For an unfurgettable outdoor experience in southeast Texas, look no further than the Big Thicket National Preserve! One of the first national preserves in the country, this 113,000-acre site has been called the biological crossroads of North America due to its complex biological diversity; its 15 units feature a wide range of ecosystems, from cypress-lined bayous to longleaf pine forests. The best part is, you can explore this woofderful place with your canine best friend by your side!
Adventurous pups will be pleased to know that there are ruffly 40 miles of hiking trails to explore at the Big Thicket. Trail lengths range from 0.3 miles to 18 miles round trip, so there's something for four-legged hikers of all ages and abilities. Among the preserve's most pawpular paths are those that feature carnivorous plants. The Sundew Trail, which comprises an inner 0.3-mile loop and an outer 1-mile loop, passes through a small bog of pitcher plants, a wooded savannah with many summer wildflowers, and a woodland of longleaf pines. You and Fido will find the sundews along the boardwalks and in other disturbed areas. To see the largest pitcher plant bog in the preserve, follow the 1-mile Pitcher Plant Trail into a wetland savannah, where hundreds of the funnel-shaped plants await.
The Big Thicket also contains several miles of waterways, making it a furrific place to go canoeing or kayaking with your pup. Just like the hiking trails, there are a number of trip options for paddlers of all skill levels. Just remember to strap on Fido's life jacket before setting off! If you and your pooch are willing to ruff it for a few days, stop by the visitor center to obtain a camping permit. There are no developed campgrounds or designated campsites, but there are camping regulations to be followed—be sure to check them before you set up camp!
Wherever you and your pupper go in the preserve, be sure to always keep them on a 6-foot leash and clean up after them. Expect to have a pawtastic time at the Big Thicket National Preserve!