Best (& Sweetest) 12 Weeks of Summer Ever #6
6. Paddle the Caddo
Exploring new territory by canoe or kayak is different from other modes of travel. There’s a serenity to gliding quietly through the water, less likely to startle wildlife. And the perspective is from a lower vantage point than that of hiking trails or roads.
Paddling is particularly liberating on Caddo Lake—the state’s only naturally occurring lake—where the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently opened a circuit of new water trails. The trails encompass more than 50 miles within scenic bottomland forest and bald cypress swamps, including on Caddo and Big Cypress Bayou, which feeds the lake.
It can be hot on Caddo in the summer, and it’s not a breezy place, but there’s an abundance of cypress shade. And if you’re on the Big Cypress Bayou, there are opportunities for swimming, tubing, and other water sports. Swimming in the lake’s murky backwaters is not recommended, because that’s where you’re more likely to encounter the local alligators.
The 10 new paddling trails range in distance from 2.4 miles to 8.8 miles. They’re all loops, a route made possible by the lack of current. Some of the trails leave from Backwater Jack’s R.V. Park near Jefferson, while the others are on Caddo Lake in the Uncertain area.
Learn more at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/paddlingtrails.
From the May 2013 issue.