While Texas is known for its many beautiful lakes, there is one lake in East Texas that is so unique, peaceful, and even mysterious that it beckons every Texas family to visit its waters:  Caddo Lake.

Located in Uncertain, Tx, Caddo Lake is Texas's only natural lake and the largest natural lake in the southern United States.  Cypress tree engulfed in spanish moss, lily pads, trophy bass, and even alligators fill this swamp-like lake.  It's a fisherman's dream, an artist's inspiration, and a peaceful get-away for families looking to enjoy the great outdoors together.  As you might imagine, a town with a name like Uncertain is a unique place.  If you love big city life and are looking to be pampered at a posh hotel, Caddo is not for you.  If, however, you enjoy exploring, love nature, and long for simplicity, this is your place.  Uncertain, Tx feels untouched by time and reminds us all to slow down, enjoy each other, and thank the Lord for our many blessings.

 

Where to Stay

We recommend you stay in one of the cottages at Hodge Podge Cottages.  The location is ideal.  The property is located on the most scenic part of the lake.  The large fishing pier is perfect for the aspiring fisherman, and canoes are provided for the explorers.  These cottages are not luxurious, but they are comfortable, clean, and fully-equipped (including a well-equipped kitchen, linens and towels, and (in most cottages) a washer and dryer).  The large yards give families space to spread out, and the hospitable owners live on-site.

 

 

Caddo Lake Steamboat Company

The most peaceful, unique, and scenic way to enjoy Caddo lake is aboard the "Graceful Ghost", an authentic re-creation of an 1890's paddlewheel steamboat.  Captain Ron gives a fun and informative tour that brings the history and beauty of the lake to life while Captain Wes tends the fire and keeps the steam engine running.  Everyone in our family enjoyed this experience so much that we would say that no trip to Caddo would be complete without it.  From Hodge Podge Cottages it is a short walk down to the steamboat.  Tours are given seven days a week for a very reasonable price; call ahead for reservations 1-877-89GHOST.

 

 

Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park is located just down the road, and is worth a visit when you are in the area.  We enjoyed exploring the hiking trails, and we discovered the playground with the fastest slide in East Texas (OK, that's just a guess, but it is a ton of fun).  The state park has adorable cabins, a boat house with canoe rentals and boat tours, and a large fishing dock.  We were also impressed with the family programs offered on weekends at the park.  Inquire with a park ranger to find out what might be offered while you are there.

 

Jefferson, Texas

Historic Jefferson is a short 20 minute drive from Caddo lake. Texas Family Travel recommends you step back in time and stroll the pedestrian-friendly original brick streets.  Peek inside the lobby of the Excelsior Hotel which has continuously operated since the 1850's and peruse the shelves of Jefferson General store.  Learn of Jefferson's golden days when the steamboats traveled up the Big Cypress River from New Orleans carrying people and trade.  While there, make sure to try our favorite lunch spot, the Hamburger Store, for delicious burgers, sandwiches, and homemade pies.

 

Where to Eat

There are not many restaurants in Uncertain (thus making the drive into Jefferson worth your while), but there is one place that should not be missed, Big Pines Lodge.  Famous for its crispy catfish, creamy cole slaw, and mouth-watering jalepeno hush-puppies, this historic restaurant is an integral part of the Caddo experience.