Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area

Karnack, Texas 75661

Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area

Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area Professional Review and Guide

"The 32,000-acre lake, including the 478-acre state park, contains some of the finest cypress swamp in Texas. It is one of only 15 U.S. sites recognized by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, dedicated to worldwide protection of wetland ecosystems. The overall area encompasses a sprawling maze of bayous, sloughs, and channels through pine and hardwood forest, bald cypress swamp, and open lake. In warmer months, one can rent canoes in the state park and elsewhere around the lake.

Key birds: Wood Duck, Wild Turkey, Greater Roadrunner, Red-headed and Pileated Woodpeckers, Fish Crow, and Brown-headed Nuthatch are present year-round. Anhinga; White Ibis; Wood Stork; Mississippi Kite; King Rail; Purple Gallinule; Chuck-will’s-widow; Scissor-tailed Flycatcher; Wood Thrush; Yellow-throated, Prairie, Prothonotary, Swainson’s, Kentucky, and Hooded Warblers; American Redstart; Louisiana Waterthrush; Indigo and Painted Buntings; and Dickcissel occur in summer. Bald Eagle, American Woodcock, Winter and Sedge Wrens, Eastern and Spotted Towhees, LeConte’s and Fox Sparrows, and Rusty Blackbird can usually be found in winter."

Nearby Trails

More Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area Professional Reviews and Guides

"About 17 miles NE of Marshall. An easy day hike through the woods of Caddo Lake State Park. Special Attractions: Cypress-dotted lake, CCC buildings."

"If Swamp Thing had a favorite place to go for rest and relaxation, Caddo Lake State Park would be it. Caddo Lake is the ideal cypress swamp with its matrix of bayous and sloughs covering over 26,000 acres. It is the only naturally formed lake of grand proportions in Texas. A natural logjam, the Great Raft, may have formed the bulk of Caddo Lake in the early 1800s, but it is possible that some permutation of the lake has existed for centuries.

Today the lake’s water levels are controlled by dams and reservoirs. Its depth fluctuates between 8 feet in the shallows to 20 feet in the bayous, and it harbors seventy-one species of fish. The lake is popular for fishing, but it’s best to forgo a swim as alligators are in residence."

Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area Reviews

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4/12/2008
Not a bad trail, but a little crowded on the weekend. Lots of poison ivy as well this time of year. The bridges mentioned in the guide have been restored, so you can stay on the trail, instead of crossing over on the road. The trail also loops back on itself several times, so I found it hard to pick up the trail in a couple of spots. It all eventually ends up at the same place though, so just remember that the trailhead is northwest and the CCC building is northeast.
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5/9/2004
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6/16/2001
Good trail! Just check for ticks after you finish hiking.
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Caddo Lake and Caddo Lake State Park and Wildlife Management Area Photos

Trail Information

Karnack
Nearby City
Several options
Trail Type
Moderate
Skill Level
Best April and May for spring migrants and nesting activities; November to March for winter birds
Best Times
Caddo Lake State Park
Local Contacts
Texas Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme
Local Maps