Big Sandy Creek Unit

large pond surrounded by forest on a sunny day
Spend some time at Collins Pond on the Woodlands Trail.

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga

14,343 acres
Polk County


  • Hiking
  • Backcountry camping (year-round on Woodlands Trail; March-September elsewhere)
  • Mountain biking (Big Sandy Trail only)
  • Horseback riding (Big Sandy Trail only)
  • Hunting (October-February)
  • Fishing
  • Picnic areas
autumn leaves covering a bridge in a forest
Bridge on the Beaver Slide Trail

NPS Photo / Cheyenne Millard


The Big Sandy Creek Unit is a large piece of parkland in the northwest corner of the Big Thicket region. Trails here provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities. The Big Sandy Trail, 18 miles roundtrip, is the only trail in the preserve open to mountain biking and horseback riding. Adventurous hikers are welcome to camp in the unit’s many acres of backcountry.

During fall and winter, hunters can seek deer, hogs, and other Texas game species. Hunting season generally runs October through February. Check with visitor center staff for the exact dates of hunting season each year.


Changes in elevation are evident in this corner of the Big Thicket. As you ascend and descend minor hills, notice how the woods change between upland pine forests, beech-magnolia-loblolly slope forests, and floodplain plant communities. This is an area of contrasts, home to wet, muddy cypress sloughs and dry, arid sandylands.


  • Beaver Slide Trail (1.5-mile loop)
  • Woodlands Trail (5.4-mile loop)
  • Big Sandy Trail (18 miles roundtrip)



The Big Sandy Creek Unit is south of US 190 and west of US 69/287. The 3 main trailheads are spread across the unit. See the link above for trail maps and directions.

thick green forest along a trail
Forest canopy on the Woodlands Trail

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga


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    Last updated: August 22, 2021

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    Mailing Address:

    6044 FM 420
    Kountze, TX 77625



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