly.
Picnic table
Outdoor grill
Fire ring
Water
Restrooms nearby

Screened Shelters At Caddo Lake State Park Texas

Screened Shelters

People per Site: 8 Number of Sites: 7
Shelters are 12′ X 16′ screened enclosures with a picnic table and electricity inside. All shelters are locked. If you will arrive after 5 p.m., contact the office during office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for access information. Sites #13 and #15 are wheelchair friendly.
Picnic table
Outdoor grill
Water
Electricity
20 amp hookup
30 amp hookup
Restrooms nearby

Lodging At Caddo Lake State Park Texas

Cabins (Six Person)

People per Site: 6 Number of Sites: 3

Reservations for a Friday or Saturday must include both nights. Cabins require a $75 refundable deposit. Pets are not allowed in the cabin and group hall areas, or inside any Texas State Park buildings. These are cabins #1, #5 and #9. You must furnish beds for the fifth and sixth persons. Eating and cooking utensils are not provided. If you will arrive after 5 p.m., contact the office during office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for access information. Bed linens and bath towels are not provided; you must bring your own.
A/C unit
Heater
Water
Electricity
No pets
Kitchen sink
Microwave
Refrigerator
Stove without oven
Table and chairs
Bathroom Sink
Toilet
Shower
Two bedrooms with a queen bed in each
800 square feet
Gas fireplace

Cabins (Four Person)

People per Site: 4 Number of Sites: 2
Reservations for a Friday or Saturday must include both nights. Cabins require a $75 refundable deposit. Pets are not allowed in the cabin and group hall areas, or inside any Texas State Park buildings. Cabins (#2 and #8) are one-half of a duplex. If you will arrive after 5 p.m., contact the office during office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for access information. Bed linens and bath towels are not provided, so you must bring your own.
A/C unit
Heater
Picnic table
Water
Electricity
No pets
Kitchen sink
Microwave
Refrigerator
Stove without oven
Table and chairs
Bathroom Sink
Toilet
Shower
Cabins #2 & #8
600 square feet
Two bedrooms with a queen bed
Gas fireplace
Waist-high grill outside

Cabins (Four Person | Accessible)

People per Site: 4 Number of Sites: 2
Reservations for a Friday or Saturday must include both nights. Cabins require a $75 refundable deposit. Pets are not allowed in the cabin and group hall areas, or inside any Texas State Park buildings. If you will arrive after 5 p.m., contact the office during office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for access information. Bed linens and bath towels are not provided, so you must bring your own. Click more below to see accessibility information.
Kitchen sink
Microwave
Refrigerator
Stove without oven
Table and chairs
Bathroom Sink
Toilet
Shower
Bathtub
Cabins #3 & #7
Wheelchair friendly
600 square feet
1 bedroom with a queen bed
1 bedroom with a double bed
Gas fireplace
A/C & heat
Water
Electricity
Waist-high grill outside
Picnic table outside
No pets

Cabins (Two Person)

People per Site: 2 Number of Sites: 2
Reservations for a Friday or Saturday must include both nights. Cabins require a $75 refundable deposit. Pets are not allowed in the cabin and group hall areas, or inside any Texas State Park buildings. These cabins (#4 and #6) have no refrigerator or stove. If you will arrive after 5 p.m., contact the office during office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for access information. Bed linens and bath towels are not provided, so you must bring your own.
A/C unit
Heater
Picnic table
Outdoor grill
Water
Electricity
No pets
Microwave
Table and chairs
Bathroom Sink
Toilet
Shower
Cabins #4 & #6
300-square feet
Electric fireplace
1 bedroom with a queen bed
Waist-high grill outside

Cabin (Without Bathroom)

People per Site: 8 Sleeps: 5
Pets are not allowed in the cabin and group hall areas, or inside any Texas State Park buildings. If you will arrive after 5 p.m., contact the office during office hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) for access information. Bed linens and bath towels are not provided, so you must bring your own.
A/C unit
Heater
Picnic table
Outdoor grill
Tent pad
Water
Electricity
Restrooms nearby
No pets
Table and chairs
Two bunk beds (one twin over twin, one twin over full)
In Squirrel Haven Camping Area

