The Preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 97,000 acres. Big Thicket was the first Preserve in the National Park System established October 11, 1974, and protects an area of rich biological diversity.
A convergence of ecosystems occurred here during the last Ice Age. It brought together, in one geographical location, the eastern hardwood forests, the Gulf coastal plains, and the midwest prairies.
December 15, 1981, the Preserve was designated an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Program.
July 26, 2001, the American Bird Conservancy recognized the Preserve as a Globally Important Bird Area joining thousands of others around the world.
Email - BITH_Administration@nps.gov
3785 Milam Street
Beaumont, TX 77701-4724
- or -
6102 FM 420
Kountze, TX 77625-7842
Visitor Information - 409-246-2337
Headquarters - 409-839-2689
Operating Hours, Seasons
Preserve Headquarters is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; closed on all government holidays. The visitor center is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily. Closed on Christmas and New Years.
PLANE - The Southeast Texas Regional Airport, near Beaumont, Texas, has commerical airline service. Houston, Texas, about 100 miles from the Preserve, has two major airports served by a number of major airlines.
CAR - Enter Beaumont, Texas, via Interstate 10 and then take U.S. Highway 69-287 north from Beaumont. Seven miles north of Kountze, Texas, take FM 420 east and follow the signs to the visitor center.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - AmTrak and Commerical Bus transportation are available in Beaumont, Texas.
Weather & Climate
An average rainfall of 55 inches is well distributed throughout the year. Summers are warm and humid with daytime temperatures between 85 and 95 degrees fahrenheit with peaks to 100 or more. Moderate temperatures in the mid 50s to 60s are normal for winter. Spring and fall are very enjoyable and are the most pleasant seasons for outdoor activities. Wear comfortable outdoorwear, wear a broad brimmed hat, wear walking shoes, and carry rain gear.
The Preserve Visitor Center, the Sundew, Pitcher Plant, and Kirby Nature Trails are accessible. All picinic tables and rest rooms are wheelchair accessible.
Because the Preserve is composed of several units (land and water), one has to drive to each unit they wish to visit. The Official Map and Guide will assist greatly.
Free! for 10 Days
Backcountry camping is available. Campers must have a valid Preserve issued Backcountry Use Permit to camp in designated areas. Permits can be obtained at the visitor center or Headquarters offices.
Backcountry Camping Only
Open All Year
Requires a valid, Preserve issued, Backcountry Use Permit (Form 10-404)
For More Information on this campground please call 409-246-2337
Lodging is only available in nearby communities
Open All Year
The communities of Woodville, Kountze, Silsbee and Beaumont, Texas, all offer lodging.
BIG THICKET VISITOR CENTER
Open All Year 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Phone - 409-246-2337
Location - Seven miles north of Kountze, Texas, in Hardin County, on U.S. Highway 69. Turn right on FM 420 and follow the signs.
Closures - Christmas and New Years Day
Exhibits - The Discovery Station will orient you to the world of Wildland and Prescribed Fire.
Available Facilities - Book sales, exhibits, theater, restrooms, pull through parking for large vehicles, and picnic tables.