Rich in natural waterways and surrounded by the piney woods ecoregion of eastern Texas, Caddo Lake State Park is a great place to reconnect with Mother Earth.
Nestled close to the border of Louisiana, this fabulous Texas state park is just a 40 minute drive from Shreveport. While Dallas is only 2.5 hours away.
Once home to Caddo Indians back in the 18th century, the main feature of the park is the magnificent Caddo Lake, which encompasses some 25,400-acres.
Featuring huge bald cypress trees towering out of it, the lake offers plenty of opportunities for paddling, fishing and hiking.
This TX state park also has four modern, and well looked after, campgrounds for RVs, trailers and tents, in which you can base yourself at. Which is perfect for those who want to spend a good few days within it, to refresh their mind and rejuvenate their soul.
During your visit to the park you can partake in several outdoor pursuits.
Here are just a handful of some of the many recreational activities you can engage in whilst there.
Paddling Trails at Caddo Lake State Park
If you love taking to the water on a canoe, kayak or SUP you’ll enjoy checking out the paddling trails at the park.
The main paddle launch is located on Saw Mill Pond’s southern shore, which will enable you to explore ten different trails that extend for over 50 miles.
Taking you onto Caddo Lake and further out to Big Cypress Bayou, one of the most popular trails to attempt is Hell’s Half Acre, which showcases several different types of inlets and swamps.
The Old Folk’s Playground, replete with its numerous water lilies, and is a very serene trail to tackle too.
Fishing at Caddo Lake State Park
Anglers from all over Texas as well as Louisiana come to the park for the opportunity to fish at Caddo Lake.
Over at Saw Mill Pond there is a big fishing pier that you can choose to cast a line at, whilst those who prefer to do so can head on over Big Cypress Bayou to make use of the main boat launch there.
Both largemouth bass and catfish can be caught in abundance here, as the droopy Spanish Moss provides them with plenty of sustenance. You should be able to snare plenty of crappie and sunfish too.
One of the great things about fishing in a Texas state park is that you don’t need a licence to do that from the shore. So you can just rock up with your rod and reels and throw in a line as you see fit.
Hiking at Caddo Lake State Park
When not on the water, the park offers several hiking trails you can tackle. All of which showcase its gorgeous natural beauty.
These trails vary in length, elevation and degrees of difficulty and it is recommended you take plenty of water with you and wear proper shoes before you head out on them.
Depending on which trail you go out on, be sure to keep an eye out for rocks, roots and wayward alligators.
Here are some of the most popular trails at Caddo Lake State Park:
- trail 3 – Pine Ridge Spur. Length: 0.2 miles Degree of Difficulty: easy
- trail 1 – Caddo Forest Trail. Length: 0.7 mile Degree of Difficulty: moderate
- trail 2 – Pine Ridge Loop. Length: 0.7 miles Degree of Difficulty: moderate
Geocaching at Caddo Lake State Park
In essence, geocaching is a present day version of a treasure hunt.
Within the park you will find several caches hidden around it, so if this activity is something you like doing, you should enjoy the challenge of trying to find them all.
As a starting point, be sure to download the GPS coordinates on your phone, before heading out to begin your search.
Pets at Caddo Lake State Park
Pets are welcome at the park, so you can feel free to bring your dog with you on your visit.
That said, some restrictions may apply, it is worth contacting the park’s main head office to determine what they are.
Camping at Caddo Lake State Park
For those who want to spend a few nights at the park, there are 46 campsites available across four separate campgrounds.
These include 8 full hookup campsites which all come with connections for 50-amp electricity, water and sewer.
Located within the Woodpecker Hollow area, tents are not allowed in this section, although two of the sites are wheelchair friendly. All sites come with a picnic table, outdoor grill and fire ring. They also have restrooms nearby.
As well as these sites, there are 18 campsites that come with 30-amp electricity and water hookups. These are split between the Squirrel Haven and Armadillo Run areas and all come with a picnic table, fire ring, lantern post and upright grill. Again two of these sites are wheelchair friendly and restrooms are situated near them.
If you are wanting to pitch a tent, you will find 20 plots available at the Mill Pond Camping Area. Both motor homes and trailers are not allowed in this area, while all tents must be placed on the 15′ x 15′ tent pad.
These campsites come with their own picnic tables, fire rings, outdoor grill and water. Two of them are wheelchair friendly.
Complimenting these options for RVs, trailers and tent sites there are also 10 cabins available for visitors to reserve. Nine of them are individual cabins, while the other is a group cabin.
The individual cabins can sleep up between 2 to 6 guests, while two of the 4-person cabins are ADA accessible. All of them come with a bathroom, shower, kitchen and fireplace. A two night minimum stay is imposed on those who book for weekends.
Caddo Lake State Park
245 Park Rd 2
Karnack, TX 75661
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Caddo Lake State Park: