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County
Harrison
Region
Pineywoods
Nearby
Parks
Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge
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Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge Information:
This National Wildlife Refuge was established on portions of the former 8,500 acre Longhorn Ammunition Plant in 2009 for the purpose of protecting migratory birds, fish and other wildlife. The refuge contains one of the highest quality old-growth bottomland hardwood forests in the southeastern United States. The hardwood forest lies along Harrison Bayou, and the associated wetlands are located along the shores of Caddo Lake. The wetlands are listed as a “Wetland of International Significance” under the Ramsar Conventions of Wetlands. It is one of 17 such designated areas in the United States. The Dwight K. Shellman Jr. Caddo Lake Ramsar Wetlands Visitor Center is located in the NWR headquarters’ area. Other facilities and amenities include the refuge headquarters buildings, the Visitors Contact Station, the Magazine Trail kiosk (off 24th Street in Karnack), and a pavilion. The Alonzo Perkins Hope Cemetery is located on the Cemetery Trail. Alonzo, his wife, and two friends are buried there. The Kiosk at the Cemetery Trail trailhead is located on 6th Street in Karnack. The NWR features up to 224 species of birds, 22 species of amphibians, 46 species of reptiles, and 93 species of fish. Twenty wildlife species are listed as species of Concern. The bald eagle and Louisiana black bear are listed as endangered.The Friends of Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge (volunteers) help with maintenance projects, environmental education programs, biological work, and other activities. The refuge has two RV sites and provides free utilities and a washer/dryer in exchange for 32 hours a week of volunteer service. The NWR is located within the village of Karnack, and is adjacent to the Caddo Lake State Park and WMA. The NWR is located 15 miles from the cities of Jefferson and Marshall, Texas. From the intersection of SH 43 and Loop 390 in Marshall, drive 10 miles north on SH 43. Go right on Spur 449; drive one mile to the fork in the road. Go right at the fork. Cross SH 134 and the KCS Railroad tracks; the refuge entrance will be directly in front of you; go left. The parking lot is located within 0.25 miles of the guardhouse entrance.  
 
Caddo Lake Information:
Caddo Lake is located on Big Cypress Bayou on the Louisiana and Texas border. It covers approximately 26,800 surface acres evenly divided between Texas and Louisiana. The average depth is 20 feet. It was the only naturally formed lake in Texas until it was dammed in 1914. In 1799, the original lake was formed by a gigantic log jam (The Great Raft) at the confluence of the Caddo and Red Rivers. Until the Great Raft was removed, the Caddo Lake channel was used by steamboats traveling to the Jefferson, Texas Port. Named after the Caddo Indians, the lake is an internationally protected wetland under the Ramsar Treaty, and is the largest fresh water lake in the south, and the largest Cypress forest in the world. Thick Spanish moss draped bald cypress trees and aquatic plants thrive in the lake, making the lake a maze of sloughs, bayous, and ponds. The lake is swampy and it is easy for boaters to get lost. Over 42 miles of boat roads have been mapped, and over 100 miles of boat roads are clearly marked for navigation purposes. Caddo Lake has approximately 71 species of fish and 225 species of birds. In 2014, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service released 50 paddlefish into the lake in order to monitor the lake’s ecosystem. How well this dinosaur era fish survives and thrives will be an indicator of how well the ecosystem is recovering. Activities include birding, fishing and duck hunting. The lake is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Texas town of Uncertain is located on the west shore of the lake. The town of Karnack, Texas is located nearby.
 
Caddo Lake State Park Information:
This 484 acre park is located along the Big Cypress Bayou near Caddo Lake. In 1933, Lady Bird Johnson’s father, Mr. T.J. Taylor, and other local institutions and land owners donated property for the development of the first National Park Service supervised state park in Texas. Using the National Park Services’ natural designs, the original improvements to the park were constructed by CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps)companies 889 and 857 between 1934 and 1937. The original 15 U.S. Army barracks and an Army mess hall were converted into the 9 long cabins and the group recreation hall that exist today. Additional CCC structures include a pavilion, remnants of the original picnic sites, a shelter, the park entrance portals, and a latrine located on a trail. Caddo Lake, especially its waterfowl habitat, has been selected as a wetland of international importance. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more complete park information, read the Park Brochure, and watch the Park Video. From Marshall, take SH 43 north for 13 miles to FM 2198. Turn right (east) on FM 2198 and continue 0.5 miles to the Caddo Lake State Park entrance (Park Road 2) on the left, or continue to the public boat ramp at the FM 2198 Bridge crossing Caddo Lake.
 
Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area Information:
In 1992, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department purchased most of the 8,005 acres that is now Caddo Lake State Park and the Caddo Wildlife Management Area from the National Park Service. In 1993, the land was selected as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention. The WMA contains a permanently flooded bald cypress swamp and seasonally flooded bottomland hardwoods. Islands in the lake make up most of the land mass. The remainder of the WMA habitat is uplands forested with pine, oak and hickory trees. The WMA has no facilities. Visitors must bring their own drinking water. Airboats, ATV’s and ORV’s are prohibited. Fishing and boating maps are available from the Caddo Lake State park headquarters and at local area businesses. Caddo Lake boat lanes are marked by numbered posts. Trapping and public hunting of white-tailed deer, feral hog, waterfowl, dove, other migratory game birds, squirrel, quail, rabbits, hares, predators, furbearers and frogs is permitted in the WMA. Other activities include hiking and primitive camping in designated campsites. Biking and horseback riding are permitted on designated roads. Equestrian use is permitted from September 1-22 and June 1-August 31. Visitors, including fishermen, must have a limited use permit to access the WMA. Permits are available at Caddo Lake State Park. Hunters are required to have an annual public hunting permit. The WMA is open year round. Seasonal access restrictions apply to hunters and horseback riders.From Karnack, take SH 43 1 mile north to FM 2198; go east (right) 0.5 miles to Park Road 2.
 
Directions:
From the intersection of SH 43 and Loop 390 in Marshall, drive 10 miles north on SH 43. Go right on Spur 449; drive one mile to the fork in the road. Go right at the fork. Cross SH 134 and the KCS Railroad tracks; the refuge entrance will be directly in front of you; go left. The parking lot is located within 0.25 miles of the guardhouse entrance.