January 29, 2016
Contact: Joshua Stringer
Big Thicket National Preserve and the Big Thicket Association are pleased to announce a 2016 Centennial hiking series. Starting on Sunday, February 7th, and continuing the first Sunday of each month through the end of 2016, staff from both organizations will guide fellow explorers along the unique trail network found in the Big Thicket. These hiking treks are part of Big Thicket National Preserve’s Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club initiative. These hikes are expected to be 3-5 miles in length. Monthly, rangers and Big Thicket Association volunteers will lead a hike on a different portion of the over 40 miles of improved trails within the preserve.
On Sunday, February 7th, 2016, join our staff for a 3-5 mile hike on the Woodlands Trail in the northernmost part of the Big Sandy Creek Unit. The Woodlands Trail offers a unique opportunity for hikers and Big Thicket enthusiasts alike to experience the natural beauty of southeast Texas as it winds through hardwood forest with an open understory.
Those interested in participating should call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700 to pre-register for this hike, not later than Friday, February 5th.
This new hiking series 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. This program challenges visitors to travel 100/50/25 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 Centennial Club. We can also help you track your miles! Simply call the visitor center and tell us (yes, proudly gloating is OK) what you’ve accomplished.
Looking for other ways to participate in the Big Thicket’s Centennial year? We encourage everyone to participate in our “Share Your Thicket Centennial Photo Contest" while exploring the preserve. 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, with an overall winner chosen in the fall of 2016.
More information about all of Big Thicket National Preserve’s 2016 Centennial activities is 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.