Day Trips

The Big Thicket survives at Larsen Sandyland Preserve near Silsbee

Day Trips
Photo by Gerald E. Mcleod

Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary outside of Silsbee in southeast Texas is one of the last remaining parcels of a biologically diverse landscape that once stretched across the Old South.

According to the Texas Nature Conservancy, the owners of the 5,654-acre refuge, the longleaf pine forest extended from Virginia to East Texas. Scarcely 3% of the native forest survives.

It's an easy walk on most of the 6.5 miles of trails through the forest and along Village Creek. The pine trees tower above the varied landscape with their long, spindly, evergreen needles. In an area where a fire has cleared the undergrowth, new seedlings sprout and ancient giants with charred bark sway in the breeze. Much of the sandy soil is covered in a rust-colored blanket of discarded needles.

As the trail dips down along the creek, it passes through a thick hardwood forest. The wetlands harbor carnivorous flowers and other endangered species. In fact, the preserve in the Big Thicket helps sustain an incredible number of plants and animals. Seeing the abundance of life is what makes a visit to the sanctuary such a treat.

Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary is west of Silsbee on FM 327. There is no charge for visiting the preserve during daylight hours. For more information, go to or call the preserve manager at 409/658-2888. The trails are well marked with interpretative signs, but guided tours are available by reservation.

1,193rd in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, P.O. Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

More Day Trips
Day Trips: Veterans Memorial Plaza, San Antonio
Day Trips: Veterans Memorial Plaza, San Antonio
Small park in downtown San Antonio serves as a moving Memorial Day reminder

Gerald E. McLeod, May 26, 2017

Day Trips: Life’s a Beach, Corpus Christi
Day Trips: Life’s a Beach, Corpus Christi
The islands across the causeway offer sun, sand, and surf all summer long

Gerald E. McLeod, May 19, 2017


keyword: Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary, Silsbee, Big Thicket National Preserve

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)