Big Thicket National Preserve - Beaumont, TX - A place to enjoy numerous activities in the middle of nature
The Big Thicket Nature Preserve is on ninety-seven thousand acres which can be found in the National Park System that was established during October of 1974. The preserve is located at 3785Milam Street and offers something for everyone from simply observing nature to hunting in the natural biosphere.
The Preserve Headquarters which closes for all government holidays is open Monday through Friday from eight in the morning until four thirty in the evening. The visitor center at the preserve is open from nine in the morning to five in the evening each day with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
The Big Thicket National Preserve does not charge a fee to enter the park or participate in activities or the educational programs it offers. There are also Hunting Permits available without a fee. Reservations are required for Resource Education and Naturalist Programs that are at times other than selected weekends. There is also backcountry camping offered at no charge which requires a Backcountry Use Permit that can be issued by the Preserve. Camping is limited to designated areas, additional information can be gotten from the Headquarters or Visitor Center Office.
There are a number of activities at the Big Thicket National Preserve including bird watching, biking, boating and backpacking. There are also Interpretive Programs, stargazing, trapping and viewing of wildlife, Kayaking and Hunting at the preserve. The summer months are humid and warm for hiking which is available all year. The months of March through October are the best time to view the wildflowers.
The Mississippi and Central migratory flyways are the two that pass over the Big Thicket Preserve. The middle of April to the middle of May is when the best bird watching can be done and it becomes less active during the fall. The months of April to October are when visitors can enjoy activities such as fishing, canoeing and boating.
Beginning in toward the end of September, beginning of October though the middle of January the Big Thicket National Preserve has hunting in designated areas. A license to hunt from the state and a permit from the preserve are required to hunt. December and January are the only two months that trapping is allowed, even then it is in designated areas only. All trappers must possess both a permit issued to them by the Preserve and a trapping license from the State of Texas; both must be valid.
The Big Thicket National Preserve even offers something for children with a number of programs that are curriculum based to take children all the way from preschool to the twelfth grade. There are no fees associated with these programs however they are only available to the schools located in the region. Reservations are required to participate in these programs. The preserve should be contacted directly to make the reservation.
There is also a junior ranger program offered which allows young visitors to learn everything they can about the preserve. Simply stop at the Visitor Center of the Big Thicket National Preserve and ask for a Junior Ranger Guidebook from the ranger on duty.
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