Caddo Lake State Park is a state park located in eastern Texas. Caddo Lake, the lake that the state park encompasses, is one of only a handful of natural lakes in Texas. The park consists of 8253acre west of the lake itself, in Harrison County, near Karnack, Texas. The lake and surrounding area was drilled for petroleum in the 1900s. The lake was created by a gigantic log jam known as the Great Raft.HistoryEarly inhabitants and explorationThe first humans settled in the area near the park around 10,000 BC. For several centuries, these people used the marshlands of Caddo Lake to gather food. Sometime around 800 AD, the first Caddo settlements appeared in the area. At the time, the tribes in the region were not a connected nation, instead being a large collection of close-knit, peaceful gathering communities. Over time, the Caddo communities grew and prospered, becoming a highly farming community by at least 1200 AD, learning to grow crops such as maize (corn).In 1542, the Francisco de Soto expedition, led by Luis de Moscoso Alvarado due to De Soto's death earlier in the expedition, discovered the complex Caddoan society. They sent back the first descriptions of the Caddo. Several more European expeditions explored the area around the park throughout the 1600s. The Spanish established several Missions and trading-posts during the 1700s, and numerous epidemics caused by the European settlements virtually wiped out the Caddo that inhabited the area. They used the nearby Red River for trading.For Caddo Lake State Park and beyond, use our Karnack family vacation planner to get the most from your Karnack vacation.
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We stayed in a 2 person cabin, clean comfortable and perfect! Some trails are currently closed but we still had plenty of places to roam around. We did not pack much food but a small ice chest with ca... more »
Took family trip to Caddo lake State Park and stayed in one of the cabins. Cabins are affordable and had plenty of room. Loved the big covered patio to sit and enjoy the peacefulness in the area. Cadd... more »
Earler in July, we enjoyed canoeing on beautiful Caddo Lake It was beautiful, still and serene. The trees are beautiful, and I enjoyed seeing the reflections they made in the water. We saw a couple of... more »
Beautiful park. Dirty facilities. Upon arriving to our pretty wooded green shaded campsite, I remembered the gross bathrooms from our visit last year. We checked in around 2pm on a Tuesday. I know it's summer but it looked like they hadn't been clean in a few days.(trash needed to be emptied, floor needed to be swept/mopped, & it smelled like an ashtray) I called Marilyn at the front desk and politely requested someone come check them out. Here's hoping. The lake is beautiful & the sites are nice & spacious but I honestly feel I'd be cleaner taking a "shower" at my campsite dumping water over my head by my tent.
We have paddled tens lakes in Texas with our kayaks but definitely this is something special. One day is not enough here so I recommend to stop at least one night avoiding rush. You have to breath the nature as well adapting you paddling with slows movements. A lot of wildlife but, unfortunately, in three days we never seen alligators... For those who love the kayak this is a must see!
The boat rides are very good. Sports people can bring in their own speed boat and enjoy. Families can hire the guided boat. Lots of things to see. Recommended place.
Interactive museum/welcome center/gift shop, great for kids. License-free fishing at Texas State Parks. Great park security. Friendly staff. Beautiful views. Inexpensive camping.
Quiet park during week. Cabins have the basics. Good place to relax and forget about what is going on back home. Warning: DO NOT DRINK IN PUBLIC. If drinking do it inside cabin only.
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Side trips from Karnack
Gators and Friends - Alligator Park & Exotic Zoo
Visit for: 3h
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East Texas Oil Museum
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Waterpark at the Villages
Visit for: 4h
Daingerfield State Park
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America's Only Public Bathrooms with See-Thru Walls
Visit for: 1h 30min
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