Hardin, Liberty, Polk, Tyler
Big Thicket Preserve National Park
Big Thicket National Preserve Information:
The 101,000 acre Big Thicket was the first preserve established in the National Park system. Preserve habitat consists of approximately 101,000 acres of southeastern black water swamps, central plains, southwest desert, rivers, creeks, and forests of virgin pine, cypress, and hardwood trees. The Big Thicket is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth and was proclaimed an International Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1981. The preserve contains 8 ecosystems, more than 85 tree species, 60 shrub species, and almost a thousand flowering plants (20 orchids). The Turkey Creek Unit is home to 4 out the 5 types of carnivorous plants found in North America, including the sundews, pitcher plants, butterworts, and bladderworts; only the Venus fly trap is absent. Abundant wildlife includes almost 300 bird species, (including the American Bald Eagle), alligators, bobcats, panthers, armadillos, snakes, and other reptiles and animals. There are no developed campgrounds in the preserve. Primitive camping by permit is allowed in some units. Not all of the 9 land units are connected to each other, so a preserve map is a necessity. The preserve contains miles of trails. During the hot, humid season, bring plenty of water and insect repellant. Volunteer positions are available by calling (935) 274-1181. The Big Thicket units are located in East Texas, approximately 100 miles northeast of Houston, and an hour north of Beaumont.  Preserve Units & Facilities Map 
Trinity River:
The Trinity River rises in three principal branches, the East Fork, the Elm Fork, and the West Fork; a shorter and smaller fourth stream is named the Clear Fork. The East Fork of the Trinity River rises in central Grayson County and flows south seventy-eight miles, through Collin, Rockwall, Dallas, and Kaufman Counties, to the southwestern part of Kaufman County, where it joins the West Fork. The Elm Fork of the Trinity rises in eastern Montague County and flows southeast eighty-five miles, through Cooke and Denton Counties, to its confluence with the West Fork at the beginning of the Trinity River proper just north of Hampton Road, a mile west of downtown Dallas. The Clear Fork of the Trinity rises in northwestern Parker County and flows forty-five miles to join the West Fork of the Trinity at Fort Worth in central Tarrant County. From the junction of the East and West Forks the Trinity River Proper continues southeast, forming the boundaries between several Texas counties. It then cuts across northern Walker County to form a portion of the county line between Walker and Trinity counties and the county line between Trinity and San Jacinto, and San Jacinto and Polk Counties. At the northern county line of Liberty County the Trinity turns almost directly south, cutting across Liberty and Chambers Counties, to its mouth on Trinity Bay just west of Anahuac. The Trinity flows 423 miles from the confluence of the Elm and West Forks to the coast, making it the longest river having its entire course in Texas. In addition to several dams on the river’s tributaries, the Trinity is dammed just above Camilla in San Jacinto County to form Livingston Reservoir. Other river lakes include Grapevine Lake, Lavon Lake, Ray Roberts Lake, Lake Arlington, Lake Worth, Eagle Mountain Lake and Lewisville Lake. Cities located on the Trinity River include Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Garland, Irving, Richardson, Plano, Grand Prairie, Baytown, Mesquite, Camilla and Anahuac. Trinity River Fish Stocking History
Neches River: 
The Neches River rises just east of Colfax in eastern Van Zandt County; it flows southeast for 416 miles to its mouth in Sabine Lake on the northern edge of Port Arthur, Texas. Except for a few miles near its head, the Neches serves as a boundary system for its entire length, forming the county lines between a several Texas counties. Reservoirs on the river include Lake Palestine, Lake B.A. Steinhagen near Town Bluff, and the small Rhine Lake located north of Palestine. Major tributaries include the Angelina River, which drains one-third of the basin area, Bayou La Nana, Ayish Bayou, Pine Island Bayou, Village Creek, Kickapoo Creek, and Flat Creek. Towns located along the river include Tyler, Beaumont, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Groves, Port Neches and Nederland. Fish Stocking History
Village Creek:
The creek is formed by the junction of Big Sandy and Kimball Creeks in northern Hardin County, one mile northwest of Village, Mills, Texas. It flows 41 miles to its mouth on the Neches River, eight miles north of Beaumont, Texas. It flows through sections of the Big Thicket Preserve, and flows through Village Creek State Park near Lumberton, Texas.
Village Creek State Park Information:
Habitat at this 1,090 acre park consists of cypress swamps, blackwater sloughs, and river birch, Mayhaw and yaupon trees. The park is located within the Big Thicket National Preserve in Lumberton, Texas near Silsbee, and just 10 miles north of Beaumont. The land was acquired in 1979. The park opened to the public in April, 1994. The park takes its name from its location on Village Creek, a tributary of the Neches River. The creek arises north of the Big Sandy Creek Unit of the Big Thicket Preserve, near the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. It merges with Big Sandy Creek, and then meanders in a southeasterly direction through the park before emptying into the Neches River. The 37 mile Village Creek Canoe Trip is one of the most popular paddling trips in the southern U.S. The swimming hole is favored for its constant 74-78 degree temperature. Rainfall is abundant in the area. And the banks of Village Creek flood severely every 3 or 4 years. Park activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, canoeing, swimming, nature viewing and birding. The plant life, including carnivorous plants, is a big park attraction. For more information watch the Park Video. Park entrance and camping fees apply.
Park Headquarters Directions:
From Beaumont, take U.S 69-287 north approximately 8 miles north of Kountze, Texas. Take FM 420 East and follow the signs to the visitor center.