Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket was the first Preserve in the National Park System established October 11, 1974, and protects an area of rich biological diversity. A convergence of ecosystems occurred in Southeast Texas during the last Ice Age. It brought together - in one geographical location - the eastern hardwood forests, the Gulf coastal plains, and the midwest prairies. On December 15, 1981, the Preserve was designated an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB). On July 26, 2001, the American Bird Conservancy recognized the Preserve as a Globally Important Bird Area joining thousands of others around the world.

The Big Thicket National Preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 108,000 acres. Approximately 40 miles of hiking trails wind through Big Thicket National Preserve, allowing hikers to observe many different ecosystems. In addition, the Preserve is on two migratory bird flyways: the Central and Mississippi. Bird watching is excellent from mid-April to mid-May and less active during the fall. 

Boating and fishing are popular on the Neches River. Village Creek Texas State Paddling Trail attracts canoeists and kayakers year-round. Paddlers can access the creek at a number of locations for trips ranging from a few hours to overnight. Hunting is allowed in specific areas of the Preserve during the fall hunting season. Hunters must have a Preserve-issued permit and a valid State of Texas Hunting License. Trapping in specific areas is authorized during the months of December and January, but requires a Preserve-issued permit, accompanied by a valid State of Texas Trapping License.

Big Thicket Activities: 

Backpacking, biking, bird watching, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, interpretive programs, canoeing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. 


Explore the Big Thicket National Preserve for hiking, camping, paddling and more.

view

Big Thicket protects the incredible diversity of life found where multiple habitats converge.

Explore

Explore the Big Thicket National Preserve with Ranger-Led Programs.

more

extras
Make Some Waves: Swamp & River Tours in Southeast Texas

Rivers, bayous, marshes, the Gulf of Mexico, salt - and freshwater lakes. The communities of Southeast Texas grew up around water. Our area offers some of best fishing on the Gulf Coast with plenty of shore fishing, boat launches and fishing charters. You can also kayak the region's multiple paddling trails or venture offshore into the Gulf. But if you're looking for the best way to get up…Continue Reading

Outdoor Beauty: Nature Journaling in Beaumont

I come from a family of nature and art lovers. My mom loves horses and taking pictures of wildlife. My dad could spend all day snorkeling in the beautiful waters off the coast of Florida. My grandma has been known to hand draw personalized cards for my kids. So, when my Aunt Sharon talked about her frequent visits out to Cattail Marsh , I wasn’t surprised that she had fallen in love with the…Continue Reading

Coming Up: The Peddler Show & Great Outdoors Expo

Shopping for mom, outdoor goodies for dad and fun activities for the kids: it’s a summer weekend in Beaumont packed with action for everyone in the family. “His and Hers Weekend” at Ford Park is a combination of the popular Peddler Show summer market and the Southeast Texas Great Outdoors Expo, where couples and families can shop together and there is plenty planned for the kids…Continue Reading

10 Ways to Celebrate Summer in Beaumont's Great Outdoors

Whether you call Beaumont home or are planning your first visit to this Texas gem, summer here is a season you definitely don’t want to miss. The temperatures may be warming up, but Beaumont offers a variety of cool options for distraction, learning and exploration. From outdoor activities to roadside attractions to summer camps and more, adults and kids of all ages will find something to…Continue Reading

Explore the Big Thicket with Ranger-Led Programs this Summer

The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites you to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in the months of May, June, July and August 2017. From canoe trips on Village Creek to frog hikes, presentation on the area’s history and night hikes through the thicket, park rangers will offer a variety of free programs this summer. Some programs…Continue Reading

Big Thicket Spring 2017 Ranger-Led Programs

The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in the months of March, April and May. From canoe trips on the Neches River to a black bear presentation and night hikes through the thicket, park ranger will offer a variety of free programs. Some programs require participants to pre-register, and…Continue Reading

Bird's Eye View: Cattail Marsh

From a new birding video, to the groundbreaking on the Wetlands Education Center, to the Big Sit!, the Beaumont CVB gives you a bird's eye view of  Cattail Marsh - what's happening now and what you can expect to see in the near future. "Beaumont and Cattail Marsh have been getting a lot of press this year, recently featured in the January issue of Texas Highways…Continue Reading

10 Ways to Enjoy March in Beaumont

From dancing and dining to carnival rides and Cowboys, March in Beaumont is packed with plenty of things to do! Whether your idea of a perfect time is enjoying art or relaxing with the family at an old fashioned movie experience, you don’t have to go far to find fun. We’ve got your Top 10 List of events and experiences for March 2017! Beaumonts Farmers Market Every Saturday 950 Langham…Continue Reading

Family Entertainment: What's New in Southeast Texas

It’s a question that plagues every family. “What are we going to do?!” There are several new family entertainment options in the Beaumont area and exciting updates to a few favorites! From an escape room adventure to an up close and personal experience with animals, we’ve got great ideas for entertainment in Beaumont and Southeast Texas! Cinemark Tinseltown: Luxury Loungers…Continue Reading

Big Tex Brings Big Changes to Gator Country

Gator Country’s most well-known resident, Big Tex, is getting ready for his first spring season at the sprawling ranch off Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas. And there will be a lot more new things to experience when you make a visit! You may remember, the nearly 1,000 pound gator gained worldwide attention last fall when he was rescued from the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in…Continue Reading

Click to Hide Map
Click to Show Map

Big Thicket National Preserve

6102 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625
(409) 951-6700 Website
The Big Thicket National Preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 108,000 acres. Approximately 40 miles of...more