Hiking The Big Thicket

The weather here on Sunday was absolutely perfect for our hike in The Big Thicket – no bugs, warm and sunny but not hot. The Big Thicket National Preserve is made up of several Units that roughly align with the waterways.  We stopped at the Visitor Center on Friday and picked up some trail guides.

It turns out a couple of trails were closed for hunting season, so there was really only one practical choice for a decent day hike – Turkey Creek Trail. We started at the South end of the trail and went North to the Pitcher Plant Loop.

There is a pretty big patch of the carnivorous Pitcher Plants in this area. We had seen them before in Florida on our Beaches and Biltmore Trip (which has a proper name – not like our last trip) near Pensacola. The Plants in Texas look slightly different from the ones we saw in Florida. In Florida, the flowers were in bloom and the tops were white. Here the Plants are pretty much all green and we didn’t see any flowers.

Don’t worry – the butterfly is safe from the Pitcher Plant.  They don’t usually slip into the opening and become food for the plant like ants and spiders do.

We stopped for sandwiches at a picnic area near the Pitcher Plant Loop. There was a large gaggle of teenagers just leaving. It looked like they may have spent the night packing in the Preserve but then again they didn’t have a lot of gear with them. It was amazing how quiet it was once they drove off.

The trail crossed what I think is Triple D Ranch Road at about the half way point. (We started at mile marker 9 and the Pitcher Plants are at mile marker 3.)  The trail follows the road for a short time and this cool bridge crossed Turkey Creek:

There were signs of feral pigs or perhaps wild boar activity along the trail but we didn’t see much wildlife. There were a lot of large trees down – probably damage from Hurricane Rita in 2005. This area was hit pretty hard.

On Monday, we mostly hung around the trailer and watched the rain. I had to work in the afternoon and Alan drove into Lumberton to check out a woodworking shop. We did take a short walk around the Park in the afternoon but the rain had brought out the mosquitoes so we cut it kind of short.  On Tuesday, we are planning to head into Beaumont and visit a museum or two – if the rain lightens up at least a bit.

We will drive to Houston on Tuesday afternoon for dinner with an old friend from Enron. International Quilt Festival starts on Wednesday night.

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