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 were there during the week. It was so quiet and peaceful. This place is awesome with cypress. We spent a night at their 2 people cabin which has microwave, coffee maker and hot showers. It's comfor... more »
I would not drive out of your way to see this state park. It is a small park with not much to do unless you go out in the muddy water. The cypress trees in the water were pretty unique. more »
First, the positives. The park office had some interesting displays. The office staff was helpful and polite. The fishing dock was fun to use and the kids caught a fish. The cabin spots looked nice. N... more »
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!
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.
Loved it...Our first time there, in January. It was so peaceful, so relaxing cool enough to enjoy ourselves but not too cold. Large trees everywhere, we did a little hike through the woods, walked down to the fishing pier in hopes of spotting a gator...No such luck. It's was just a wonderful weekend, the camp host helped us when we arrived find a spot large enough for our 37' motorhome. Will definitely go back.
Came here to fish and relax for a few hours with our daughter. We had a great day here. I'd like to come back to go camping. The tent sites are amazing.
Ashley Murphree Tran
For Texas, it's a unique experience. Not much to do after you do a loop of the small lake in the canoe but the scenery is tranquil and eerily pretty.
Best things to do in Karnack
Side trips from Karnack
Gators and Friends
Visit for: 3h
Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari
Visit for: 2h 30min
East Texas Oil Museum
Visit for: 1h 30min
Waterpark at the Villages
Visit for: 4h
America's Only Public Bathrooms with See-Thru Walls
Visit for: 1h 30min
Enoch's Stomp Vineyard & Winery
Visit for: 1h 30min
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