Big Thicket National Preserve Announces Summer 2017 Ranger-led Program Schedule

Posted by MYETX

KOUNTZE, Texas– The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites you to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in the months of May, June, July and August.

From canoe trips on Village Creek to frog hikes, a presentation on the area’s history and night hikes through the thicket, park rangers will offer a variety of free programs this summer. Some programs require participants to pre-register, and some have alternative meeting locations. Be sure to consult the Spring/Summer 2017 – Ranger-led Program Schedule. For detailed information on these programs visit our website at https://www.nps.gov/bith/planyourvisit/calendar.htm or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS.

Big Thicket National Preserve is located in southeast Texas, near the city Beaumont and 75 miles northeast of Houston. The preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 113,000 acres. The Big Thicket, often referred to as a “biological crossroads,” is a transition zone between four distinct vegetation types – the moist eastern hardwood forest, the southwestern desert, the southeastern swamp, and the central prairies. Species from all of these different vegetation types come together in the thicket, exhibiting a variety of vegetation and wildlife that has received national interest.

Spring- Summer 2017 Program Schedule

MAY

Saturday, May 20: National Kids in Parks Day

Mark your calendars for National Kids in Parks Day! Kids can go on a hike and participate in other fun activities to earn a Junior Ranger badge and certificate! More details to come, so check website and Facebook page for more information as the date nears.

Wednesday, May 31, 10:00 am: Canoe Trip

Join park rangers for a guided canoe trip on the waters of the preserve. This program targets the casual and novice paddler. Canoes, PFDs and paddles will be provided. Trip locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find each trip location and to register.

JUNE

Friday, June 2, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm: BioBlitz!

If you enjoy nature and photography, you can help document the biodiversity of the Big Thicket at this BioBlitz in the Big Sandy Creek Unit. This BioBlitz will focus on plants and bird observations. A based camp will be set-up in the Big Sandy Creek Unit to assist those new to the iNaturalist program.

Sunday, June 4, 10:30 am: Beech Creek Unit Hike

Located in Tyler County, this 4-6 mile exploration of dense hardwood forest will follow a developed hiking trail and old logging road. Meet at the visitor center at 9:30 am and caravan to the trailhead, or meet at the trailhead on FM 1992, 1.5 miles north of FM 1013, at 10:30 am. Please call the visitor center at 409-951-6700 to register.

Thursday, June 8, 10:00 am: Canoe Trip

Join park rangers for a guided canoe trip on the waters of the preserve. This program targets the casual and novice paddler. Canoes, PFDs and paddles will be provided. Trip locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find each trip location and to register.

Friday, June 9, 8:30 pm: Full Moon Night Hike

Engage your senses and learn about nocturnal animals on this guided walk under a full moon. Hike locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center to find the trip location and to register.

Saturday, June 17, 8:00 pm: Snake Hike

Learn about the many species of snakes that call Big Thicket home on this evening walk. Meet at the visitor center with water, good walking shoes, and insect repellent. Space is limited, so please call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to register.

Sunday, June 25, 2:00 pm: Your Preserve: By the People, For the People

What did it take to create Big Thicket National Preserve? Learn how local people, naturalists, activists, and industry came together to achieve the vision that is the Big Thicket National Preserve at this afternoon heat retreat. This is an indoor program held in the Big Thicket Visitor Center Theater.

JULY

Sunday, July 2, 10:30 am: Kirby and Sandhill Loop Hike

Explore the diverse ecosystems along the Kirby Nature Trail and Sandhill Loop Trails on this 4.5-mile walk. Meet at the Kirby Trailhead on FM 420 with water, snacks, good walking shoes, and insect repellent. Please call the visitor center at 409-951-6700 to register.

Wednesday, July 5, 10:00 am: Canoe Trip

Join park rangers for a guided canoe trip on the waters of the preserve. This program targets the casual and novice paddler. Canoes, PFDs and paddles will be provided. Trip locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find each trip location and to register.

Saturday, July 8, 8:30 pm: Moonlight Hike

Engage your senses and learn about nocturnal animals on this guided walk under an almost-full moon. Hike locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find the trip location and to register.

Thursday, July 20, 10:00 am: Canoe Trip

Join park rangers for a guided canoe trip on the waters of the preserve. This program targets the casual and novice paddler. Canoes, PFDs and paddles will be provided. Trip locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find each trip location and to register.

Saturday, July 22, 8:15 pm: Toads and Frogs in our Woods and Bogs

Humid forests and ample water make the Big Thicket a perfect home for amphibians. Learn the habits, features, and sounds of our resident frogs and toads on this night hike. Bring good walking shoes and insect repellent. Please call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to register.

Tuesday, July 25, 2:00 pm: Your Preserve: By the People, For the People

What did it take to create Big Thicket National Preserve? Learn how local people, naturalists, activists, and industry came together to achieve the vision that is the Big Thicket National Preserve at this afternoon heat retreat. This is an indoor program held in the Big Thicket Visitor Center Theater.

AUGUST

Wednesday, August 2, 10:00 am: Canoe Trip

Join park rangers for a guided canoe trip on the waters of the preserve. This program targets the casual and novice paddler. Canoes, PFDs and paddles will be provided. Trip locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find each trip location and to register.

Friday, August 4, 8:00 pm: Night Hike

Engage your senses and learn about nocturnal animals on this guided walk under an almost-full moon. Hike locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find the trip location and to register.

Sunday, August 6, 10:30 am: Woodlands Trail Hike

The Woodlands Trail weaves through several plant communities, from hardwood forest to floodplain. The round-trip hike is 5.5 miles; shorter distance options are available. Participants can meet at the visitor center at 9:30 pm and caravan to the trailhead, or meet at the trailhead, located in Polk County 6 miles north of Dallardsville, at 10:30 am. Please call the visitor center to register.

Saturday, August 12, 7:30 am: Birding the Big Thicket

Join a ranger for a morning bird walk! Birding is a great way to explore the preserve and learn about the 180-plus species of birds found here. This easy walk is geared toward beginner birders and will provide an introduction to basic birding techniques and to our common birds. Approximately 1 hour. Participants should bring water, insect repellent, and binoculars. Space is limited, so please call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to register.

Thursday, August 17, 10:00 am: Canoe Trip

Join park rangers for a guided canoe trip on the waters of the preserve. This program targets the casual and novice paddler. Canoes, PFDs and paddles will be provided. Trip locations vary and space is limited, so call our visitor center at 409-951-6700 to find each trip location and to register.

Friday, August 25, 6:30 pm: Movie Night: The National Parks of Texas

Did you know that Texas is home to 16 National Park Service sites? Learn about these special places that protect our state’s natural and cultural heritage at this PBS documentary, “The National Parks of Texas: In Contact with Beauty”. Meet at the Big Thicket visitor center. Approximately 1 hour.

Saturday, August 26, 2:00 pm: The Story of our National Parks

The National Park Service begins its 102nd year today! Test your knowledge of the national parks at a fun, educational program at our visitor center. Approximately 1 hour. This is an indoor program held in the Big Thicket Visitor Center Theater.

Find additional information on all the preserve’s upcoming events and programs on our website at http://www.nps.gov/bith/planyourvisit/calendar.htm and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS, or by calling our visitor center at 409-951-6700.

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