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Wildlife Observation Trails

Equestrian Use | Auto Touring | Hiking & Biking

*Check the Events Calendar for Equestrian Events*

Attention equestrians, a contractor is removing some concrete
which will affect the equestrian trails in the Refuge.  The trail from
the parking lot outside the entrance around to the bridge is
unaffected.  The other trails are temporally closed. Please recheck
the website for updates.

Equestrian Use/Access

The Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge is planning a public opening in early Fall 2009. One of the features of the new Refuge is a 9 mile, multiple-use wildllife observation trail. This trail provides an opportunity for equestrian use. The trail is largely a loop of railroad berm used by the army to transport munitions made at the plant during the last sixty years. The rails, ties and most of the ballast have been removed. Most of the loop is well-drained, but a few areas are boggy. Because some of the gravel remains, shoes are recommended.

As the trail, like the rest of the Refuge, is for multiple use, riding is to be allowed for interested individuals who have received a registration number and tag. Ride leaders will be able to set ride times through the Caddo Friends’ website. You may invite other registered riders and be available to lead others who come at that time and have a registration number.

To obtain a registration number, an individual should submit:


A copy of current Coggins papers

A signed liability waiver(pending)

A signed acknowledgement of pertinent Refuge rules

A $20 donation per family (checks made out to the CLNWR Friends’ Group, Equestrian Division); this donation is good for one (1) year.

Everyone who rides must have a number. This number will be on a bumper sticker for your trailer. The sticker will have your number plus an annual expiration date. A new annual sticker will be issued in December or January after submission of the $20 donation and new Coggins’ copies. (i.e., if your Coggins expires in March, bring new copies, then get the new sticker the following December or January).

Rules, General Information, and a map of the Wildlife Observation Trail are included below.

Please copy and sign the rules. Click here to print and sign the rules. The liability waiver will need signing, also, but it is not available yet.

Please take the completed form, a current copy of Coggins papers and a $20 donation to the the volunteer at the Refuge headquarters.  You will receive the bumper sticker and registration number.

Please check the website calendar or talk with a ride leader and enjoy the Refuge.

CLNWR Friends, Group,  Equestrian Committee
Paul Fortune

Bill Stephenson


General Information/ Equestrian Access

1. Refuge is open during all daylight hours.

2. No overnight camping is allowed. Caddo State Park is adjacent to the Refuge.

3. Water for both horse and human consumption is available at the Parking Lot.

4. Horse trailer parking is restricted to the first large lot on the left just after entering the Refuge.

5. Restrooms will be available at the Visitors’ Center.


Rules/ Equestrian Access

Equestrian access to the Refuge is dependent upon self-policing and common courtesy.

1. Ride only on designated horse trails (see map) and only with a group leader. Horse trails are flagged with blue tape.

2. Remove all trash upon leaving the Refuge. This includes items taken on the trail or generated in the parking lot.

3. Remove manure from the parking lot and scatter thoroughly in a natural area, or take it with you.

4. If you see a water bottle or other trash dropped inadvertently by another rider, please stop and retrieve it for removal. We, the riders, must be responsible for trail maintenance.

5. Please report travel obstructions such as downed, large trees or washouts to the Visitors’ Center or to a Friends’ Group Equestrian Committee member.

6. Avoid raucous behavior or loud noises, both on the trail and in the parking area. Remember we share the Refuge with others.

7. No ATVs may be used at the Refuge.

8. Violation of any of these rules may result in loss of access.

Click on the map to view a larger version
Auto Touring
More information coming soon!

A good, quick way to get a feel for Caddo Lake Wildlife Refuge is by auto tour. A map of the tour is attached to this section of the website and may be easily copied. The Refuge is open during daylight hours. Please check the Events’ Calendar for days of closure.

Parking along the Auto Tour Route should be selected carefully as soft ground is frequently present. Turn offs on to closed roads or previous building sites are abundant and will serve well for parking. Please park in a manner that does not interfere with the flow of traffic.



Click on the map to view a large .pdf map

Hiking and Biking Trails


The Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge includes an area of relatively flat terrain with abundant pipelines and surfaced roads, plus some gravel roads. A 9-mile nature observation trail is also present. This trail is maintained and is marked with blue surveyor’s tape and will have signage. The trail is largely an old railroad right-of-way and allows good all-weather footing. A few boggy areas are present in wet weather. Mosquitoes and deer flies are sometimes abundant, and insect repellent is recommended. Poison ivy is common and should be avoided if one is sensitive to it.

No restrictions on hiking are currently present except for roads, trails or pipelines clearly designated by the U.S. Army and/or the Refuge.


Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge lends itself to biking. There is a large parking lot on the left when the Refuge is first entered. Vehicles can be left there. A potable water source is present.

Most of the roads on the Refuge are paved. They may be explored and enjoyed unless a closed sign is present. The Wildlife Observation Trail is also closed to biking because of the presence of Equestrian traffic, plus deep gravel in many areas left over from the days when the trail was a railroad.

The terrain on the Refuge is generally flat. Mosquitos and deer flies are often present, and insect repellent is recommended. Please remove all trash you generate.


Remember: Wildlife has the right-of-way, so please do not disturb it.