Plan Your Visit

Sign reading Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center
Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center sign

NPS Photo

Welcome to Big Thicket National Preserve

The term "Big Thicket" refers to a large expanse of woodlands, wetlands, and waterways that once covered over 3 million acres of southeast Texas. Today, Big Thicket National Preserve protects over 113,000 acres spread over 7 counties. A convergence of ecological influences here has created an area rich in biological diversity, with 9 ecosystems providing habitats for a variety of species.

Basic Information

Here you'll find the park's address and hours of operation.


Need a map or GPS coordinates for the park? Find them here.

Places To Go

Find out more about the units of the preserve and the recreational opportunities they offer.

Things To Do

The best place to start your visit is by exploring the exhibits and watching the 15-minute movie on the Big Thicket at the preserve visitor center. Kids of all ages can pick up a free Junior Ranger booklet and complete fun, easy activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge.

Roads connect the widely-spaced units of the preserve, but there are no scenic drives through the heart of the Big Thicket. Walking and paddling are the best ways to experience this place. Forty miles of hiking trails and many miles of waterways wind through the preserve. Backcountry camping is allowed in many parts of the preserve, from forests to sandbars along Village Creek and the Neches River. A free camping permit is required. All waterways in the preserve are open to fishing; a state fishing license is required. Three hundred species of birds have been found in the Big Thicket, making this a popular birding location.

Hunting is allowed in several areas of the preserve. The preserve permits the harvest of white-tailed deer, squirrel, rabbit, waterfowl, and feral hog. A state hunting license and preserve hunting permit are required.


Have a look at the event calendar to see what's happening in the preserve! Park rangers present public programs throughout the year, from guided walks and canoe trips to special Junior Ranger Days. All programs are free, but some require registration.


Make your Big Thicket trip a safe one. Learn more about common hazards and be prepared!


The preserve offers opportunities for visitors of all abilities.

COVID-19 Updates

Check here to see what's open or closed before you visit the preserve.

Last updated: June 29, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

6044 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625



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