The Caddo National Grassland are a large tract of land located in Fannin County, Texas. Divided into two main areas, the grasslands are known throughout the region for its white-tailed deer hunting. But there’s a lot more than just hunting in the area. Dozens of miles of hiking trails lead across the open expanses, that are open for mountain biking, off-roading, and horseback riding. The area is also known for its wildlife viewing, with a wide variety of mammal and bird species.
There’s also plenty to do out on the water. You’ll find a number of streams, rivers, and lakes throughout the grasslands. Coffee Mill Lake is known for its perch, catfish, crappie, and largemouth bass fishing, and you can also fish for Florida bass at Lake Crockett. The lakes have boat launches, so it’s easy to get out onto the water. The long shorelines are also perfect for fall canoe and kayak trips.
There are few developed RV campgrounds in the grasslands, but you can set up at the campground next to Lake Crockett. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also camp out in the open in the grasslands.
Located in northern Texas along the border with Oklahoma, Caddo National Grassland can be reached from a number of major cities in the region. Although fairly remote, the grasslands are easy to navigate, with large main roads cutting through the area. Weather is usually mild in the area, although there might be some ice on the roads if you visit during the winter.
If you are coming from Dallas, take US-75 to TX-121 and you’ll reach the grasslands in around an hour and a half. Driving from Oklahoma City, take I-35 south out of the city and you’ll arrive in around three and a half hours.
The grasslands are divided into two main units near Coffee Mill Lake. There is one main road that cuts directly through the park, FM409, which will take you to Lake Crockett and Coffee Mill Lake. Large rigs should have few issues driving on the roads in the area, as they are mostly straight and have few tight turns. Many campers choose to set up in the middle of the grasslands on their own, so make sure your rig can handle off-roading if you plan on doing so.
This small, intimate campground is tucked amid old oak trees lining the shore of Lake Crockett. The sites are basic, with no hookups of any kind. But you will get rustic fire pits and picnic tables, and you’ll have access to drinking water and restrooms. You can connect to a 30-mile network of hiking trails that leads through the grasslands. You can also use the boat launch to get out onto the water and fish. All of the sites in the campground are first-come, first-served, so plan on arriving early if you want to get a spot.
Set amid large open fields, Caddo National Grassland is a great place to camp out on your own. If you have a rig that can handle off-roading, you can set up a tent in the middle of the grasslands and enjoy a few nights under the stars without any other campers around.
Hunting is the biggest draw to the area, with a wide range of big game species. There are large populations of white tailed-deer that roam the open fields and congregate near Coffee Mill Lake. You’ll also find smaller game such as rabbits, quail, hare, and hogs. Most of the area is open to hunting, although firing is not allowed within 150 yards of any building or campgrounds. Do take caution while hunting in the grasslands, as you’ll often come across hikers.
With rolling hills and expansive fields, the grasslands are a great place to get out of the trailer and go on long, relaxing hikes. There are over 30 miles of trails in the area, many of them running along the shores of the three lakes found in the grasslands.
Hiking is excellent year-round, although many people prefer to visit in spring and fall, when the temperatures are much milder. If you come during the spring, you can see the fields draped in wildflowers, one of the most picturesque sights you’ll see in the state.
You can also enjoy yourself out on the water when you visit Caddo National Grassland in your campervan. There are two large lakes in the area, Lake Crockett and Coffee Mill Lake, each with its own boat launch. You can lounge on your boat on hot summer days or take a kayak and explore the shore. The lakes are stunning in the spring, when flowers pop up along the shore. There are no rentals at the campground near Lake Crockett, so if you want to head out onto the water, you’ll need to bring your own vessel along with your RV.
With two main lakes and four streams, anglers will have plenty of opportunities while visiting the Caddo National Grassland. Lake Crockett and Coffee Mill Lake are home to crappie, perch, largemouth bass, and catfish, and anglers tend to get bites throughout the year. The two lakes also have boat launches, so it’s easy to get out onto the water. If you prefer stream fishing, head out on one of the hiking trails leading from Lake Crockett and enjoy fishing from the shore.
With hundreds of bird species visiting the grasslands throughout the year, RV campers interested in birdwatching will have plenty to keep them busy. You’ll be able to spot eastern meadowlarks, sedge wrens, dickcissels, and scissor-tailed flycatchers, in addition to a wide range of waterfowl. Texas has a committed community of birdwatchers, and they often produce useful educational information on the birds in the state. Check the websites of northern Texas audubon societies if you want to learn more about the birds of the grasslands.
With over 30 miles of trails and nearly endless open fields, the grasslands are a great destination for RV campers interested in off-roading. You can connect to a number of trails leading out from Lake Crockett, the area’s main campground. If you’re up to it, you can explore the fields on your on and work your way along the streams and through the oak groves.
Do take caution while off-roading, as the trails are shared with hikers. If you go off the trails, make sure you don’t wander onto any of the private plots in the area.