May 29, 2015
Contact: Jason A. Ginder
Acting Superintendent Edward Comeau announced today that due to significant storm activity and record setting rains in the region, many of the hiking trails and paddling trails throughout the preserve are completely inaccessible and will be closed for approximately a week to ten days. Fallen trees, swollen waterways overflowing their banks and significant standing water throughout the preserve has prevented park staff from safely accessing many of our trails. Of the ten official trails in the preserve, currently only the inner loop of the Sundew Trail, the elevated boardwalk section of the Pitcher Plant trail, and the Big Sandy Trail are open and safe for visitors to explore.
Visitors are reminded that flood waters and saturated soil can create many unsafe conditions. River banks can easily collapse and foot bridges can be weakened due to the waterlogged conditions. Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can be enough to create a significant hazard. Do not drive on flooded roadways. Just a few inches of flood waters can sweep away you and your vehicle. For more information about how to safely respond to flooding conditions visit the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency resources at www.ready.gov/floods.
In the coming days and weeks, park staff will begin work to remove fallen trees, repair foot bridges, and restore the preserve trail network to the high standards of safety that we have come to expect. Look for updates on trial conditions on your website at www.nps.gov/bith and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS.
Big Thicket National Preserve is in southeast Texas just north of Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 112,000 acres scattered across a 3,500-square-mile area. 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.
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