Group Sites At Caddo Lake State Park Texas

Group Hall with Kitchen

People per Site: 100
We require a $100 refundable deposit for this hall. Maximum of 32 vehicles and 100 people are allowed. Pets are not allowed in the cabin and group hall areas, or inside any Texas State Park buildings.
A/C unit
Heater
Fireplace
Outdoor grill
Water
Electricity
No pets
Kitchen sink
Microwave
Refrigerator
Table and chairs
Bathroom Sink
Toilet
Gas stove with oven
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Accessibility Information

The park has a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier, interpretive trail, and picnic area.
Cabins #3 and 7 are wheelchair accessible, with cement pathways to the cabin. Inside, the kitchen counter is two inches lower than the standard. The accessible bathroom has a bathtub with handrails plus an ADA shower, and a toilet that is three inches higher than standard.

The Group Hall with Kitchen has a cement trail from the parking area and is navigable in a wheelchair.
The following sites have wheelchair access. Each has a cement trail from the parking area and around the site, with access to a raised fire ring, upright grill, electrical connection, water spigot and a picnic table designed for wheelchair user.

Full Hookup Campsites 18 and 21 in Woodpecker Hollow;

Campsites with Electricity 49 and 54 in Mill Pond, 34 in Armadillo Run, and 38 in Squirrel Haven, Screened Shelters 13 and 15 in Squirrel Haven (the picnic table inside the screened shelters is not designed specifically for wheelchairs, but the one outside is).

Nature Around The Park

Cypress trees draped in Spanish moss and reflected in water Caddo Lake State Park sits west of the lake, along Cypress Bayou.
Caddo Lake is a maze of slow-moving bayous, wetlands, and backwaters. It covers about 26,810 acres of cypress swamp, depending on rainfall.
Although a natural logjam created Caddo Lake, today dams and reservoirs keep its waters under human control.
The lake’s average depth is 8 to 10 feet, while the deep water in the bayou averages about 20 feet.
Diversity
Caddo Lake is one of the world’s natural treasures. Its diverse habitats make it a suitable home for a wide variety of plants and animals. These habitats also make the park an important resource for education, science, and recreation.
The upland forest of pine, oak, and hickory produced many of the native materials used in the original construction of the park.
The trees in the bottomland hardwood forest stand tall beside the bald cypress and water tupelo swamps, where the stately trees flourish in the quiet backwaters of the lake. In the freshwater marsh, grasses and reeds provide shelter for turtles and a variety of fish, birds, toads, and snakes.
Nature’s bounty
An angler’s delight, the lake con­tains 71 species of fish. Fishing is es­pe­cial­ly good for largemouth and white bass, and crappie.
Nature lovers will enjoy cypress trees, American lotus, and lily pads.
Wildlife includes waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutria, beavers, squirrels, armadillos, and white-tailed deer.
Protecting the wetlands
Caddo Lake was designated a “Wetland of International Importance, es­pe­cial­ly as waterfowl habitat,” under the Ramsar Convention in 1993. This international treaty seeks to limit the loss of wetlands throughout the world.

History Of Caddo Lake State Park

Scientists believe Caddo Lake formed when floodwater, blocked by massive log jams on the Red River, backed up into the Cypress Bayou watershed.
Caddo Lake was artificially dammed in the early 1900s when oil was found, and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971.
Earliest visitors
People have lived in this area for at least 12,000 years. For centuries, they hunted and gathered among the wetlands, forests, and broad floodplains. Then they began to settle in permanent villages.
Sometime in the late 18th or early 19th century, Caddo Indians settled on this rich land. According to tribal legend, “water thrown up into the drift along the shore by a wind” formed Tso’to (Sodo) Lake. Leg­ends tell of the formation of the lake and Sha’childi’ni (Timber Hill), the first and last known Caddo village in this area.
The Caddo built ceremonial centers and maintained far-reaching trade routes. To sustain themselves, they hunted wild game with bows and arrows, fished, and farmed corn, beans and squash.

More Texas State Parks

You can check out additional Texas State Parks by clicking on the list of parks below, or by going to the Texas State Parks home section. To find more state parks in the United States, visit our home page at America’s State Parks.