Big Thicket - Western National Parks Association

Big Thicket

National Preserve


This national preserve protects the incredible diversity of life that thrives where multiple habitats converge in southeast Texas. Hiking trails and waterways meander through nine ecosystems, from longleaf pine forests to cypress-lined bayous. Wander, explore, and discover this place rich with nature.

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Established by Congress in October of 1974, Big Thicket National Preserve protects more than 113,000 acres of land and water spread over seven counties in southeast Texas. Big Thicket is known as “the biological crossroads of North America”—a meeting place for southeastern swamps, eastern deciduous forests, central plains, pine savannas, and dry sandhills. This crossroads of beautiful landscapes is home to approximately 1,320 species of trees, shrubs, vines, and grasses, and at least 300 bird species. Hiking trails and waterways meander through nine different ecosystems. The dense wilderness was, at one time, a barrier to Europeans, and was first settled by the Alabama and Coushatta tribes in the 1780s. With their shared history, the two tribes merged, forming the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Today, visitors can trek approximately 40 miles of trails that wind through these ecosystems brimming with life on land and in water. Visit Big Thicket National Preserve and experience immeasurable tranquility, exhilarating outdoor adventures, and one of the most biologically diverse landscapes in the world.

Stories from Big Thicket

Attitudes Toward and Options About A Louisiana Black Bear Recovery in and Around Big Thicket National Preserve
Since our founding in 1938

WNPA has provided more than

$136 million

in aid to our partner parks to fund educational programs, initiatives, and scientific research

Kids in Parks

National parks are places where kids can dream up great adventures! Taking in amazing scenery. Testing out new skills. Exploring places kids may have only heard about. But most importantly, creating new memories with friends and family.

What’s Happening at This Park?

Our public lands are our public commons. They belong to all of us as part of our natural and cultural heritage. They remind us of a larger world that has existed long before the arrival of humans and will survive long after we are gone. –Terry Tempest Williams, Author & Conservationist

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When you can’t get to a national park for a visit, experience it from the comfort of your home. WNPA’s online store is packed with ranger-approved park collectibles, books, toys, and clothing. Shop for a special item.