The distance is 7.6 miles round trip and takes ~3-4hrs. There is an entrance fee of $3/ person (free for children under 12) and you can rent kayaks/canoes for $10/ hr (discount with a Texas State Parks Pass). With incredible scenery and year-round kayaking/canoeing this is the only natural lake in Texas.

To start this trail you'll enter Caddo Lake State Park located on Park Road 2, Karnack, Texas. Immediately after turning into the entrance, you'll see the park headquarters where the park rangers will get you set up with a key to a canoe. You'll drive to Saw Mill Pond after that to find a small cabin that has life vests and your designated canoe next to it.

After launching your canoe into Saw Mill Pond, head to the opposite end where you'll find the bayou and turn right. You'll follow the bayou through Hell's Half Acre and end in Carter's Chute where you'll turn around and head back to Saw Mill Pond. This canoeing trail is great because if you have the time and desire to do the full 7.6 miles, you can, but if you're interested in only paddling around for about an hour Saw Mill Pond offers spectacular views of the unique Bald Cypress trees that are only found in the Southeastern region of America.

If you don't live near Caddo Lake and you're visiting during the cooler seasons (October- April) there is a campground to stay the night in. For those muggy summer months, camping in Texas isn't for the faint of heart. You might want to consider renting a cabin in the park to find some relief from the heat. Either way, make sure to bring some firewood, hotdogs, and marshmallows to enjoy a day of canoeing and an evening away from the city.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Lake Map
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • S'mores fixins
  • Hotdogs
  • Beer
  • Firewood
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Kayaking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Awesome For Kayaking!!!!

Was there for thanksgiving weekend and had a blast!! All the campgrounds are well spaced, and roomy, and the staff was super friendly. Did some kayak fishing and caught lots of fish, Some I've never seen before and had to google!! Lol overall great experience and will be back next weekend!!

about 2 years ago

Fall Inlove With This Place Instantly!

Been here only once and I fell inlove instantly! It's a best place to go fishing, canoeing or just simply take pictures. I will definitely go back!

Enchantingly Mysterious

Caddo Lake is beautiful, mysterious, enchanting, and awesome! There are lots of great places to rent right on the lake that have canoes and bicycles for your use. Caddo has been our family favorite my entire life, for fishing, hunting, canoeing and just relaxing. It is an East Texas Treasure!


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