Texas Pineywoods Experience
Kayaker on the Neches River.
Photo by Adrian Van Dellen
The Conservation Fund has deep roots in east Texas, where we’ve worked to protect roughly 33,000 acres of Big Thicket National Preserve, celebrate and preserve the Neches River, and plan for growth in and around Lufkin. To blend the best of environmental and economic goals deep in the heart of Texas, we’ve also worked on a project we call the Texas Pineywoods Experience: a sustainable tourism program initiated in 2006 to spread the word that the Pineywoods is a place not to be missed.
About The Pineywoods
Along Texas’ eastern border lies a land of stunning natural beauty. Here, in the Pineywoods, you can enjoy the wild outdoors, learn the story of Texas’ earliest days and listen to the kind of music that makes your feet dance and your heart sing. Yet this incredible natural environment and its historical attractions remain largely undiscovered.
By including the Pineywoods in your travel plans, you’ll be playing an important part in strengthening the region’s economy and making sure its natural wonders are kept safe for future generations.
Here are just a few reasons to make the Pineywoods a surprise stop on your bucket list:
Nature & Outdoors
Just outside Beaumont (and a quick drive from Houston) the parks and preserves of the Pineywoods’ southern region—including Big Thicket National Preserve—provide some of the greatest birding & wildlife viewing in the whole United States. This is also the place to go for hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and camping.
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Great Texas Wildlife Trails
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Texas Paddling Trails
- Texas Parks & Wildlife: Village Creek State Park
- Big Thicket Directory of South Texas
- Visit Lufkin
- National Park Service: Big Thicket National Preserve
- Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
Arts & Culture
Do you collect pottery or other crafts? Are you partial to Victorian architecture at its most charming? Do Depression-era civic murals give you a buzz? You can experience it all in this corner of the country.
History & Heritage
Pineywoods residents call home the “Cradle of Texas.” It’s here that the story of Texas begins. In Nacogdoches and Angelina counties, you’ll discover historic landmarks commemorating East Texas history, from the beginning right up to the present. A rebuilt fort, historic houses, municipal parks, and markers pinpointing historic locales pave the road back in time for history-buff travelers. Check out these popular sites:
- Carnegie History Center
- Dayton Old School Museum
- The History Center
- Longview Museum of Fine Arts
- Museum for East Texas Culture
- Sterne-Hoya House
- Stone Fort Museum