Big Thicket National Preserve

Adventure, wildlife and fun

The Big Thicket National Preserve was established by Congress in 1974. This combination of virgin pine and cypress forest, hardwood forest, meadow and blackwater swamp is managed by the National Park Service. The Preserve was established to protect the remnant of its complex biological diversity. What is so extraordinary is not the rarity or abundance of its life forms, but how many species coexist here.

Major North American biological influences bump up against each other here: southeastern swamps, Appalachians, eastern forests, central plains, and southwest deserts. Bogs sit near arid sandhills. Eastern bluebirds nest near roadrunners. There are 85 tree species, more than 60 shrubs, and nearly 1,000 other flowering plants, including 26 ferns and allies, 20 orchids and four of North America’s five type of insect-eating plants. Nearly 300 kinds of birds live here or migrate through. Fifty reptile species include a small, rarely seen population of alligators. Amphibious frogs and toads abound.

Activities in the Big Thicket National Preserve include hiking, camping, bicycling, horseback riding, canoeing, bird watching, fishing and more. Visitors find the Big Thicket to be a fun, educational trip for the entire family.