Big Thicket National Preserve


Hiking icon-camping

Located in the southeast portion of the state, Big Thicket National Preserve is the creator of many Texans’ fondest memories. The overwhelming consensus from county locals: The Big Thicket is awesome. It can literally strike a sense of wonder into the minds and hearts of its visitors. Towering trees, bio-life variety, and the mysterious “Ghost Road” all come together in the Big Thicket to provide nature enthusiasts a place to get lost, if only for a weekend.

Activities

Hiking

A walk in the woods will take on a whole new meaning for visitors of the Big Thicket. 9 trails offer birdwatching opportunities, access to the backcountry, and the good fortune of becoming engulfed in a pasture of wildflowers.

  • The Big Thicket National Preserve Hiking Trails include:
  • Kirby Nature Trail – 1.7 to 2.5 miles long, depending on which loops are hiked.
  • Sandhill Loop Trail – 1.25 miles long.
  • Turkey Creek Trail – 14.5 miles long.
  • Sundew Trail – .25 mile inner loop, 1 mile outer loop.
  • Beechwoods Trail – 1 mile long loop.
  • Big Sandy Trail – 9 miles long
  • Woodlands Trail – 5.4 miles long
  • Beaver Slide Trail – 1.5 mile long
  • Birdwatcher’s Trail – 0.5 mile long.

Backcountry Camping

For preserve visitors that want an authentic Big Thicket camping experience, backcountry campsites are available to backpackers. Backcountry camping requirements include setting up camp at least 200 feet from roads and trails and 100 feet from water. Campsites must be within 25 feet of the water when camping on the sandbars of Village Creek and the Neches River. Backcountry-Use Permits are also required and available at the Preserve Headquarters.

Birdwatching

The Big Thicket National Preserve is located in the middle of two migratory bird flyways making it the prime destination for campers and daytime visitors. From March to the beginning of May, bird migration makes the Big Thicket one of the most coveted places to be in Texas. Over 150 different bird species live in and migrate through the preserve, with the Sundew Trail being the best spot to observe them. The most popular of the bird species that live in the preserve, are the Bachman’s Sparrow and Red-cockaded Woodpecker – both are so reclusive that it’s considered an event if they happen to be seen.

Know Before You Go

Swimming in biodiversity and outdoor adventure, The Big Thicket National Preserve is a favorite camping location for Texans and national visitors.

Park entrance is free for people of all ages, but free permits for backpacking, overnight river use, and hunting must be obtained upon admittance. Although the preserve is open to the public year round, the Headquarters have hours that run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For more information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit U.S. Park Service – Big Thicket National Preserve today.

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