Kountze, TX 77625
- Near Beaumont
- National Park
Big Thicket is an American biological crossroads, a mixture of sandhills and bogs, plains and eastern forests. There are 186 species of birds here, from Eastern bluebirds to roadrunners, and 85 species of trees. A thousand species of flowering plants grow in the thicket, among them four species of insect-eating plants, four of North America’s five. This is also a haven for the cold-blooded, with fifty species of reptiles and plenty of frogs and toads.
Big Thicket is home to eight trails, including the Big Sandy Creek Horse/Bike Trail, which is 18 miles of loop through pine forests, magnolias, and holly (the flora changes as you go). Other trails are the Kirby Nature Trail System, the Turkey Creek Trail, Pitcher Plant Trail (named for the carnivorous pitcher plant), the Sundew Trail (named for the carnivorous sundew plant), the Woodlands Trail, the Beech Woods Trail, and the Beaver Slide Trail. For birders, the Big Thicket Loop is a must-walk. Watch for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the Bachman’s Sparrow, and the Brown-leaded Nuthatch.
You can also take your canoe out on the floodplain / swamp hybrid of the shores of Cook’s Lake, or the bald cypress of Franklin Lake.