The trip from Bonham to our destination in Louisiana was unusually nice. We stuck to secondary highways in Texas and they were lovely and well maintained and traffic was light. We enjoyed the trip right up until we got to Louisiana and immediately hit bumps and thumps and potholes. While we stopped at a gas station the attendant complained about how they pay a road tax on every gallon of gas they buy but it never seems to get spend on fixing the roads. I agree. Of every state in the lower forty eight I have been in Louisianna has the absolute worst possible roads. Fortunately we didn’t have long to get to our National Forest Campground. We were aiming for Beaver Dam Campground, 194 Caney Lake Park Rd, near Minden. (If you ask the locals where Beaver Dam Campground is you’ll get blank looks so ask for Caney Lake Campground.) With my husband’s senior status and Passport America we were charged on $9.50/night. It is one of the few very nice National Forest campgrounds in the area and so we did not have the place to ourselves. There were several other campers including slow moving snowbirds like us heading south.
The campground is absolutely lovely. The individual sites are huge and long. There’s lots of spaces in between. They almost all look out over the lake. We took #12 which was high up on a bend with lake on two sides. We shared our campsite with Juncos and Chickadees. We arrived just as the sun was setting and the filtered light through the trees was lovely. There was only one drawback. Verizon coverage was spotty so sometimes we were able to log into internet but other times it didn’t work at all. Even when it did work it was very slow. We walked the campground loop several times including once at night in the deep dark with Misty wearing her lighted harness. Misty loved the place. Of course Misty loves just about any place full of new smells and sights.
There are two dams making Caney Lake so there is an upper lake and a lower lake. There is a lovely walk from the upper lake boat launch to the upper dam spillway. The spillway has a little pedestrian bridge and that connects to the dike of the upper dam. We have been here twice before and for some reason we never got to walk the upper dike. One of the locals had told us on our last trip that the alligators like to come up onto the upper dike and sun themselves. I wanted to get back and see this. This time we finally did it. We walked the upper dike. I kept Misty on a short leash and did not let her swim or even stick her head into the big culverts with shallow streams. If there’s water, you have to count on a dog eating gator. I watched the water carefully, especially on the upper lake side which was only six feet to water. The air was too cold for gators to be out sunning and it was cloudy anyway. We saw nothing but lovely egrets and fish jumping.
We had originally thought to stay longer at Caney Lake but the forecast was for more rain and thunderstorms so the second morning we woke up and packed and, with regret, left the lovely Caney Lake. I hope we get to come back again soon. It is one of the nicest National Forest campgrounds we’ve been in. One word of warning. The only shower there is barely lukewarm. Don’t plan on showering there unless you find cold showers refreshing. It was my first experience taking a cool shower in cold air and while it was interesting, and refreshing, I don’t think I want to do it again.