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Surroundings

Caddo Lake is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see. Naturalists, photographers, and artists are inspired and intrigued by the lush flora, fauna and moss-covered cypress forests. A journey into the mysteriously quiet back waters is an adventure into the realm of timelessness. Caddo Lake is a paradise that offers something for everyone. Sportsmen seek the abundant wildlife and the big bass that inhabit the lake. Caddo Lake is 23 miles long and covers 26,800 acres.

Caddo Lake -- (26,800 acres). It's shores are shared with the state of Louisiana and contain some of the best fishing to be found in both states. It is the only natural freshwater lake of any size in Texas, lying between Jefferson, TX and Mooringsport, LA. A truly beautiful lake of meandering bayous and huge cypress trees. Caddo Lake became a "Wetland of International Importance" in 1993. One of only a dozen or so U.S. sites so designated by the Ramsar Convention, an intergovermental treaty. The lake draws hundreds of naturalists, anglers, artists, birdwatchers, and plain porch-sitters here each year. There is excellent fishing for bass, crappie, bluegills, catfish and pickerel up to two feet. Florida bass were stocked here in 1981 and 1982 with the lake record already up to more than 16 pounds! The lake is rich in Indian legends on how the lake was formed. Today the lake has a primeval aura, edged by dense forests that frequently invade the waters. Spanish moss drapes the trees and lush aquatic growth appears jungle-like. Caddo has 42 miles of "boat roads" because the maze of channels can be confusing. The lake is a few miles north of Karnack. Access the lake from TX 43, to Farm Road 2198 to Uncertain.

Uncertain (population 150) evolved from fishing camps and resort operators around scenic Caddo Lake in Harrison County and incorporated in 1961. The town is near Uncertain Landing, so named because steamboat captains on their way to and from Jefferson in earlier days often had troubles mooring their vessels. It was also the site of an old hunting, fishing, and boating society called the Uncertain Club, which existed in the early 1900's. Today, the town still relies on the lake's tourism attractions for its livlihood. The town limits are irregular in shape to include most of the resort areas along the shores of Caddo Lake. Uncertain has several art galleries and gift shops, marinas, grocery stores, steamboat company, pontoon boat tour operators, B&B's, fine restaurants and cafes, and RV parks. Several well know fishing guides live in our town.

Caddo Lake State Park is 480 acres and is located adjacent to Caddo Lake. The area was once occupied by Caddo Indians, a tribe quite advanced in civilization. The park offers fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, natural trails and an interpretive center. It is located one mile north of Texas 43, on FM-2198.

Karnack - adjacent to Caddo Lake State Park was probably named for the ancient city of Karnack, Egypt. It is the home of Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge formerly the Longhorn Army Ammunitions Plant where Thikol Chemical Corp. made space use fuel that sent the rockets into space. This is the birthplace of Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson (Lady Bird) (born Claudia Taylor). Her birthplace was constructed of brick made by slaves. This house was built before the Civil War (not open to the public).

Jefferson - in Marion County, had its beginning between 1836 and 1840 at a river landing on Big Cypress Bayou. Today it is one of Texas' most historic towns. More than 30 structures bear State Historical Medallions, and is the home of many antique and gift shops. She early became a major East Texas river port of entry; Big Cypress was then navigable by steamboats from New Orleans. The world's first ammonia refrigerant ice plant was built here in 1873. Jefferson was the state's first city to utilize artificial gas for street lighting. She reached a population of 30,000 shortly after the Civil War with as many as 15 steamboats at a time lining her docks and scores of wagon trains passing through on the way West. For today's traveler seeking quiet reflection of a past era, it is a fortunate result.

Marshall is located in the piney woods of East Texas with intersecting US Hwys. 59 and 80 and Interstate 20. It is near Caddo Lake and the Louisiana state border. An All-American City and county seat of historic Harrison County. It has more than 100 historical markers and medallions with several listed in the National Register of Historical Places. Annual events include Josey's World Championship Junior Barrel Race, Stagecoach Days, the East Texas FireAnt Festival, MarketFest, and the world famous Wonderland of Lights Christmas Festival that starts Thanksgiving and runs through New Year's. Marshall is the pottery capital of the world.

Jonesville - T. C. Lindsey Store - in continuous operation since 1847 is owned and operated by Sam and Tom Vaughan. Located on Farm Road 134 which intersects I-20, 2 miles west of the Louisiana line. Antique collections are on display. Hard-to-get items are for sale. It is the setting for two Disney Productions and several other movies. Step back in time to the late 1840's when you visit the general store.

Shreveport - was founded on the banks of the Red River in 1839, five years after the hero of the Red River, captain Henry Miller Shreve, was successful in clearing the waters of a giant log jam. Bossier City had its beginnings in the 1840's, starting as a small trading post known as Cane's Landing. These two cities are "Rolling on the Red" with four dockside riverboat casinos. It is the home of the area's premier racetrack, Louisiana Downs. The Gardens of the American Rose Center is headquarters for the American Rose Society. Over 60 individual rose gardens make a glorious tribute to the nation's official flower. Home of the Shreveport Captains, a farm club for the San Francisco Giants, the Shreveport Mudbugs Ice Hockey Team. The cities host a number of professional and amateur competitions. The area is known for fine museums, art galleries and festivals celebrate crawfish, the ants, poke salad, oil, rosebuds, Black heritage, chili cooking and Mardi Gras. The 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale is a journey through the dynamic history of Strategic Bombardment. Displays take the visitor on an historic journey from WWI to the present. There's year-round entertainment in Shreveport-Bossier for the entire family.

 
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Jim Ryan