Pine Island Bayou
Pine Island Bayou rises in eastern Liberty County and flows southeast through Hardin County where it empties into the Neches River. Flowing through the Big Thicket country for approximately 25 miles, Pine Island Bayou is remote and retains a truly wilderness character. The lower part forms the northern boundary of the Beaumont City Limit and some development exists. The bayou is a beautiful, slow-running stream consisting of cypress swamps, pine and hardwood forests. Five units of the proposed String of Pearls concept for establishing a Big Thicket National Park are located along Pine Island Bayou.
Farm-to-Market 770 to US 96, 287, and 69
This section of Pine Island Bayou forms the boundary between Hardin and Jefferson Counties. The bayou is an extremely scenic and popular waterway, flowing through the southern confines of the Big Thicket. The almost impenetrable thicket holds a remarkably wide variety of plant life, which, in turn, provides excellent cover for many wildlife species. Much of this plant and animal life is rare or endangered (a few are almost extinct), thus nature is in delicate balance throughout this area. Many of the spectacular features of the Big Thicket can be seen along Pine Island Bayou.
The bayou itself is scenic. Clear waters flow over white sand and gravel, with periodic sand and gravel bars providing areas which often lend themselves to camping and day use. The bayou is very narrow, and overhanging brush and limbs are a problem to recreationists. No hazardous areas are found on the bayou. Water levels are sufficient for recreational use at any time. During periods of extremely high water, the main channel is very hard to distinguish while floating the bayou. The summer months can be uncomfortable due to heat and insects. The lower portion of the bayou forms the northern boundary of Beaumont’s city limits. However, little development is observed from the bayou. Waterway features and distance between each are as follows:
FM 770 crossing – 2 miles southwest of Saratoga.
Jackson Creek – enters on the left. (18 miles)
Willow Creek – enters on the right. (3 miles)
SH 326 crossing – 2 miles south of Sour Lake. (0.5 mile)
Carlton Creek – enters on the right. (7 miles)
County road crossing – off Calder Lane in Beaumont, 3 miles southeast of Sour Lake. The road slopes gently to the bayou. (0.5 mile)
SH 105 crossing – 6 miles east of Sour Lake. The road slopes gently to the bayou. (7 miles)
Little Pine Island Bayou – enters on the left. (3 miles)
Black Creek – enters on the left. (7 miles)
US 96, 287, and 69 crossing – located on the northwest city limit of Beaumont. A boat ramp is provided. (3 miles)
Eight miles downstream from the previous crossing, Pine Island Bayou flows into the Neches River.