Southeastern Texas’ diversity is showcased in the Big Thicket National Preserve. Visitors will be able to explore nine different ecosystems, from longleaf pine forests to bayous lined with cypress and arid desert landscapes. Hiking, paddling, bird watching, and hunting are all allowed within its boundaries. Visitors will find nearly 300 species of birds, groups of basking turtles, wildflowers, and exotic mushrooms, as well as carnivorous plants along the trails and waterways.
RV Parks & Campgrounds Near Big Thicket National Preserve
While Houston and Beaumont are close enough for convenience, being able to camp under the stars in the piney woods of East Texas provides true relaxation away from the bustle of the city. Traveling in an RV also gives you the freedom and flexibility to go at your own pace and take the opportunity to visit some of the other national parks or sights in the area. It will also give you the chance to make new friends as the RV community in Texas is quite friendly. The best way to rent an RV for your visit is through RVshare.
RV Rentals Near Big Thicket National Preserve
Things To Do Near Big Thicket National Preserve
Thanks to the diverse ecosystems, there is something for everyone at the Big Thicket Nature Preserve. Bird watchers will find nearly 300 species within its borders. Paddlers can kayak or canoe down the Neches River or explore the creeks and bayous. Over 40 miles of trails invite hikers of all skill levels.
The Sundew trail is designed to allow visitors to see some of the many carnivorous plants that populate the Thicket. The trail has two loops, both of which pass through concentrations of pitcher plants. The trail is also one of the best places in the Thicket for bird watching as well as enjoying wildflowers. The trail is named for the small red sundew plants that line the path.
County Road 1910, half a mile south of FM 2827
1 mile outer loop and 1/3 mile inner loop
Big Sandy Trail
The Big Sandy Trail allows hikers to experience the widest range of ecosystems. It is the only trail in the Thicket to allow horseback riding and biking as well as hiking. During the fall and winter, hunting is also allowed here, so hikers should take care to wear bright colors such as orange during these seasons.
Sunflower Road, three miles west of FM 1276
18 miles roundtrip
Sandhill Loop Trail
Prickly pear cactus and other desert plants can be seen along the Sandhill Loop Trail. Rare for east Texas, this section of the preserve contains an arid ecosystem. It seems that the sandy soil allows succulents to thrive despite the ample rainfall in the region. Hikers will enjoy the unique terrain as well as the more open and sunny feel of the forest around them.
From the Kirby Nature Trail, cross the bridge over Village Creek. Then follow the Turkey Creek Trail north for 0.8 miles to reach the trailhead for the Sandhill Loop Trail.
9 miles roundtrip
Village Creek Waterway
For those who enjoy paddling, the Big Thicket National Preserve offers many opportunities for kayaking or canoeing. The Village Creek is one of the easiest routes for beginners. There are tall trees along its banks to provide shade, as well as white sand beaches that are welcome places to take a break. Your dog is welcome to join you on this expedition.
Kountze, Silsbee, and Lumberton all have put in points
A log cabin beneath a canopy of oaks, this piece of history has been very well preserved. It was built in 1934 by the Staley family. While visitors are not allowed inside, they can peek through the windows and enjoy picnics on the charming grounds.
Turkey Creek Unit of Big Thicket National Preserve
This historic site is located deep in the heart of the preserve and is a must-see for history buffs. While people have been living in this area for thousands of years, typically, the lush vegetation removes all signs of habitation. Volunteers help to preserve this historic site.
Lance Rosier Unit of the Big Thicket National Preserve
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Well worth a day trip, this museum has something for everyone, from a dinosaur section to a huge gems and minerals collection. There is also a multi-story butterfly pavilion, a planetarium, an IMAX theater, and an interactive children’s area.
5555 Hermann Park Dr Houston, TX 77030
The Color Factory
This pop-up museum and art installation is the perfect place for taking pictures of your loved ones. All of the exhibits are interactive so that you can immerse yourself in the art. Visitors are provided with picture disks, and pictures are emailed to you immediately after you leave. Sometimes there are giveaways and treats as well.
3303 Kirby Dr Houston, TX 77098
Nearby Shops and Restaurants
Mama Jack’s in Kountze has been around for over 30 years. Fresh homemade food is served at an affordable price. The restaurant is particularly known for its comprehensive breakfast menu, which includes amazing cinnamon rolls. The burgers are huge, and there is also a seafood selection and a buffet.
The Grub House
Located in Village Mills, the menu features good Southern fare, including specialties such as chicken fried steak and pulled pork barbecue sandwiches served with homemade coleslaw. The prices are reasonable.
14020 Highway 69 N, Village Mills, TX 77663
Antique Mall of Lumberton
With over 60 shops all under one roof, you will find a fantastic selection of antiques and collectibles as well as furniture and jewelry.
1181 S Main Street Lumberton TX 77657
How To Get To Big Thicket National Preserve
To get to the Big Thicket National Preserve from Beaumont, take US-287 N/US-69 N to the city of Kountze, then take FM 420 for 8 miles.
To get here from Houston, Take I-10 E to US-90 E to TX-326 S. Then take a left onto Hob Warren Road and a right onto Pipe Lane.
While the Visitor’s Center is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, the park will remain open during those times. Hiking trails are open from dawn until dusk daily.
6102 FM 420 Kountze, Texas
Fee: Entry Fee $0
The Big Thicket National Preserve allows visitors to encounter a wide diversity of ecosystems through hiking and paddling. Here you can encounter piney woods as well as sandy terrain with cacti and meadows filled with wildflowers. An RV trip is a great way to experience this national park site.