Big Thicket's Soundscape

A location's soundscape may have a positive or negative impact on a person's experience in a national park. Here at Big Thicket National Preserve, we want to reduce any potential negative impacts. We're doing that by listing the major sounds you could hear while visiting our park.

Please note: The preserve is spread out among several counties and interspersed among private, city, and state property. The list below is common within many of our units, but there may be other noises that affect the soundscape of a particular unit over another.
Person in camouflaged shirt, hat, & orange vest kneels in woods with a rifle pointed on his shoulder.
Hunting is one activity that makes this national park site a preserve.

NPS Photo: I. Kessler

Hunter Gunshots

Bang! Pop! These sharp, sudden sounds are common during hunting season from September through February. (Note: There is no hunting allowed in the Turkey Creek Unit where are more popular trails are located, however you may still hear the sound of shots in the distance.)
Small black bug with hairs on its back and antennae rests on a finger. It has a puffy, red stomach.
Bug spray is a must on the trails during the summer.

NPS Photo: S. Sharaga


Buzz! Usually followed by several swats and a slap. These mosquitoes are found along the trails in warmer weather (typically April - August).

Fast Moving Cars

Woosh! Be careful near highways. It is especially loud near the visitor center.
Bird with red head and black and white body rests vertically on a tree trunk with its beak near a hole.
The loud, ratattatt sound of a Red-headed woodpecker resonates throughout the forest.

NPS Photo: N. Pattee


Tap, tap, tap as the woodpecker hammers its beak into tree bark.
Brown toad with tan stripes and covered with small bumps sits on pine needles and stares toward a leaf.
The short, raspy sound of a Golf Coast toad can be heard most evenings near our water sources.

NPS Photo: S. Sharaga

Frogs and Toads

"Yep, yep, yep" and "baaa" are heard outside the visitor center in the warm months after a rain.
Multi-shaded green grasshopper sits on a bright green leaf with 3 holes. Other bright green leaves fill the background.
Most grasshoppers create their songs by rubbing their back legs against their wings.

NPS Photo

Crickets and Grasshoppers

Chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.....They never stop in the Big Thicket.
Flat, oval eyes bulge from the sides of a light-green head with a black and white striped nose. This bug's head sits in front of a watermelon-shaped body.
Male cicadas have a hollow abdomen which creates various sounds as the sound waves vibrate through 300-400 times per second.

NPS Photo: A. Halbrook


Loud, steady, electric whistle vibrates through the woods. The shrill of the cicada can create various high-pitched noises, such as clicking and buzzing. This is an ever-present sound while hiking on our trails in the summer.
Bright red bird with a black face perches on a thin tree branch surrounded by many other tangled, leafless branches.
The Cardinal's whistle is a common sound in the morning hours.

NPS Photo: S. Sharaga

Bird Calls

About 300 species of birds pass through, feed, or nest in the Big Thicket. Each species has a unique call. If you're here at night, the chattering squawks and squeaks of bats can be heard too!
Football-shaped leaves of browns, greens, and reds cover a packed dirt trail.
It can be hard to hike quietly on this section of the Kirby Nature Trail.

NPS Photo: T. Gray

Dried Leaves on the Ground

Crunch, crunch, crunch as you walk on the dried leaves along the trails.
Thick tree trunks reflect off the the dark brown water filled with twigs and algae.
A baygall is a swamp habitat with acidic water, low oxygen, and almost no water flow.

NPS Photo


Silence! Our sloughs and bayous are very low flow. Therefore, you won't hear many babbling brooks in the Big Thicket.

Last updated: July 4, 2022

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6044 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625



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