50th Anniversary

an illustration of a pileated woodpecker perched on a pine tree; a wooden boardwalk curving into a meadow; 2 pitcher plants with open funnels; and text that reads "Big Thicket National Preserve: 50 years, 1974-2024."

Logo courtesy of Western National Parks Association

Big Thicket National Preserve turns 50 in 2024!

On October 11, 1974, Big Thicket was established as America's first national preserve. Fifty years later, the preserve remains an outstanding place to experience the natural, scenic, and recreational wonders of the woods and waters of southeast Texas.

Throughout 2024, we invite you to celebrate with us and learn why "there's no place like Big Thicket!"

Celebrate With Us

Check back throughout the year for more content and information about Big Thicket's 50th anniversary.


50th Anniversary Activities

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    round logo with a green border and text that reads "Big Cypress National Preserve 1974-2024". Inside the logo is a big "50th" and a Florida panther resting atop the number 5. A big sun sets behind bald cypress and a kingfisher in the background.

    Florida National Parks Association

    Our twin, Big Cypress National Preserve, is celebrating 50 years, too!

    Did you know that Big Thicket is only one of two national preserves established on October 11, 1974? The other, Big Cypress National Preserve, protects tall strands of bald cypress, low-lying estuaries lined with mangrove trees, and everything in between! With only inches to differentiate between distinct ecosystems, Big Cypress is known to be one of the most ecologically diverse areas of the country and protects almost 730,000 acres of land in Southwest Florida. With so much to do and see there is an adventure for people of all abilities!

    Big Cypress National Preserve protects not only the land, but also the traditional uses of the land. That includes Off-Road Vehicle usage, hunting and fishing, traditional use and occupancy by the Miccosukee and Seminole Tribes, private land ownership, prescribed fires and more! It is our responsibility to strike a balance between the natural and human agendas in order to protect this land, and its traditional uses for generations to come.

    Whether you take a stroll on one of the four (4) boardwalks within the preserve, an Off-Road Vehicle into the backcountry or get your feet wet on a swamp walk, we know that you’ll find something that interests you!

    Traveling to Florida? Check out Big Cypress National Preserve and celebrate their 50th anniversary!

    Last updated: March 19, 2024

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    6044 FM 420
    Kountze, TX 77625



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