Hardin and Tyler Counties
The Turkey Creek Unit is the most developed section of Big Thicket National Preserve. Over 20 miles of trails wind through this long, slender unit of parkland that follows the course of Turkey Creek. Along with a stop at the nearby visitor center, the Turkey Creek Unit is great for an introduction to the Big Thicket. Go for a day hike and see carnivorous plants or a cypress slough. If you want to stay longer, get a free backcountry camping permit at the visitor center and spend a night or two in the woods.
The Turkey Creek Unit is known for its expansive pitcher plant bog found on the Pitcher Plant Trail. These carnivorous plants consume insects by luring them into sweet-smelling traps. In spring, look for their yellow-white flower blooms that hang upside-down.
Note: Sandhill Loop can only be reached from the north via Turkey Creek Trail (9 miles roundtrip). The bridge over Turkey Creek just southwest of the loop is closed due to flood damage. Sandhill Loop cannot be reached from Kirby at this time.
The Turkey Creek Unit has many entry points. All trailheads are north of Kountze, just east of US 69/287. See the link above for trail maps and directions.