Caddo Lake is a beautiful lake located on the Texas and Louisiana border that covers over 225,000 acres and contains a massive amount of biodiversity. Cypress trees grow up from the waters while over 200 species of birds and other animals make their homes in the area. Choose to stay in one of many vacation rentals on Caddo Lake to get a glimpse into the wild and have lots of fun with your loved ones. Here are our favorite recreational activities for the entire family.

1. Boating

boating
Source: Thomas & Dianne Jones / Flickr

Boating may very well be the top choice for family activities at Caddo Lake. More than 42 miles of boat roads wind among the cypress trees, giving you an opportunity to get your kids interested in nature. Go out on a canoe – available at several rental places – for a little one-on-one time with a child.

2. Birdwatching

birdwatching
Source: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren / Flickr

Birdwatching is a favorite activity for visitors of all ages. With 240 species of birds nesting in the trees and surrounding area, there’s always something to see, from the long-legged wood stork to the finger-sized Kentucky warbler. Children are sure to enjoy the gangling pink rosette spoonbill or catch a thrill at seeing one of the rare nesting bald eagles.

3. Fishing

fishing

Relax under the moss-strewn shady cypress trees for a little fishing. Seventy-one species of fish live in the lake, so you never know what you might pull out. If you forgot to bring a pole for the kids, don’t fret; one of the fishing guides in the area can supply you and show you the best spots.

4. Wildlife Watching

wildlife watching
Source: USFWSmidwest / Flickr

Birds aren’t the only living things at the lake. Get the binoculars ready to take a peak at the beavers, minks, deer, armadillos and frogs that call the lake home. The kids are sure to be thrilled to see a turtle or raccoon in the wild.

5. Hiking

hiking
Source: Robert Nunnally / Flickr

Caddo Lake is surrounded by Caddo Lake State Park, giving your family opportunities for activities such as hiking. The hiking trails vary in length and difficulty, with some, such as the Woodpecker Hollow Trail, perfect for young children. At the same time, the Pine Ridge Spur Trail and Caddo Forest Trail offer a greater challenge for older kids.

6. Horseback Riding

horseback riding

If you want someone else to do the legwork, opt for horseback riding. It’s the perfect way to countrify your city kids and get them into the great outdoors. The riding trails make it easy to stay on course and introduce your kids to the beauties of nature.

7. Camping

caddo lake cabin
Source: Texas Parks & Wildlife

Another way to open your children’s eyes to nature is to go camping with them. Experienced campers can give more primitive camping a try at Caddo Lake Wildlife Management Area and Potter’s Point, which offer tent camping, or head to Pine Island and Shady Glade for a somewhat more luxurious camping experience.

8. Steamboat Touring

steamboat tour

Educate both yourself and your family with a steamboat tour of Caddo Lake. Sit back, relax, and have the guide tell you all about the lake, from the fish in the murky waters to the occasional alligator siting. Tours range from birding tours to night tours.

9. Visiting Historic Sites

historic home
Source: Nicolas Henderson / Flickr

Caddo Lake is more than just a place to get in touch with nature; you can also get in touch with history here. Teach your children about local history with a tour to the Starr Family Home State Historic Site or to Karnack, the one-time home of Lady Bird Johnson.

10. Geocaching

geocaching

Geocaching is like a treasure hunt done by everyday people, and it is easy to do from your vacation rental. This activity not only allows your kids to find treasure, but it teaches them the basics of GPS and discovery. Hundreds of geocaches are available in the area, ranging in difficulty levels so you can pick the right one for your family.