STATE PARK ADVENTURES
When you launch your canoe from the shore of Caddo Lake State Park, you enter a place of ethereal beauty. As your paddle dips silently into the water, you’re propelled through a maze of slow-moving bayous, wetlands and backwaters.
Spanish moss drapes from majestic trees in a flooded bald cypress forest. Lily pads provide resting spots for frogs or turtles, and great blue herons fly from tree to tree.
A series of paddling trails offers routes and destinations at Caddo Lake, or you can just paddle around to your heart’s content. Paddling trail routes are marked with reflective yellow signs attached to trees and posts. Canoe rentals are available at the state park.
“Caddo Lake State Park is a great jumping-off point to access over 50 miles of fantastic paddling,” says park interpretive specialist Dustin Schrock. “Within the park, we have Sawmill Pond, which is great for beginners and is beautiful in its own right.”
Getting out on the water provides visitors a way to be fully immersed in the sights, sounds and feelings of the lake.
“Definitely the best way to experience Caddo Lake is to paddle,” Schrock says. “There’s a sense of adventure and mystery, but it’s also accessible. You can almost feel the living swamp when you’re out there. And when the sun backlights those cypress trees, it makes a really epic photo.”
Russell Roe Chase Fountain | TPWD; Inset from top: Sandy Dunham Photography x2; Jennifer M Ramos
» Like this story? If you enjoy reading articles like this, subscribe to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.