Big Thicket National Preserve
6102 Farm to Market Road 420
Brave the ThicketAt first sight, the Big Thicket National Preserve may appear to be impenetrable forest, but you can infiltrate it on the 2.5-mile Kirby Trail, a loop through tangled limbs, black-as-ebony marshes, and gurgling streams. This one’s for the intrepid naturalist, but worth the ramble—especially if armies of tiny frogs and squadrons of minuscule lizards dispersing as your boot hits the ground sounds to you like a perfect afternoon. Expect to pass loblolly pines, magnolias, cypress, and beech trees, as you delve through this wild rare slope forest in East Texas. Spend some time in the park’s Visitor’s Center before setting out to learn about the unique ecosystems that merge here. The short trail ends at Village Creek, where the Turkey Creek Trail commences.