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.Plan trip to Karnack with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.
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Caddo Lake State Park Reviews
I have been here during take last week of the year. It’s really awesome. Took a boat tour and the views are cool. Don’t miss the big cypress wall cannel view. more »
Stopped by to view the state park to consider for future visits. This place is fairly secluded and very peaceful. There were not many visitors at the location due to the cold weather. We hoped to take... more »
We spent a day at this park with our 2 grandchildren, ages 7 and 3. We had a great time hiking. The kids enjoyed the trails. We also rented canoes and took them out for a spin on the lake. The Ranger ... more »
It was very peaceful and very beautiful. There are 2 boardwalks to overlook Mills Pond. The bathrooms we're lit well enough. They have canoes to rent to get some great pics between the trees in the bayou. The camping areas are very clean and the pads are covered in sand, making it more comfortable to sleep on. There are electric and water sites available. There is wildlife there. I got spooked by an armadillo walking at night. The staff were all very friendly and helpful. There is an educational area in the gift shop that you can interact with.
It cost me $4.00 to get in. I rented a canoe for 1 hour for $10. They give you extra time to get down to the canoes in the water and to get back up to turn in your keys. Just an FYI, there is no one down by the canoes to help you get the canoe in the water. You're on your own getting the canoe out of the water and getting the canoe out of the water. Thankfully for me today there was other people out there canoeing and they are very gracious to help me get the canoe to the water's edge and back out from the water. So if you're on any restrictions for lifting or pulling like I am right now make sure somebody can help you with the canoe. Today was a nice cool day so if canoeing was very enjoyable. Not sure I want to do this on a very hot humid day. Very beautiful where you go out canoeing. Well worth the trip out here and definitely worth the money.
We went to the park on Christmas Eve, and they still open. The entrance fee is $4.00/person. We went there for hiking, and drove pass several cabins inside the park. The trail is pretty easy, typical mountain trail, no much to see. The picnic area is nearby the lake. We feel like it might not be the best spot to enjoy the full beauty of the lake.
Beautiful, clean, well up kept park. Peaceful campsites, and friendly park staff. Highly recommend renting a canoe during your stay and paddling through the beautiful cypress trees. Bring plenty of fishing equipment, it’s inevitable that your gonna lose some to the Cypress roots.
With Spanish moss casing thick cypress trees and a sprawling labyrinth of lush bayous and wetlands, this lake is just begging to be kayaked. Created by the gigantic log jam dubbed “The Great Raft” -- which began backlogging the Red and Atchafalaya Rivers as far back as 1100-1200 AD -- it’s one of the only naturally formed lakes in Texas
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Side trips from Karnack
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East Texas Oil Museum
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Daingerfield State Park
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America's Only Public Bathrooms with See-Thru Walls
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