Ready to hit the trails? This page is your source for trail maps and directions. Use the quick navigation link above to jump to the trails in the park unit of your choice.
Kirby Nature Trail
Three loop options, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 miles, pass through several plant communities, from baygalls to cypress sloughs to the riparian zone along Village Creek. An interpretive trail guide is available at the visitor center for a small charge. The outer loop is marked with blue trail blazes.
Pitcher Plant Trail
The first quarter-mile of the Pitcher Plant Trail passes through longleaf pines into a large bog of pitcher plants and sundews. The 1-mile trail continues through a mixed woodland, joining the Turkey Creek Trail for a short distance before looping back to the trailhead. This loop trail is marked with green trail blazes.
Turkey Creek Trail
17 miles one-way
Six trailheads provide access to different parts of this 17-mile trail, providing opportunities for hikes of varying distances. The trail roughly parallels Turkey Creek and passes through several plant communities, from hardwood forests to cypress sloughs.
Sandhill Loop Trail
This trail leads through a rare "arid sandyland" ecosystem, home to prickly pear cactus and other desert plants. Despite the region's ample rainfall, the sandy soil in this pocket of the woods doesn't hold much moisture, so desert plants thrive here. The forest is much more open and sunny here than in other parts of the Big Thicket.
Both the inner 0.3-mile loop and the outer 1-mile loop pass through a small bog of pitcher plants. The inner loop continues through a savannah that has abundant summer wildflowers, while the outer loop winds through a woodland composed primarily of longleaf pines. This is one of the best places in the preserve to see birds and wildflowers, as well as the tiny red sundew plants.
Beech Woods Trail
Hikers in the Beech Creek Unit can follow either the Beech Woods Trail, which makes a 1-mile loop, or a former dirt road that extends from the trailhead for 6 miles through the unit.
Beaver Slide Trail
The Beaver Slide Trail makes a loop of 1.5 miles near Big Sandy Creek. It is heavily wooded and is an excellent short hike on which to see cypress trees.
Big Sandy Trail
18 miles roundtrip
The Big Sandy Trail has more topography than other trails in the preserve, and goes through many different ecosystems along its 9-mile length. It is the only trail in the preserve that is open to horseback riding and bicycling as well as hiking.
The Woodlands Trail consists of three loops of 3.3 miles, 4.5 miles, and 5.4 miles, giving hikers several distance options. This trail traverses a variety of plant communities, including the Big Sandy Creek floodplain and dense stands of hardwood trees.
1 mile roundtrip
The Birdwatchers Trail, located at the confluence of Menard Creek and the Trinity River, provides good views of the sandbars along the Trinity River, as well as the opportunity to see many types of birds.
Just east of the Big Thicket National Preserve visitor center and headquarters lies an expanse of wetland pine savannah known informally as the Solo Tract. There are no trails in this area, but visitors are welcome to wander among the longleaf pines and look for birds, wildflowers, and carnivorous plants.
Last updated: November 18, 2023