- Flowing out of the Ouachita Mountains, the Caddo River is one of Arkansas' most unappreciated streams. Those that know it, however, describe the Caddo as among the best family outing type streams in the state. Throughout this 40 mile journey, the Caddo is never very far from civilization. Railroad tracks parallel the stream for several miles, a few houses can be spotted from the river, and cattle frequently gaze down at passing floaters. The Caddo is generally quite peaceful, but to prevent paddlers from becoming too complacent, a number of class I and II rapids can be expected.
Most communities along the Caddo include gas stations and grocery stores. Camping sites are available at the Crystal Recreational Area north of Norman off Forest Road 177.
Recreation - The Caddo River offers mellow canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and fishing opportunities. Like most of Arkansas canoeing streams, the Caddo usually gets too low in the summer and early fall for good floating. The best months for a successful trip are March through June. The floater often travels next to forested hillsides and past rocky outcrops. In several places the stream flows under a green canopy of overhanging hardwoods.
In particular, this small river offers excellent fishing in a peaceful setting that's ideal for a weekend family outings. Smallmouth and spotted bass are the most notable sport fish inhabiting the Caddo. The most productive bass angling begins near Caddo Gap and ends below Amity. During low water periods, portions from Caddo Gap to Glenwood can be floated. Longear and green sunfish are often caught in this stretch as well.
Climate - Arkansas has a temperate climate with the coldest temperatures near freezing during December, January and February. Daytime highs for these months usually reach 55 degrees F. Spring and fall temperatures are very mild with lows dipping to 44 degrees F and highs reaching 70 degrees F. July and August are the hottest months of the year with average temperatures reaching 90 degrees F. June and September average temperatures usually reach into the mid-eighties. Spring and winter months are the wettest of the year.
The Cossatot River begins in southwestern Montgomery County, flowing out of the Ouachita Mountains before entering the backwaters of Degray Lake in west central Arkansas.
The Caddo is an easy river to get to. Access points are numerous, and the shuttle routes are almost always along paved roads. Traditional put-in and take-out points include: the bridge immediately west of Norman, the low-water bridge west of Caddo Gap, the old low-water bridge on Arkansas Hwy. 182 north of Amity, and the Arkansas Hwy. 84 bridge northeast of Amity.