Top 10 Tips for Visiting Big Thicket

park ranger with orange backpack hiking in an open, sunny pine forest

NPS Photo

Plan Like a Park Ranger

Are you planning a trip to Big Thicket National Preserve this summer? Check out these insider tips from Big Thicket's park rangers. And, get insider tips from rangers at national parks across the country at
Summer brings intense heat and humidity, along with occasional thunderstorms. Check the current conditions for the weather forecast and links to water levels on our rivers and creeks.
While the Turkey Creek Trail is open, through-hiking is not available, as there is a bridge closure over Turkey Creek (between the Kirby and Sandhill trails). For a great 9-mile roundtrip hike, start at the southbound Turkey Creek trailhead on Gore Store Road and hike south to reach the Sandhill Loop.
All kinds of life thrive in the Big Thicket—including mosquitoes and ticks. Insect repellent is a must! Sprays are available at the visitor center.
Bring lunch! Most Big Thicket trailheads and day-use areas have picnic tables. The visitor center and Sundew Trail have covered pavilions.
Insects beware! The Pitcher Plant and Sundew trails lead hikers to up-close views into the world of insect-eating, carnivorous plants.

Big Thicket has many waterways for kayaking and canoeing. Check with local outfitters for rentals and shuttle service. And, keep an eye on our water levels!

Big Thicket National Preserve offers primitive backcountry camping: no designated campsites; you choose where to set up camp. Get your free permit at the visitor center.
Pets are welcome on all Big Thicket trails. Just be sure to keep your pet on a leash and pick up their poop.

Big Thicket has paved and unpaved paths for bicycling. Ride from Kountze to the visitor center or enjoy an 18-mile roundtrip ride on old logging roads through a pine forest.

The new, official National Park Service App is now available. Check out the Big Thicket section of the app for maps, trails, things to do, and much more. Download the park's info for offline use, too!

Big Thicket National Preserve

Last updated: July 4, 2021