Canyonlands Unit

autumn colors in the forest along the river
Fall colors in the Canyonlands Unit

NPS Photo / DW Ivans

1,754 acres
Tyler County



  • Backcountry camping (year-round)
  • Fishing
forested cliff
Cliffs are rare features in the Big Thicket.

NPS Photo


The Canyonlands Unit lies in the northeast corner of the Big Thicket. Scenic bluffs above the Neches River floodplain create drastic elevation changes unseen in other parts of the region. Hikers looking to explore this unit will encounter forested slopes, cypress swamps, and small gulches teeming with plant life.

This unit is perhaps the most challenging part of the preserve to explore. There are no trails to follow or signs to indicate where to start. Cliffs pose a challenge to hikers and are dangerous to ascend or descend. While there are old logging roads running through the unit, they are overgrown and can be difficult to follow in certain places.

Hikers should use a topographic map and compass when exploring the Canyonlands Unit. Backcountry camping is allowed year-round. Free camping permits are available at the visitor center in Kountze.


Elevation changes from the bluffs to the floodplain create the preferred environment for the beech, magnolia, and loblolly trees that encompass the slope forest plant community. Below the bluffs, seeps and springs feed perpetually flooded cypress sloughs and bottomland forest.



There are no established trails in the Canyonlands Unit. Hikers exploring off-trail should be self-reliant and carry a GPS-enabled device for navigation. Because of the remoteness of this unit, the NPS recommends that hikers tell a friend or family member where they’re going and when they plan to return.



The Canyonlands Unit is north of Spurger and south of B.A. Steinhagen Lake. From Spurger, head north on FM 92 for 2 miles and turn right (east) on County Road 4415. An old logging road off of CR 4415 heads east into the unit. Use the GPS coordinates below to reach the recommended starting point (there is no park signage on CR 4415).

Recommended Entrance (Old Logging Road) Lat./Long. Coordinates:
30.72316, -94.14766

small stream flowing through the woods
Small stream flowing through the woods

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga

cypress trees growing in a swamp
Cypress slough near the Neches River

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga

Last updated: June 26, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6044 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625



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