"Keeweechic's Caddo Lake" Caddo Lake State Park by keeweechic

Caddo Lake State Park Travel Guide: 40 reviews and 74 photos

Caddo Lake is just north of Karnack and stretches over 32,000 acres in both Texas and Louisiana. There are a number of Indian legends that tell how the lake was formed at night, in the light of the moon, by powerful spirits shaking the earth in anger at the Caddo Indian Chief who had apparently ignored the warnings and one night while his men were out hunting, the ground shook and when they returned, their village was gone beneath water. There is some belief that there is some fact to this legend as the lake may have been formed by the great New Madrid earthquake of 1811. This could have knocked down enough trees to form the great raft that dammed the Red River and formed Caddo Lake.

Others say Caddo Lake stick by the theory that it was formed by the huge log jam known as the Red River Raft, which ran for 100 miles down the Red River. As part of the log jam were removed from 12 Mile Bayou and the Red River itself, the lake changed shape and finally, in 1873, Captain Henry Shreve removed the 100-mile Red River Raft itself. It was done to improve navigation but it had the opposite effect. Before long Caddo Lake was drained, and the once thriving river ports of Jefferson, Swanson's Landing and Port Caddo were destroyed. Prior to that steamboats from New Orleans and elsewhere used to be a common sight on the lake in the mid-1800s. The wreck of the Mittie Stephens at Swanson's Landing one night in 1869, was the worst steamboat disaster on Caddo Lake. There were 60 lives lost by fire or drowning. When day broke, the remaining crew and passengers could see that they were almost on shore, a fact that escaped those who jumped from the stern of the burning vessel and drowned the night before.

I had a small taste of swamps on the Louisiana side last year and had been longing to do a tour of the swamps. The wait was certainly worth it, I loved every minute of these intriguing waters.

Photos which are taken by myself and all headings are copyright and digitally marked. Please do not use them without permission. Thanks.(c) keeweechic 2001-2006 (copyright)

  • Last visit to Caddo Lake State Park: Sep 2001
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (23)

Comments (10)

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2015 at 3:57 PM

    This looks like a beautiful place to explore! Swamps, birds, and Spanish moss, all things I like.

  • Sweetberry1's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2004 at 7:01 AM

    What an extraordinary place this is.. Magnificent photos of the Lake and surrounds.Keewee... Like the Darwin Award story.. so it is true.. Ask, and you shall receive.. ;-)

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2004 at 1:58 PM

    I can see you did your research on the birds of the area. I'd love to hike through the swamps looking for birds and whatever else I could find.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2003 at 8:19 AM

    Wonderful page illustrated by beautiful pictures! Reflection, reflections!

  • Jul 1, 2003 at 5:02 AM

    what a terrible idea to drill oil in such a ecological wonder! Your pictures are fabulous, Keewee! I've never seen nature like this before! Are you also gonna build a page on Uncertain :-)?

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2003 at 1:32 PM

    Wonderful pages! You sold me! If we ever travel in this direction again, I will definetely plan to add Caddo Lake to our basic outline.

  • GreenMtn.Man's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2003 at 10:26 PM

    Nice updates looks good as always.

  • KaiM's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2003 at 9:40 PM

    Wow, lots of information in great detail. You´ve a great knowledge of wildlife and flora.

  • bugalugs's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2003 at 12:52 PM

    Geography,history, the environment, flora, fauna, this page has it all, thanks!

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2002 at 7:23 PM

    yep that Forest Gump deserved what he asked for...and the Motto is: never ask for much!!


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