Big Thicket

Young people and their families are invited to Big Thicket National Preserve every Friday in July from 9 a.m. – noon for Junior Ranger Days. Each week, park rangers will lead fun, hands-on activities focused on a variety of topics, from wildlife to wilderness survival. These program are designed for kids ages 8 to 12.

July 6 – Wilderness Survival for Kids: Could you survive being lost in the outdoors? Learn the basics of wilderness survival.

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Park Ranger Alex and a group of students on the Sundew Trail

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 170,649 visitors to Big Thicket National Preserve in 2017 spent $10,690,600 in communities near the park. That spending supported 136 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $13,515,500.

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Photo: Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve is pleased to share a new trail experience and interpretive guide with visitors to the Kirby Nature Trail, park spokesperson Jason Ginder announced in a Jan. 26 release.

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Dallas Zoo Volunteer Group led by Ben Jones | Photo: Thicket of Diversity

The Big Thicket of Southeast Texas is a region historically rich in biological diversity. Efforts have been underway since 2006 by the Big Thicket Association’s Thicket of Diversity (ToD) to survey and monitor species through biological inventories, the organization said in a recent statement, adding that 2017 was an active and productive year for the project.

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Photo: Big Thicket National Preserve

Big Thicket National Preserve is proud to announce the installation of a new temporary art exhibit in the park’s visitor center, park spokesperson Jason Ginder said in a release.

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flood levels marked by red line and discoloration of foliage in Day-Use Area

Harvey caused flooding throughout Texas that locals had never seen before, not only for neighborhoods and homes but also for the diverse wildlife that lives in the Big Thicket.

Deer drowned, snakes were displaced, and alligators came up in unexpected places, according to park staff.

But despite Harvey’s “unprecedented” flooding in late August, about 22 of the Big Thicket National Preserve’s 40 miles of trails were accessible by Sept. 18, National Park Service spokesperson Jason Ginder said in a release, only a few weeks after the hurricane.

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This southern stingray is one you definitely don’t want to step on.

Wade fishermen along the Texas coast know full well that stingrays are abundant just about anywhere you can find a salty tide. It’s not unusual to see them while wading the bays during the warm water months from about May through November. And that’s why stingray-proof wading boots and shin guards are so popular. If you get hit by the poison barb of a ray’s tail, you are toast for a least a few days, and done fishing for at least a couple of weeks.

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Photo courtesy of the National Park Service
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In an effort to expand recreational opportunities in the national preserve and provide unique experiences for all, effective October 2017, Big Thicket National Preserve will open a new waterfowl hunting area and permit the use of air rifles for squirrel hunting.

Squirrel hunting has been a popular activity in the preserve for many years. In accordance with Texas regulations, only squirrel (fox squirrel, cat/grey squirrel) may be taken with air rifles.

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The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage of the ranger-led programs being offered in the months of May-August.

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The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in April and May.

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