Hike the Canyonlands and explore Big Thicket

Published 9:44 am Monday, October 19, 2015

KOUNTZE —  Big Thicket National Preserve Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz announced a unique opportunity for hikers and Big Thicket enthusiasts alike. On Saturday, October 31, staffers will lead a 3- to 5-mile hike into the remote and rugged Canyonlands Unit of the preserve. Located in Tyler County, on the west side of the Neches River, near Spurger, the Canyonlands Unit showcases uniquely steep terrain in southeast Texas. Other natural features like cypress lined oxbows lakes and prominent white sandbars will also be highlighted. Those interested in participating must call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700 to pre-register for this hike, not later than Wednesday, October 28th.

The hike is part of the preserve’s “Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club” program. During the 12 months leading up to the 100thanniversary of the creation of the National Park Service (August 25, 2016), the staff at Big Thicket National Preserve invites you to rediscover your national park. Throughout the year, park rangers will lead programs into areas of the preserve that are “off the beaten path.”The Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club recognizes individuals and their commitment to outdoor recreation within the preserve. This program challenges visitors to travel 100/50/25 miles, depending on age, through the preserve during our Centennial year (August, 2015 through August, 2016). Participants can paddle, hike, run, jog, travel on horseback, and even trek off-trail through the thicket. As you explore, you track your mileage and once you reach the targeted miles, contact preserve staff so we can welcome you to the club.

While exploring the preserve we encourage everyone to participate in our “Share Your Thicket Centennial Photo Contest. Park visitors are invited to submit photos via Instagram for entry into a year-long contest using the hashtag #BigThicketPhotoContest.  Monthly winners will be chosen in three categories and displayed in our park visitor center. An overall winner will be chosen in the fall of 2016 and displayed in the visitor center.

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More information about the Explore Your Thicket Centennial Club and the Share Your Thicket Centennial Photo Contest are available athttp://www.nps.gov/bith/getinvolved/centennial-activities.htm .