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CADDO LAKE is located on the border of Texas and Louisiana, Harrison and Marion Counties in Texas and Caddo County in Louisiana.   It is name after the Caddo tribe who lived in the area until they were relocated, in 1835 by the US, to Binger, Oklahoma.  Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma headquarters is located there.

Hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans in the 18th century a massive extending 150 miles clogged the lower portion of the Red River in what is now Northeast Texas and Northwest Louisiana.  This became known as the Great Raft.  During this time banks of the river raised, creating new tributaries and numerous lakes in lower lying areas.    Many of these lakes have vanished.  Caddo along with Cross Lake, Wallace Lake, Bistineau Lake, and Black Bayou were preserved when dams were built in the early 1900s.  These lakes are now known as the Great Raft Lakes.

Caddo is the largest naturally formed lake in Texas, the largest natural fresh water lake in the South, and the largest bald cypress forest in the world.  It is a unique ecosystem thriving with wildlife, birds, and swamp creatures like alligators and water snakes.   It’s one of the only places on Earth where you can find the paddlefish, the oldest surviving animal species on the continent.  it looks nothing like what you would picture when you think of Texas.


In the early 1930s, T.J. Taylor, the father of Lady Bird Johnson, and other local businessmen and groups, donated land to the state of Texas with the intent to build a state park on its grounds. Caddo Lake State Park, is the first Texas state park to be supervised by National Park Service. With guidance from NPS, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) completed the project within four years after it was commissioned in 1933.  Today Caddo Lake State Park boasts several miles of hiking trails, cabins, and an abundance of wildlife. 

The best thing about Caddo Lake is as you are driving off you will begin to plan your next visit to this Texas Treasure!

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