a hiker standing on a wooden bridge looking up at the trees
A hiker pauses to admire the forest scenery.

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga

Big Thicket Trails

Approximately 40 miles of trails wind through Big Thicket National Preserve, providing hikers many options for walking distances and experiences. Trails of varying lengths, from 0.3 miles to 18 miles roundtrip, lead through diverse plant communities, from bogs of carnivorous plants to stands of towering longleaf pines.

Regardless of the trail you choose, remember to go slowly and enjoy the smells, the sounds, and the small wonders of the Big Thicket.

visitor center icon of man standing in front of ranger station

Ranger Recommendations

Use the lists of interests, activities, and distances below to help you decide which trail is right for you. While you can see and do many of these things throughout the Big Thicket, these are the most popular and easily-accessible places to experience them.


  • Carnivorous Plants – Sundew Trail, Pitcher Plant Trail
  • Longleaf Pine Trees – Sundew Trail, Pitcher Plant Trail, Sandhill Loop Trail
  • Cypress Sloughs – Beaver Slide Trail, Cypress Loop of the Kirby Nature Trail
  • Wildflowers – Sundew Trail
  • Birds – Sundew Trail, Kirby Nature Trail, Birdwatchers Trail, headquarters area
  • Mushrooms – Kirby Nature Trail, Woodlands Trail
  • Biodiversity – Kirby Nature Trail, Turkey Creek Trail, Big Sandy Trail


  • Backpacking – Turkey Creek Trail, Big Sandy Trail
  • Biking – Big Sandy Trail (This is the ONLY trail open to biking)
  • Fishing – Village Creek via the Kirby Nature Trail; Birdwatchers Trail
  • Horseback Riding – Big Sandy Trail (This is the ONLY trail open to horseback riding)


  • Accessible Trails – Inner loop of the Sundew Trail; first quarter-mile of the PItcher Plant Trail to the pitcher plant bog
  • Short (1 to 1.5 miles) – Sundew Trail, Pitcher Plant Trail, Beech Woods Trail, Beaver Slide Trail
  • Moderate (1.5 to 5.5 miles) – Kirby Nature Trail and Sandhill Loop Trails, Woodlands Trail, parts of the Turkey Creek Trail
  • Long (9 miles and up) – Turkey Creek Trail, Big Sandy Trail, Sandhill Loop via Turkey Creek Trail

Featured Hikes

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    Tags: hiking trail

    Last updated: July 14, 2021

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