Caddo Lake – A Magical Place in East Texas

By Jess Pryles

I think I have a new favourite place to escape.

It’s one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I’ve ever had the fortune to visit, and it’s right here in Texas up by the Louisiana border near Shreveport. It’s the kind of place you see in tourist brochures for the South, but aren’t really sure where to find them. Beautiful swamps, tall cypress trees dripping with Spanish moss, and a laid back attitude.

Oh, and they film some of True Blood here. Hehe.


Isn’t it just dreamy?

My friend MH took me and G-unit down for a weekend at his friend’s camp. And by camp, I mean luxurious boathouse amongst the trees. See, when you say “camp” in Australia, you’re referring to tents, not a gorgeous lake house made from Cedar. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised.

Caddo isn’t a place to go if you have a bug phobia, or are terrified of alligators. And really, there isn’t a whole bunch to do ‘cept sit in a rocking chair on the porch with a frosty adult beverage. But doesn’t that just sound perfect?

To say we did nothing all weekend isn’t exactly true. I was on Bloody Mary duty, having run out of Zing Zang, we ran down (meaning: 25 min drive) to the closest store and picked up ingredients for scratch marys. The Bloody Mary bar was running all weekend long, and I managed to convert a few skeptics. Other activities included shooting skeet with a big-ass shotgun off the porch into the swamp. It pains me to admit it, but I didn’t hit anything, and instead ended up with a monster bruise on my shoulder from holding the gun like a newbie.

No doubt the highlight of the weekend was the food. With both a grill, Weber and smoker at the camp, we ate like East Texas kings. MH cooked up his famous ribs and beer can chicken. I followed with my signature peach cobbler – it’s a sure fire way to make fans and friends. The culinary winner of the weekend was Big Bad Pat, who wowed us with his Deer Wraps. He had hunted the deer in the area a few months prior, so it was truly “woods-to-table” eating.

Since my first visit, I’ve been back to Caddo nearly every year. It’s the ultimate place to recharge the batteries and get off the grid. And when you are ready to see other people again, you can drive into the nearby town of Jefferson and hit up Riverport Barbecue, or shop in the local antique malls (where I ended up finding my prized vintage skillet).

Even if you’re not fortunate enough to have your own Big Bad Pat to cook you up a feast of epic proportions, you definitely need to put a visit to Caddo on your bucket list.

Caddo Lake Road Trip - Burger Mary

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Jess Pryles

Jess is a spokesperson, presenter and writer, fuelled by red meat and good livin'. Her expertise lies in barbecue, with a particular passion for all things bovine. She's a co-founder of the Australasian Barbecue Alliance and creator of the internationally acclaimed Carnivores Ball. Born and raised in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

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