October 16, 2015
Contact: Jason A. Ginder
Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz announced a unique opportunity for hikers and Big Thicket enthusiasts alike. On Saturday, October 31, 2015, all are invited to join our staff for a 3 to 5 mile ranger-led hike into the remote and rugged Canyonlands Unit of the preserve. Located in Tyler County on the west side of the Neches River near Spurger, Texas, the Canyonlands Unit showcases uniquely steep terrain in southeast Texas. Other natural features like cypress-lined oxbows lakes and prominent white sandbars will also be highlighted. Those interested in participating must call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700 to register for this hike, no later than Wednesday, October 28th.
This ranger-led hike is part of the preserve’s “Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club” program. During the 12 months leading up to the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service (August 25, 2016), the staff at Big Thicket National Preserve invites you to rediscover your national park. Throughout the year, park rangers will lead programs into areas of the preserve that are “off the beaten path.” The Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club recognizes individuals and their commitment to outdoor recreation within the preserve. This program challenges visitors to travel 100, 50, or 25 miles, depending on age, through the preserve during our Centennial year (August, 2015 through August, 2016). Participants can paddle, hike, run, jog, travel on horseback, and even trek off-trail through the thicket. As you explore, you track your mileage, and once you reach the targeted miles, contact preserve staff so we can welcome you to the club.
While exploring the preserve we encourage everyone to participate in our “Share Your Thicket Centennial Photo Contest". Park visitors are invited to submit photos via Instagram for entry into a year-long contest using the hashtag #BigThicketPhotoContest. Monthly winners will be chosen in three categories and displayed in our park visitor center. An overall winner will be chosen in the fall of 2016 and displayed in the visitor center.
More information about the Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club and the Share Your Thicket Centennial Photo Contest are available at https://www.nps.gov/bith/getinvolved/centennial-activities.htm .
Big Thicket National Preserve is located in southeast Texas, near the city Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 112,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.
For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit www.nps.gov/bith or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/BigThicketNPS, and Instagram www.instagram.com/BigThicketNPS.
The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial in 2016 and is using this opportunity to invite a new generation of Americans, and those who already know and love the parks, to discover what national parks and other public lands mean to them through the Find Your Park campaign. To learn more or get involved, visit FindYourPark.com. ---NPS---