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The Largest, Naturally Formed Freshwater Lake in Texas Celebrates 80 Years as a State Park

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Located in beautiful East Texas, Caddo Lake State Park is situated near the Texas-Louisiana border and is now in the midst of its 80th year of operation. Serving visitors with its wonderful natural attractions, paddling, hiking, and campgrounds, Caddo Lake State Park has a rich history and a storied past that makes it the great attraction it remains today.

Including the presence of the Caddo Indians during the 18th and 19th centuries (for which the lake was named), it’s believed that the area was actually inhabited for close to 12,000 years. When the Native Americans first arrived in the region, they lived a semi-nomadic style life, including hunting and gathering. The vast forest and the broad expanse of wetlands this area provided offered fishing and hunting grounds to sustain their population as well as the opportunity to develop a farming system. Moving into the 19th century and the settlement of Texas by its earlier immigrants, however, the Caddo Indians have gradually been driven away.

Available on the Texas Parks and Wildlife official YouTube Channel, this video of Caddo Lake State Park is narrated by park staff and shows the natural beauty and biodiversity of the largest, naturally formed freshwater lake in the state of Texas. In the early 1930s, the land was donated to the state of Texas for the purpose of building a state park, and Caddo Lake has the honor of being the first one that was supervised by the National Park Service (NPS). It was with their guidance that the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was able to complete the project within a four-year time period, after being commissioned, officially opening to the public in 1937.

Today Caddo Lake State Park boasts a remarkable assortment of wildlife species, together with many miles of paddling, hiking trails, public facilities, and cabins. And visitors to the park today can still enjoy some of the original architecture and park attractions that were constructed by the CCC 80 years ago.

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