"Moss-covered canopy, Big Thicket National Preserve, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Big Thicket

National Preserve - Texas

Big Thicket is the name of a heavily forested area in Southeast Texas, United States. Several attempts to provide boundaries have been made ranging from only a 10 to 15 mile section of Hardin County to an area encompassing over 29 counties and over 3,350,000 acres. While no exact boundaries exist, the area occupies much of Hardin, Liberty, Tyler, San Jacinto, and Polk Counties and is roughly bounded by the San Jacinto River, Neches River, and Pine Island Bayou. To the north, it blends into the larger Piney Woods terrestrial ecoregion of which it is a part. It has historically been the most dense forest region in what is now Texas, though logging in the 19th and 20th centuries dramatically reduced the forest concentration.

location

maps

Official visitor map of Big Thicket National Preserve (NPRES) in Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Big Thicket - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Big Thicket National Preserve (NPRES) in Texas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Trails Map of Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Texas. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).Trinity River - Trails Map

Trails Map of Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Texas. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

https://www.nps.gov/bith/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Thicket Big Thicket is the name of a heavily forested area in Southeast Texas, United States. Several attempts to provide boundaries have been made ranging from only a 10 to 15 mile section of Hardin County to an area encompassing over 29 counties and over 3,350,000 acres. While no exact boundaries exist, the area occupies much of Hardin, Liberty, Tyler, San Jacinto, and Polk Counties and is roughly bounded by the San Jacinto River, Neches River, and Pine Island Bayou. To the north, it blends into the larger Piney Woods terrestrial ecoregion of which it is a part. It has historically been the most dense forest region in what is now Texas, though logging in the 19th and 20th centuries dramatically reduced the forest concentration. Life of all types abounds in the Big Thicket. This national preserve protects the incredible diversity of life found where multiple habitats converge in southeast Texas. Hiking trails and waterways meander through nine different ecosystems, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. It is a place of discovery, a place to wander and explore, a place to marvel at the richness of nature. The main corridor through the Big Thicket is US Hwy 69/287 between Beaumont and Woodville. Many smaller roads and highways branch off of the main corridor to reach trailheads and scenic areas. The visitor center is located at the intersection of US 69/287 and FM 420, about 8 miles north of Kountze and 30 miles north of Beaumont. Big Thicket Visitor Center Start your trip here! Get free maps and information, meet a park ranger, and learn about the Big Thicket's plants, animals, and history. Staying awhile? Watch a short film in the theater, browse the bookstore, and enjoy a picnic in the covered picnic area. The visitor center is located approximately 30 miles north of Beaumont, and 7 miles north of Kountze, at the intersection of US 69/287 and FM 420. No developed campgrounds in the preserve There are no developed campgrounds or backcountry campsites within Big Thicket National Preserve. The preserve issues free camping permits for backpackers. Boaters may get camping permits to camp on sandbars. There are several private and state park camping facilities in the local area. Cypress Swamp Bright green swamp with shallow water and many kinds of trees and jungle-like plants. When you think of Texas, do you picture jungle-like swamps? Staley Cabin A log cabin in a forest beneath a canopy of sprawling live oak trees. Historic Staley Cabin sits at the start of the Kirby Nature Trail. Canoe on Lake Bayou A park ranger paddling a green canoe on a slow-moving waterway below cypress trees. A canoe or kayak trip is the best way to see Big Thicket's waterways. Beaver Slide Trail Bridge A small wooden bridge on a trail through dense woods. Wander through the woods on the Beaver Slide Trail. Pitcher Plant Close-up of a carnivorous pitcher plant with the shadow of an insect inside. Visit in spring to see carnivorous pitcher plants. Red-Headed Woodpecker A woodpecker with bright red head clinging to a dead tree. Look for woodpeckers in Big Thicket's pine forests. Village Creek Bridge An iron bridge above a murky creek surrounded by dense woods. The bridge over Village Creek connects the Kirby Nature Trail to the Turkey Creek Trail. Cypress Knees Shadowy-looking cypress knees and their reflections in still water. Cypress knees, extensions of bald cypresses' roots, are abundant in Big Thicket waters. Cooks Lake Paddlers 2 people in a canoe and 1 person in a kayak paddle through a forested slough. Paddle beneath a canopy of cypress and tupelo on the Cooks Lake to Scatterman Paddling Trail. Sundew Trail A wooden boardwalk curving through dense ferns and pines. The Sundew Trail leads hikers through a wetland pine savannah. Fall Swamp Tall trees in a swamp, displaying bright orange foliage. Visit in November to see bald cypress leaves turn a rich orange hue. Anole on Palmetto A green anole lizard resting on an outstretched palmetto leaf. The beauty of the Big Thicket lies in its small details. Kirby Oak Sunlight poking through the canopy of a sprawling oak tree. Large live oaks welcome hikers to the Kirby Nature Trail. Excellence in Wildland Fire Management In February 2015, the Fire Management team at Big Thicket National Preserve was recognized for their hard work and ability to maintain a high standard of excellence. Wildland fire operations at Big Thicket National Preserve ProRanger San Antonio Cadets Prepare for Wildland Fire Big Thicket National Preserve hosted ProRanger San Antonio on March 12-14, 2012 for wildland firefighter training in the Piney Woods forests of East Texas. The ProRanger second-year cadets participated in an eight-hour classroom refresher focused on risk management and fire preparedness. ProRanger is a career development program focused on creating new pathways for students into the National Park Service (NPS). Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Big Thicket National Preserve, Texas Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] bald cypress trees reflected in water Top 10 Tips for Visiting Big Thicket Are you planning a trip to Big Thicket National Preserve? Check out these 10 tips to make your trip a fun and safe one! kayaker paddling past cypress trees on a sunny waterway Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Battle of the Bark Trees shade us from the sun, provide homes for wildlife, stabilize Earth’s surface, and produce food for humans and animals alike. Some are massive, and others are miniscule by comparison, but what makes one better than the other—we’ll let you decide! Check out our iconic trees below and find your favorite! Five thick barked red-brown trees are backlit by the sunlight. Pollinators in peril? A multipark approach to evaluating bee communities in habitats vulnerable to effects from climate change Can you name five bees in your park? Ten? Twenty? Will they all be there 50 years from now? We know that pollinators are key to maintaining healthy ecosystems—from managed almond orchards to wild mountain meadows. We have heard about dramatic population declines of the agricultural workhorse, the honey bee. Yet what do we really know about the remarkable diversity and resilience of native bees in our national parks? Southeastern polyester bee, Colletes titusensis.

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