Just under a two-hour drive from Houston in the majestic Piney Woods region, Big Thicket National Preserve could not feel farther away from the city. Pine trees reflect on still waters and line the 40 miles of winding nature trails, and hundreds of unique animal species populate the 108,000-acre park.
Although Big Thicket is a well-known Texas spot for lovers of the outdoors, its existence, as we know it today, is fairly young: Congress did not pass legislation for its official establishment until 1974. President Gerald Ford signed the legislation that made Big Thicket the first national preserve in the U.S. National Park System. And we’re so glad he did.
Big Thicket is home to not two, not three, but ten distinct ecosystems—it abounds in biodiversity with trees, mammals, fish, and other species of wildlife, many of which are rare or endangered. Additionally, the American Bird Conservancy has named Big Thicket an “Important Bird Area,” meaning the conservancy works to protect the hundreds of bird species and their natural habitats at Big Thicket.
Big Thicket is not only a popular wildlife habitat, but also a beautiful location for visitors of the human species to enjoy. Hiking, canoeing, and primitive camping (for the truly wild at heart) and simply taking in the sights of diverse wildlife, attract visitors who can’t get enough of the outdoors.
It’s getting to be that time of year: air is a little cooler, sunlight is a little softer, and fall is quickly arriving. The whimsical woods of Big Thicket, saturated with both history and nature in every acre, is sure to satiate every Texas traveler’s fall wanderlust. We hope you’ll pack a bag for a weekend with nature this fall and head east to Big Thicket National Preserve.