Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park is located on the only natural lake in the Lone Star State. The lake was eventually dammed in the early 1900s when oil was struck and for flood control. Caddo Indian legends tell of a giant flood that gave way to the formation of the lake. Some scientists believe the lake formed when a massive log jam on the Red River occurred, dumping flood waters into the Cypress Bayou. Others believe the lake may have been created after a strong earthquake caused the Red River to flood the bayou.
Caddo Lake is a sprawling maze of bayous, sloughs, and ponds that snake through the lush vegetation and bald cypress forest, covering some 26,810 acres of cypress swamp. The average depth of the lake is eight to ten feet, however the deep water in the bayou averages roughly twenty feet. Caddo Lake State Park provides access to some of the most diverse fishing in Texas. The lake contains 71 known species of fish, and is especially good for crappie, large-mouth bass, and white bass.
The park is a perfect place for camping, hiking, swimming, picnicking, nature study, fishing, and boating. Naturalists will have the opportunity to enjoy the impressive cypress trees, American lotus, and lily pads. Waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutrias, squirrels, armadillos, and white-tailed deer are abundant in the area.
Quaint cabins constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s are also very popular. The CCC began construction in 1933 and was completed between October 1934 and 1937, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Fifteen U.S. Army barracks and an Army mess hall were converted into nine log cabins and a group recreation hall that are used today. The CCC pavilion, remnants of the original picnic sites, and a latrine along the trails can still be seen in the park today.
Experience Caddo Lake State Park by water. The park makes it easy for you to get on the water. Leased Concession Operation offers canoe rentals in the park, and pontoon boat tours March through November daily, except Tuesday and Wednesday. Canoe rentals available on weekends only December through February. Other rentals are available about six miles from the park in Uncertain, Texas. Visit the Old Port Caddo Rentals and Tours web site or call them at (903) 679-3073 or (903) 930-0075 for more information.
Caddo Lake State Park facilities include: restrooms with and without showers; picnic sites; interpretive center; boat launching ramp; canoe rentals; playground; 1 & ½ miles of hiking trails; ¾ mile nature trail; and trailer dump station.
Weather: January average low is 48 degrees, July average high is 88 degrees.
Directions: Travel north of Karnack one mile on State Highway 43 to FM 2198; go east for 1/2 mile to Park Road 2. The park is 15 miles northeast of Marshall.
Schedule: The park is open 7 days a week year round. There is no gate. Busy season is from March through November.
$2 per day, per person 13 and older
$1 per day, per person Texas residents 65 on 9/1/95 or after.
To inquire about a group school-sponsored trip contact the park to make arrangements.
Special entrance rates for holders of:
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. Note: The bridge into the Mill Pond Campground has a maximum 5,000 Lb. Vehicular Load Rating. If your vehicle and the contents of the vehicle exceed 5,000 Lbs, you should not drive across this bridge. There is a parking area immediately before this bridge where you can park and walk-in, but you may want to consider upgrading to another campground that does not utilize this bridge.
$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
7 – 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
Note: Cabins are approximately 1/2 mile from water front, except for the Limited Use Cabin which is in the Shelter Area. 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 (no cooking is allowed in the Limited Use Cabin). Linens and towels are provided (except in the Limited Use Cabin).
1 – Limited Use Cabin – 5 person capacity, 2 bunkbeds with mattresses provided, customer must bring linens, no pets or cooking allowed inside limited cabin, no motorhomes or camper trailers allowed. Water spigot, grill and picnic table outside. Window unit air & heat provided inside.
$48 per night/$288 weekly rate
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
Day Use Facilities
1 – Group Recreation Hall. – Maximum building capacity is 100 people. The kitchen/storage are has a refrigerator, freezer, stove, sink, and a microwave. There is also a dining area, a lodge room with a fireplace, a conference/meeting room, and men’s and women’s restrooms without showers. All areas have central air and heat. There are 12 folding tables, 100 plastic chairs, and a large outdoor grill. $200 for one day
Pets are not allowed in any Texas State Park buildings. For other general pet restrictions check the Texas State Park Regulations. Contact the park for specific pet restrictions and more information by calling 1-800-792-1112.