"Moss-covered canopy, Big Thicket National Preserve, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
Beech Creek Trails
Beech Creek tlrml[IJ • '• 0.25 0 0.5 Miles ,• ......... Beech Woo ds Trail (1.5 miles) Old Dirt Roads (Vehicles not permitted) ['.] Preserve Land ..rv---- Creeks CR4~75 Big Thicket Hiking the Woodlands Trail National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Big Thicket National Preserve Beech Creek Unit The Beech Creek Unit The Beech Creek Unit consists of 4,925 acres. It has rolling terrain with numerous spring-fed streams and a beech-magnolia-loblolly forest community. Hunting is allowed in parts of this unit with a permit during the fall season; check with park staff about the exact dates of the hunting season each year. However, the hunting area is north of the Beech Woods Trail, so the trail is open year round. Hiking the Trail The Beech Woods Trail makes a 1.0-mile loop through a hardwood forest. It leaves the dirt road 0.3 miles north of the parking area. Hikers may also follow the dirt road, which extends for 6 miles through the Beech Creek Unit. Vegetation American beeches, southern magnolias, loblolly pines, and American holly are the most common trees in the Beech Creek Unit. In the spring, flowering dogwood, redbud, azalea, and Elliott’s blueberry color the mid-story. In the summer, look for the crane-fly orchid, whorled pogonia, and the beechdrops, three species which grow only under the shade of beech trees. White oaks, sugar maple, and strawberry bush provide a vivid contrast to the evergreen pines and magnolias in the fall. The winter landscape is marked by evergreen Christmas fern, yellow blooming witch hazel, and the lichen-mottled trunks of beech trees. Hunting Season While the Beech Woods Trail is not within the hunting area boundary, hunting is allowed in most of the Beech Creek Unit during part of the year. All visitors are advised to wear at least 400 square inches of Hunter Orange or International Orange when exploring this unit beyond the designated hiking trail during hunting season. Backpacking is not allowed in this unit during hunting season. Contact the Big Thicket National Preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700 for more information on hunting season. Know Before You Go All plants, animals, and other natural and cultural resources are protected in the preserve. It is illegal to collect, harm, or kill anything, including snakes. Wheeled vehicles are not allowed on this trail. Backpacking is allowed in the Beech Creek Unit during non-hunting season. A camping permit is required; these are available free of charge at the visitor center. Call the visitor center at 409-951-6700 for more information.