Q: Where is Caddo Lake?
A: Caddo Lake, the only natural lake in Texas, is located on the Texas-Louisiana border,
about 3 hours east of Dallas-Ft. Worth, and about 30 minutes west of Shreveport, La.
Q: What is there to do at Caddo Lake?
A: Relax, for starters. It’s a great place for that. Quiet, beautiful, and very relaxing.
Bring a book (or your favorite e-reader), sit on the porch and read…or just enjoy the quiet. However, for those who can’t sit still, there are other things to do.
– —Fishing, or boating–you can rent a jon boat at Crip’s Camp, or Johnson’s Ranch (both in Uncertain), fish from the pier at the State Park, or the covered pier at Johnson’s Ranch.
—Take a lake tour from one of the local tour guides– Caddo Outback (our personal favorite) or one of the others. It’s the best way to see the lake. You might even see an alligator, at certain times of the year.
—Take a guided canoe (or kayak) trip on one (or more) of the Texas Park and Wildlife Paddling Trails.
—Drive over to Jefferson, a wonderfully historic little town with things to do. Ride the train, take a ghost walk, or shop the antique stores.
—Visit the Gators and Friends alligator park, about 25 miles away, toward Shreveport. See alligators year-round.
—Take a trail ride, on horseback, at Karma Farms, located between Jefferson and Marshall (see their website on our Links page).
—Gather up your spare change and drive over to Shreveport and the ‘boats’ for the evening.
—Take a walk. You can walk through the town of Uncertain (about a mile and a half, end to end), or go over to the Caddo Lake State Park and take their mile-long nature trail. On weekends, they often have programs for kids, too. And, the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge has miles and miles of paved roads for walking or running, with little or no traffic.
—Use the bikes we provide Cypress View and Slough View guests (coaster bikes, nothing fancy) and take a leisurely bike ride through Uncertain. Or, bring your own and take them out to the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge to ride. Miles of paved (shady) roads!
—Visit the Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Karnack. Great for birding, hiking, or nature walks, in a setting where, only a few decades ago, bombs were produced at the Longhorn Ammunition Plant.
Q: Where can we swim?
A: Unfortunately, there’s not a good swimming place near Uncertain.
Caddo has a mud bottom, and is very shallow many places. To swim, you need a boat, as the best places are on the Big Cypress Bayou and out in Big Lake. Alternatively, Lake O’ the Pines is about 30 minutes away, and there are several nice swimming beaches there.
Q: We heard there are alligators in Caddo!
A: Yes, there are alligators. You rarely see them, because they see you first and hide or leave the area. The best way to see one is to take a tour with someone like Caddo Outback Tours.
Q. Can you get lost on Caddo? Is it safe to boat?
A: If you aren’t familiar with the lake, you do need a map. If you are in a boat, canoe or kayak, it’s not advisable to be on the lake after dark , unless you are familiar with Caddo. However, while you can get turned around among the cypress trees and sloughs, the use of GPS and cell phones have made getting lost harder and harder. If you just follow the boat road markers, you can’t go wrong. It’s very important to stay in the marked boat roads.
Q: Can I bring a boat? May we use the boathouse? Is there a launch nearby?
A: Sure. Keep in mind that Caddo is mostly a shallow lake, so a large, deep-V hull may not be a good idea, especially in low water times. However, there is deep water on the Big Cypress Bayou and there are those who have large boats here. The boathouse at the Cypress View has power and will hold one boat, but there is room to tie up outside the boathouse, on the dock, as well. The closest launch to the Cypress View is at the Shady Glade Marina, about a half-mile from the Cypress View, and they charge $3 for a launch. Heart’s Cottage is right on Big Cypress Bayou, so larger boats have consistant access to the Cottage by tying up at the pier there. The closest launch to Heart’s Cottage is either at the Caddo Lake State Park (pay Park fee), or the Hwy 43 Bridge (free launch).
Q: Where can I rent a boat? Do they have pontoon boats?
A: Crips Camp and Johnson’s Ranch, both about a mile away, have small flat-bottom boats for rent. No one rents pontoons around Uncertain at this time.
Q. Is there a charge to use the canoes, kayaks and bikes?
A. The kayaks, canoes, and bikes are all reserved for use by the guests staying at the Slough View, Caddo Cabin, and Cypress View Cabins. There is no charge for their use, but we do require those who do use them to return them to their storage areas afterwards, and wear or take life jackets (on the water craft, not the bikes!). We don’t provide watercraft to Heart’s Cottage, as it’s on a busy stretch of Big Cypress Bayou, and may not be safe for an inexperienced kayaker or canoer during high-traffic times.
Q. Are your cabins air-conditioned and heated?
A. Yes, all our cabins have both.
Q. Is the tap water safe to drink?
A. Yes, it’s a city water supply. It may not taste the same as yours does at home, and at times it can have a reddish hue, but it meets all state standards for safe drinking water.
Q. What do we need to bring?
A. Just yourselves, food (there’s no grocery store, except for small convenience stores and a Family Dollar, within 20 miles), and personal items.
We provide everything else.
Q. Where can I buy groceries? Is there a Walmart nearby?
A.There is a Family Dollar 5 miles away, in Karnack, for staples. The nearest large grocery store is in Marshall, about 20 minutes away. There is a Kroger, a Walmart, a Super 1, and a Brookshire’s there.
There is also a small Brookshire’s in Jefferson, and a Walmart in Atlanta, Tx (about 30 miles north).
Q. Is there somewhere to eat in Uncertain?
A. There are places to eat in Uncertain, but open days and hours are variable. Big Pines Lodge (catfish, etc. since the 1950s) is open for lunch and dinner; River Bend Restaurant is also open for dinner ( and lunch on weekends), and the Shady Glade Cafe is open for breakfast & lunch, with dinner on weekends. However, most close on Monday and Tuesday in Uncertain, so you’ll need to go to Jefferson or Marshall on those days, or grab a sandwich at Fyffe’s or the Run-In. Shady Glade has seasonal hours, so they are open Mondays during the warmer months. Check with them (903-789-3123).