Solar Eclipse & Celebration at Big Thicket National Preserve

Join the celebration at Big Thicket National Preserve on Saturday, October 14th, for a solar eclipse and the preserve’s 49th anniversary! This free event offers safe solar viewing, ranger programs, and a glimpse into the upcoming 50th-anniversary festivities in 2024.

Event Schedule (all times central):

  • 9:00 am: Event kicks off
  • 10:00 am: Ranger presentation
  • 10:28 am: Eclipse begins
  • 11:15 am: Ranger presentation
  • 11:59 am: Eclipse at its peak
  • 12:15 pm: Unveiling of the 50th-anniversary logo
  • 12:30 pm: More ranger programs
  • 1:00 pm: Event concludes
  • 1:38 pm: Eclipse concludes

Starting at 9:00 am at the Big Thicket Visitor Center, you’ll enjoy sun observation, kid-friendly activities, and interactive ranger talks. Witness the solar eclipse safely through telescopes or glasses, starting at 10:28 am and reaching its climax at 11:59 am.

As the eclipse wraps up, get a sneak peek of Big Thicket National Preserve’s grand 50th anniversary plans. Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz shares, “2024 will be a special year for Big Thicket.” Discover ways to join in the celebration and meet our park partners who support the preserve’s mission.

Feel free to bring your own lawn chairs and eclipse glasses, and savor delicious treats from the food truck on-site. For more details on Big Thicket’s programs, explore our events calendar.

This above news story is based on a press release from the National Park Service, which was issued on September 25, 2023. You can read the original release here.

Where is Big Thicket National Preserve Located

If you haven’t visited this National Park Unit, let’s take a quick look at what it has to offer.

Big Thicket National Preserve is located in the southeastern part of Texas. It covers a vast area spanning several counties, including parts of Hardin, Tyler, Polk, and Jasper counties, among others. Becasue it’s part of the Gulf Coast region of Texas, it’s easily accessible from major cities like Houston and Beaumont.

Park Highlights

This preserve is a unique combination of ecosystems, from forests to swamps. You’ll also find a wide variety of wildlife and plant species here. And, of course, there are plenty of exciting activities.

First, and one of my favorite things to do, is stargazing. The vast, dark skies make this preserve an excellent spot to gaze at the stars. So, bring your telescope or simply lay out a blanket and marvel at the celestial beauty above.

There is also a wide variety of wildlife to see here, especially birds. Birdwatching is a must, with over 186 species of birds to spot, including the striking painted bunting and elusive Bachman’s sparrow. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

And if you love hiking, you will appreciate the network of trails that wind through diverse ecosystems, from dense forests to cypress swamps. The Turkey Creek Trail is a favorite, taking you through a stunning bottomland hardwood forest.

Alternatively, you can take advantage of paddling down the scenic Village Creek by boat or kayak. It’s an excellent way to fully take in the preserve’s natural beauty and spot river otters, alligators, and a variety of fish.

With its rich biodiversity and unique landscapes, Big Thicket National Preserve offers a world of outdoor exploration tailored just for you. Whether you’re an avid naturalist or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this Texas gem has something to offer everyone.

National Parks List, Map, and Complete Guide (All 63 Parks + Downloadable List & Map)

Want a FREE complete list and recap of all our US National Parks as well as downloadable maps and other great resources? Check out our US National Parks List and Map guide!

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