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Caddo Lake State Park, Karnack

(4.3/5 based on 140+ reviews on the web)
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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My dad has one rule. He must know where his family is and what they are doing. You can't be part of our family if you are not on life360. Ask my kids what's our only family rule? If they aren't being ...  more »
  • We visited with our kids for a camping trip. RV camp sites were nice (back in...we don't like pull through). Most were spacious. Trails were clear but not at all marked. Don't go off trail...the ticks...  more »
  • Fishing, camping, canoeing, hiking, enjoying nature. For larger RV's they have eight 50 amp, water, sewer, pull-thru sites. Good boat ramp. Lots of places to visit in the area. 
Google
  • ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS.. The prices are super good.. Only $20 for a canoe which is easy to access and use. I had a fantastic time and will definitely return. Friendly staff too.
  • This park is beautiful. It features tall cypress with spanish moss, water recreation, canoeing, and abundant trails and recreation areas. Go and rent a canoe and you won't be disappointed.
  • Beautiful, peaceful, quiet and clean. They are strict about enforcing the rules, but are always incredibly polite about it. Dark at night for star gazing on a clear night. Don't go here without paddling out on the lake, it's so worth it! We caught an alligator gar and a crappie, heard the fishing is usually better but they had just recently had a flood that must have scared the fish off. Beautiful pristine trails, lots of charming little bridges and beautiful natural looking stairs. Moss everywhere is so calming, lots of song birds singing in the morning. Also the cabins and screened shelters are super cheap and the tent camping is fantastic as well. Fire rings at every campsite. This is by far the best state park I've visited yet and I've been to quite a few all over Texas.
  • Terrible place to have a wedding in my opinion. Yeah, it's pretty out there, but for 1) they charged us $15 just to look at the facility. 2) the day was only 9am to 9pm, which I'm not ending my Reception at 9pm for anything, it's my 1 and only big day. 3) all of my guest would have had to pay $3 to attend MY wedding, which isn't much but still it's ridiculous to pay to sit through a wedding. 4) the place was cute but very small. 5) the lake was nowhere to be found lol. And 6) the president of the facility lives right around the corner which mean no live bands or no loud music... Basically no fun what so ever!
  • We came specifically for the canoes. Over the phone the lady said they'd be available at 1. We showed up at 12:20 and would keep checking at the counter. She was visibly annoyed at our questions. At 1:00pm, she checked the times and said the next one wouldn't come in until 1:45 and said that a man who came AFTER us was before me. Thanks lady....with three bouncing kids, waiting for FOURTY MINUTES.....