Caddo Lake State Park is situated on the west side of Caddo Lake and covers about 26,810 acres of wetlands. While this was initially a natural swamp, there are manmade dams that keep the water levels in the wetlands in control. This allows the lake to be 8-10 feet in depth. As for the deeper waters in the bayou, it can get up to 20 feet in depth.
History Of Caddo Lake State Park:
Caddo Lake is said to be naturally formed due to massive log jams on the Red River causing flooding. However, it was dammed in the early 1900s and again in 1971.
There is also 12,000-year-old evidence that people lived in the area. These early settlers hunted and gathered in the forests and wetlands where they later settled into permanent villages. In the late 18th century, the first Caddo Indians settled in the rich land. You can learn a lot about the history of Caddo Lake and its surrounding areas from the trained guides at Caddo Lake State Park.
Caddo Lake is known as a natural treasure and is home to a diverse set of habitats.
The upland forests include hickory, oak, and pine trees. The bottomland has hardwood trees that grow beside water tupelo swamps. As for the freshwater marsh, you can find marsh, reeds, and grasses. These are home to fish, birds, turtles, snakes, and toads.
The Caddo Lake also contains 71 species of fish, including white bass, crappie, and largemouth. Along with the fish, you can find alligators, raccoons, waterfowl, nutria, minks, armadillos, white-tailed deer, and bevers.
Things to Do At Caddo Lake State Park:
There is plenty to do at Caddo Lake State Park whether you want something adventurous or relaxing.
Here’s the list of the most recommended things to do at the park:
- Fish: Sit on the pier with your fishing rod for some quality fishing.
- Canoe: Rent out a canoe to explore the 50 miles of paddling trails in the Caddo area.
- Camp: Go camping with a range of options, including water-only sites to complete cabins.
- Hike: Grab your hiking gear and explore the forest.
Caddo Lake State Park is a 4.5 star ranking on TripAdvisor and has over 200 reviews.
Protecting the wetlands
In 1993, the Ramsar Convention designated Caddo Lake a “Wetland of International Importance, especially as waterfowl habitat.” This is an international treaty that helps protect the wetlands from being lost due to deforestation and other manmade problems.
Since the park often reaches max capacity, they recommend you reserve your spot beforehand. This will ensure that you can enjoy the beautiful sights without interruption. According to their official site, their busiest season is between March and November.
To reach the park via vehicle, the address to the entrance is 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, TX 75661. The nominal entrance fee is $4 for adults and children under 12 years of age can get in free.
You can contact the park office:
- General enquires: (903) 679-3351
- Phone Reservations: (512) 389-8900
The park is open daily between 8 am and 5 pm. However, you should check the current COVID restrictions by the government before you visit.