• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Kayaking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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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 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Mur

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!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

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!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

I LOVE Caddo Lake. It is like something from out of this world. They offer canoe rentals overnight and for the weekend additional to by the hour. Some of the campsites have direct access to the lake (63-65) and would be perfect for the long rentals plus you could take the canoe for a nighttime paddle! Highly recommend it if you have not been before.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Korey Taylor Explorer

The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

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