Thing to Do

Hike the Pitcher Plant Trail

fly sitting on the lip of a carnivorous pitcher plant
A fly is tempted to go down the funnel of a pitcher plant.

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga

Carnivorous pitcher plants wait silently with open "mouths" in the Big Thicket's bogs, hoping to trap and eat insects that come a little too close. See these plants in their natural habitat on an easy, looping trail through a wetland pine savannah. Keen observers might be able to spot other types of carnivorous plants on this hike.

Distance

1-mile loop

The Pitcher Plant Trail is a 1-mile loop with options to extend your hike by going north or south on the Turkey Creek Trail.

For an alternate, 7-mile roundtrip hike, take the Turkey Creek Trail south from FM 1943 for 3 miles, do the 1-mile Pitcher Plant loop, then return the way you came.

Getting Here

GPS Coordinates:
30.582384, -94.336575

From US 69/287 in Warren, go east on FM 1943 until you reach County Road 4850 (unpaved). Turn right to go south on 4850 for about 2 miles and the Pitcher Plant Trail will be on the right.

The Hike

The first ¼ mile of the trail passes through a forest of longleaf pines. As you walk, look for burn scars on the pines—this section is intentionally burned every few years to encourage new tree growth. Longleaf pines are able to survive low-intensity fires that burn the leaf litter on the forest floor.

When you reach the wooden boardwalk, you've arrived at the entrance to the pitcher plant bog. In spring and summer, you'll see hundreds of pale pitcher plants in this muddy, boggy field.

After passing through the bog, the trail becomes a dirt path and heads into the woods where it joins the Turkey Creek Trail for a short distance before looping back to the trailhead. Keep making left turns to stay on the Pitcher Plant Trail, marked with green trail blazes.

Trail Maps

► Pitcher Plant and Sundew Trails
► Turkey Creek Unit Trails

More Information

Read more about carnivorous plants and the Turkey Creek Unit of Big Thicket National Preserve.

Details

Pets must be on-leash (no longer than 6 feet). Please pick up your pet's poop!

Big Thicket National Preserve does not charge entrance fees.

Located east of Warren near the north end of the Turkey Creek Unit. From US 69/287 in Warren, go east on FM 1943 for 4.3 miles until you reach unpaved County Road 4850. Turn right (south) onto County Road 4850 and go 2 miles to reach the trailhead.

See pitcher plants' large yellow flowers in late March and April. The pitcher plants are usually small in the spring and reach their peak size in summer and early fall. These plants die each winter, so a January or February visit is not recommended if you want to see the pitcher plants.

Accessibility Information

The beginning of the trail is paved and leads to a wooden boardwalk through the pitcher plant bog. Beyond the boardwalk, the trail is a dirt path, which can get muddy following heavy rain.

Big Thicket National Preserve

Last updated: April 5, 2022