CADDO LAKE STATE PARK
CADDO LAKE STATE PARK
245 Park Rd 2
Karnack, Texas 75661
Caddo Lake State Park
© Copyright for this photo belongs solely to Evan Griffiths III. Images may not be copied, downloaded, or used in any way without the permission of the photographer. Contact at EGriffIIIgmail.com
Thick bald cypress and a tangle of aquatic plants thrive in the waters at Caddo Lake State Park. Because the vegetation is so lush, much of the lake is really a maze of sloughs, bayous, and ponds. The park affords excellent access to the diverse fishing in Texas. Also popular are the park's quaint cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.
Caddo Lake State Park gets its name from Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering, 26,810 acres of cypress swamp. The average depth of the lake is 8'-10' with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20.' An angler's delight, the lake contains 71 species of fish. It is especially good for crappie and large-mouth and white bass. Naturalists can enjoy stately cypress trees, American lotus, and lily pads, waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutrias, beavers, squirrels, armadillos, and white-tailed deer.
This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900's when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971. Caddo Indian legend attributes the formation of the lake to a giant flood. Scientists believe the lake formed when floodwaters, blocked by massive log jams on the Red River, backed up into the Cypress Bayou watershed, forming the lake.
The park's original improvements were made by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Begun by Company 889 in June to November of 1933 and completed by Company 857 between October 1934 and March 1937. The U.S. Army had 15 barracks and an Army mess hall that were converted into the 9 log cabins and group recreation hall that we use today. There is also a CCC pavilion and remnants of original picnic sites and a latrine along the trails.
Note: Cabins are approximately 1/2 mile from water front. No smoking is allowed in the cabin. No pets, tents, or ground fires are allowed in the cabin area. Cooking and eating utensils are not provided. Linens and towels are provided.
2 - 2 person cabins - Cabins (#4 & #6) have a microwave, A/C, heat, bathroom with shower, hot water, 300 square foot bedroom with one double bed. No refrigerator, stove, or fireplace. There is one picnic table and waist high grill outside each cabin. $70 per night
2 - standard 4 person cabins - Cabins (#2 & #8) are 600 square feet and have 2 small bedrooms with a double bed in each room, A/C, heat, refrigerator, 2 burner stove, microwave, and a gas fireplace. There is one picnic table and waist high grill outside each cabin. Unit is one-half of a cabin duplex. $85 per night
2 - ADA accessible 4 person cabins - Cabins (#3 and #7) are 600 square feet and have 2 small bedrooms with a double bed in each room, A/C, heat, refrigerator, 2 burner stove, microwave, gas fireplace, bathroom with a shower, and hot water. A picnic table and waist high grill is outside each cabin. Kitchen counter is 2 inches lower than the standard counter. Accessible bathroom includes bathtub with handrails plus ADA shower. Commode is 3 inches higher than a standard commode. $85 per night
3 - 6 person cabins - Cabins (#1, 5 and 9) are 800 square feet and have 2 bedrooms with 1 double bed in each room, A/C, heat, bathroom with shower and hot water, refrigerator, 2 burner stove, microwave, and a gas fireplace. Customer must furnish bedding for the 5th and 6th persons. $95 per night
Maximum 8 people per campsite unless otherwise noted. Applicable daily entrance fees are charged in addition to the campsite or facility fee.
20 - Campsites with water - Sites have a picnic table, fire ring, and a grill. Motorhomes are not permitted in this area. Pop-Ups and small trailers are allowed. Generators may not run from 10pm - 7am. $8 per night, $50 weekly rate.
18 - Campsites with electric and water hook-ups - Sites have a picnic table, fire ring, and a grill. $12 per night, $75 weekly rate.
8 - Campsites with electric, sewer, and water hook-ups - Sites have a picnic table, fire ring, a grill, 50 amp RV pedestal, and sewer connections. No tents are allowed in this area. $18 per night, $108 weekly rate.
8 - Screened Shelters - Shelters are 12' X 16' screened enclosures. They have a picnic table and electricity inside. A water spigot, grill and electricity (20 and 30 amp plugs) are located outside. $20 per night, $120 weekly rate.
