The mossy branches of a massive basket oak extend across slow moving creeks. A roadrunner skitters down the road. Playful river otter rollick in the placid waters of Village Creek. Tall dropseed and Indian grass flow in a light breeze.

Life gets really interesting at nature's intersections! The Big Thicket is where southeastern swamp collides with eastern hardwood forest, midwestern prairie, and elements of the southwest desert landscape.

Thousands of years of geologic formation have created an area whose history includes glacial activity, coastal influence, the Mississippi delta and more. The change in soil composition, hydrology, elevation and other factors creates a biological diversity some consider comparable to the Florida Everglades.

As a result, an amazing variety of plants and animals wind their way through this North American biological crossroads known locally as the Big Thicket.

To read more about Big Thicket, download its section of the atlas by clicking the image to the right. 


Big Thicket National Preserve

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

Village Creek State Park

Download Houston Wilderness' List of Ecoregion Sites for information on sites in all 10 ecoregions.



1) Millions of years ago, much of The Big Thicket was under water until the shores of the Gulf of Mexico receded to its current position.

2) According to some experts, The Big Thicket supports a variety of plants and wild life nearly as ecologically diverse as the Florida Everglades.

3) In the early 20th century, The Big Thicket was famous for bear hunts.

4) Four different species of carnivorous plants can be found in The Big Thicket, like the Texas trumpet pitcher plant (Sarracenia Alata).

5) The Big Thicket has a greater variety of soil types than any area of comparible size in the nation.

6) Due to this variation in soil, plants typical of regions as far away as Appalachia and the Ohio Valley can be found in The Big Thicket.

7) Though few Native Americans made it their home, numerous hunting camps and other temporary sites have been documented in the area.

8) 10,000 years ago, creatures such as giant sloths, mastodons, sabre-toothed tigers, and dire wolves called The Big Thicket home.

9) The Big Thicket really is big, covering roughly 3 million acres of land!

10) Due to the fact that roughly 75% of the birds species in North America either live in or pass through this area seasonally, The Big Thicket was designated as a Globally Important Bird Area in 2001.

Banner photo provided by Martin J Dies Jr State Park