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USA Parks
Piney Woods Region
Caddo Lake State Park
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Caddo Lake State Park Canoes at Caddo © Andrea Short
Canoes on the Caddo Lake Shore
Caddo Lake State Park Pier © Andrea Short
Pier under the trees at Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park Through the Trees © Andrea Short
Sun shines through the trees a little before sunset
Caddo Lake State Park Spanish Moss © Andrea Short
Early morning sun hits the Spanish Moss at Caddo Lake State Park
Caddo Lake State Park © Evan Griffiths III
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245 Park Rd 2
Karnack, Texas   75661

Phone: 903-679-3351
Thick bald cypress and a tangle of aquatic plants thrive in the waters at Caddo Lake State Park. Because the vegetation is so lush, much of the lake is really a maze of sloughs, bayous, and ponds. The park affords excellent access to the diverse fishing in Texas. Also popular are the park's quaint cabins, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's.
Nature of the Area
Caddo Lake State Park gets its name from Caddo Lake, a sprawling maze of bayous and sloughs covering, 26,810 acres of cypress swamp. The average depth of the lake is 8'-10' with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20.' An angler's delight, the lake contains 71 species of fish. It is especially good for crappie and large-mouth and white bass. Naturalists can enjoy stately cypress trees, American lotus, and lily pads, waterfowl, alligators, turtles, frogs, snakes, raccoons, minks, nutrias, beavers, squirrels, armadillos, and white-tailed deer.
History of the Area
This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900's when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971. Caddo Indian legend attributes the formation of the lake to a giant flood. Scientists believe the lake formed when floodwaters, blocked by massive log jams on the Red River, backed up into the Cypress Bayou watershed, forming the lake.

The park's original improvements were made by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Begun by Company 889 in June to November of 1933 and completed by Company 857 between October 1934 and March 1937. The U.S. Army had 15 barracks and an Army mess hall that were converted into the 9 log cabins and group recreation hall that we use today. There is also a CCC pavilion and remnants of original picnic sites and a latrine along the trails.
Note: Cabins are approximately 1/2 mile from water front. 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. Linens and towels are provided.

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
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. $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.

8 - 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.
Nearby Accommodations
businesss listing main photo
The Claiborne House - Jefferson, TX
BBs / Inns
Where Elegance, Relaxation and Therapeutics meet Elegant rooms, relaxing on porches and therapeutic and relaxation massages ensure your stay at The Claiborne House will be a memorable one.
11.1 miles from park*
Fishing Regulations:

Game fishes on the Texas side of the lake are managed under statewide regulations with the exception of largemouth bass, which is subject to a 14-18 inch slot length limit, 5 fish daily bag limit. Louisiana harvest regulations differ for many species and apply when fishing the Louisiana side of Caddo Lake. For more information, visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website or call (318) 676-7594.

Angling Opportunities:

Largemouth bass is the most popular sportfish at Caddo Lake with good numbers of trophy-size bass (over 8 lbs) available. The lake also supports quality crappie, white bass, and sunfish fisheries. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish are present and provide good seasonal fishing opportunities. Chain pickerel, a smaller cousin of the northern pike, is also present and frequently sought by anglers because of its sporting qualities.

Tips & Tactics:

Although largemouth bass fishing is good throughout the year, the time to fish for trophy fish is spring, with March being the most productive month. Crappie fishing is most productive in winter and early spring with good numbers of legal-size fish available for harvest. Peak fishing time for white bass occurs during winter and early spring in areas where water current is present. Chain pickerel are also good at this time of the year; the best habitat to fish is around submerged aquatic vegetation. Late spring and early summer is a most productive time to fish for sunfishes and catfishes at Caddo Lake.

Caddo Lake State Park is located near Marshall, Shreveport

Area Attractions
Nearby attractions include Starr Family State Historic Site in Marshall; and nearby, Karnack is the childhood home of Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson and the Old City of Jefferson, famous as the commercial center of northeast Texas during the first half of the 19th century. Boat tours are offered by a number of operators on the lake. Schedules are dependent on the weather. Shady Glade Marina, Motel and Restaurant 903/789-3295; Caddo Lake Steamboat Company 903/665-1665; Jefferson Landing Riverboat 903/665-2222. Historic Jefferson Tour Headquarters handles the following information for Jefferson and Caddo Lake: tours, tickets and information on many events, including riverboat excursions, horse-drawn tours, home tours, city trolley tours, train rides, horseback riding, general information, souvenirs, gifts, and steamboat tours on Caddo Lake - 222 E. Austin St., Jefferson, Texas 75657; 903/665-1665. Marion County Chamber of Commerce - 903/ 665-2672; Marshall Chamber of Commerce - 903/935-7868; Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau - 800/551-8682.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
November 4 The owl show was great by Mike Mooneyham
park review stars; one to five My family and I participated in The Owl Prowl a couple of weekends ago. It was fabulous. The ranger was very knowledgable and informative and her presentation was excellent. We really enjoyed it. Thank you to the ranger.
September 4 Friendly Park by Cindy
park review stars; one to five Our camping group went Labor Day weekend and had a wonderful time. People in the office were extremely nice and very helpful. About 15 of us went on the Owl Prowl Friday night and really enjoyed it. We got to see and hear several groups of owls. One of our most enjoyable camping trips
March 11 I really like Caddo Lake state Park.
park review stars; one to five I like the trees,lake and wildlife in and around the park. Not to mention most of the staff are very friendly and helpful.
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Nearby Hotels

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.

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Texas State Parks