Where Elegance, Relaxation and Therapeutics meet Elegant rooms, relaxing on porches and therapeutic and relaxation massages ensure your stay at The Claiborne House will be a memorable one.
11.1 miles from park*
Friday Night Frog Chorus
SORRY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR MARCH 25 DUE TO FLOODING. What is all the commotion about? Find out during a short presentation about frogs!
Learn why and how they call and which frogs are common at Caddo Lake. Listen to their chorus at the Mill Pond and learn to identify them by their different sounds! Meet at the amphitheater.
We suggest bringing a flashlight to light your way after sundown, but one is not required. The amphitheater is not wheelchair accessible, but the area where we listen to the frogs is. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Well behaved and leashed pets are allowed at this program. There is no fee for the program, but park entrance fees apply. Outdoor programs are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions.
Life as a Three-C's Boy
SORRY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO FLOODING. Find out how young men trying to survive the Great Depression built over 800 state parks - including Caddo Lake State Park!
The Civilian Conservation Corps, one of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs, was one of the greatest success stories from the Great Depression. Young men from all over the country left home with hopes of a paycheck to support their families and 3 square meals a day in exchange for building state parks and doing other conservation projects. Find out how these young men lived, worked, and played, and check out pictures from the archives, as well as replica brochures and handbooks. Meet at the fishing pier parking lot. This program is "come and go" at your leisure, but bring a chair if you would like to stay for a while.
Outdoor programs are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Well behaved and leashed pets are welcome to this program. There is no fee for the program, but park entrance fees apply.
Get To Know Caddo Lake State Park
SORRY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO FLOODING. Enjoy a ranger-led hike on the Caddo Forest Trail, and see the "other side" of Caddo Lake State Park!
This leisurely hike will show you the lesser known side of Caddo Lake State Park. Find out how water shapes our landscape, see a remnant of the park's history, learn some common trees and plants found in the park, and discover how it all comes together to make this place we know and love. This hike is two-thirds of a mile long.
Meet at the trailhead by the boat ramp parking lot. The trail is not wheelchair accessible. There is one steep set of steps going uphill and another going downhill. Outdoor programs are subject to cancellation due to the weather, including high winds. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Well behaved and leashed pets are welcome on this hike.
Wetlands: More Than Muck and Mosquitoes!
SORRY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO FLOODING. Caddo Lake is a Wetland of International Importance! Find out what exactly a wetland is and why they are so important to our everyday lives!
You might know Caddo Lake for its baldcypress trees, brown water, and mosquitoes, but wetlands come in many forms, and they help us in more ways than one! Join a park ranger to learn what makes a wetland, watch a demonstration of how they benefit us, and find out what you can do to help your local wetlands back home! Meet at the fishing pier parking lot.
There is no fee for the program, but park entrance fees apply. Outdoor programs are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Well-behaved and leashed pets are welcome at this program.
Game fishes on the Texas side of the lake are managed under statewide regulations with the exception of largemouth bass, which is subject to a 14-18 inch slot length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit. Louisiana harvest regulations differ for many species and apply when fishing the Louisiana side of Caddo Lake. For more information, visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website or call (318) 676-7594.
Largemouth bass is the most popular sportfish at Caddo Lake with good numbers of trophy-size bass (over 8 lbs) available. The lake also supports quality crappie, white bass, and sunfish fisheries. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish are present and provide good seasonal fishing opportunities. Chain pickerel, a smaller cousin of the northern pike, is also present and frequently sought by anglers because of its sporting qualities.
Tips & Tactics:
Although largemouth bass fishing is good throughout the year, the time to fish for trophy fish is spring, with March being the most productive month. Crappie fishing is most productive in winter and early spring with good numbers of legal-size fish available for harvest. Peak fishing time for white bass occurs during winter and early spring in areas where water current is present. Chain pickerel are also good at this time of the year; the best habitat to fish is around submerged aquatic vegetation. Late spring and early summer is a most productive time to fish for sunfishes and catfishes at Caddo Lake.