Caddo Lake and Big Cypress Bayou

Caddo Lake was created in the late 18th century by an act of nature when a log jam in the Red River impounded the waters of Big Cypress Bayou in the lush Cypress Valley of Texas and Louisiana.

It is one of the world’s most famous lakes not only because of its human and geographical history, but also because of its ecological importance. Named for the Indian tribe whose word for “friendly” was Tejas or Texas, Caddo Lake’s waters provided transportation for thousands of mid 19th century immigrants who traveled by steamboat to Texas. 

Caddo Lake is now known for its precious ecology as a designated wetland of international importance under the requirements of the United Nations Ramsar Treaty. Caddo Lake and Big Cypress Bayou will spark your sense of discovery. Big Cypress Bayou extends downstream from Jefferson about 20 miles to Caddo Lake. They both can be explored and enjoyed by kayaks, canoes, motorboats and by walking trails. They are meccas for bird watching, fishing, camping and swamp tours conducted during the day or at night.

With the natural assets of the Caddo Lake State Park, the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the restaurants and lodging in nearby Jefferson and on the banks of Big Cypress Bayou, there is much to please those who seek both adventure and comfort.