Most visitors to Big Thicket National Preserve experience few problems besides mosquitoes and chiggers. However, there are several environmental hazards that people should be aware of. Remember, you are responsible for your own safety.
Swimming and Boating
Drowning is the primary cause of death in the Big Thicket. The National Park Service does not recommend swimming in preserve waterways. There are no designated swimming areas in Big Thicket National Preserve. Village Creek and the Neches River may appear calm, but they often have strong currents that can carry away even the strongest swimmers. Shallow sandbars sometimes end in steep drop-offs.
Heat and Dehydration
Heat is the number one weather-related cause of death in the United States. While the temperature here rarely exceeds 95°F, high humidity can make it feel much hotter. The high humidity interferes with the body's natural cooling mechanism, the evaporative cooling of sweat.
The Big Thicket is home to 4 types of venomous snakes: coral snakes, rattlesnakes, copperheads, and water moccasins (cottonmouths). Be cautious in dense brush. Most snakes seen here are harmless, and all snakes, venomous or not, are protected in the preserve.
Last updated: February 27, 2021