Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Post Reply
User avatar
YoungBlacksmith
Wet Tinder
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:24 am
Location: Kilgore, TX
Has thanked: 126 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Post by YoungBlacksmith » Mon Mar 18, 2019 7:10 am

The family and I were feeling a little stir crazy Saturday, so we packed up for a day and headed off to Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge (https://www.fws.gov/refuge/caddo_lake/). CLNWR is a 8000+ acre refuge, and as such no camping is allowed. But, there are lots of un-used, old roads and trails to check out for easy day hiking. From 1941 - 1997 it was an Army ammunition manufacturing and storage plant, and some areas are still closed off due to unexploded ordnance issues.

Image

There are a few main roads around, taking you to the outer edges in two areas, and lots of criss-cross roads where the storage bunkers were around the entrance. Once you get parked there are lots of little trails, once sidewalks or minor roads, leading between stuff. We explored the bunker areas a bit, playing in the old overgrown concrete jumbles.

Image Image Image

But we really came for the lake. There is one small boat launch, and lots of flooded trails around the lake.

Image Image

A little further back from the lake we noticed a hiking trail, which was an old road, and decided to follow it.

Image Image

It took us to an old lake access spot, with a turn around for vehicles. The lake itself was fenced, and it was swampy, but still gave us a little of the visually strange Caddo lake views.

Image

We had a picnic lunch, and headed home around 3:30.


Would we go back? Possibly. The weather was great, the hiking was easy and open, but the lake was hard to access. You really need a boat to see the lake the way we wanted to. Just down the road there are pontoon boat excursions that we'll probably do next time instead. If you're looking for a nice place to get away from people, with easy access, and lots of stuff to explore, it's a great place to visit.
These users thanked the author YoungBlacksmith for the post (total 3):
Woodsman Wannabe (Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:56 am) • BigJesse (Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 am) • shadowmib (Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:40 pm)
Rating: 33.33%
Aaron

"G.W. Sears would not have tolerated MRE's, that is not what Woodcraft and Camping is all about." - Jeffro

User avatar
BigJesse
Site Admin
Posts: 2284
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 9:51 pm
Location: Copperas Cove, Tx
Has thanked: 182 times
Been thanked: 163 times
Contact:

Re: Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Post by BigJesse » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:35 am

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Oathkeeper762
Fair Weather Camper
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:28 pm
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Post by Oathkeeper762 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:01 am

Next time you’re up stop at Big Pines for some catfish, and amazing jalapeño hush puppies and coleslaw. The restaurant has been around forever, well actually burnt and rebuilt, but I the same location for decades. It’s right on the river and if you want to take your family on a lake excursion the paddle boat leaves from their docks.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
These users thanked the author Oathkeeper762 for the post:
YoungBlacksmith (Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:42 pm)
Rating: 11.11%

User avatar
NeckRed Gringo
Artist Formerly Known as SD Woodsman
Posts: 246
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 4:30 pm
Location: Dallas / Cedar Hill Area
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Post by NeckRed Gringo » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:50 am

That place looks awesome for a day hike. Thanks for posting it!

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

These users thanked the author NeckRed Gringo for the post:
YoungBlacksmith (Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:43 pm)
Rating: 11.11%

Post Reply