Thickadillo  LbNA # 351

OwnerSilver Eagle      
Placed DateMar 8 2003
LocationJasper, TX
Found By Blue Butterfly
Last Found Jul 2 2005
Hike Distance?

*** Part of my TX Birding Trail Series ***
Terrain Difficulty: Moderate (flat, 1 mile RT)
Status: reported missing (07/21/07)

Big Thicket is located in east Texas and consists of the most diverse set of ecosystems found anywhere, thus prompting Congress to establish Big Thicket National Preserve as the first Preserve in the National Park System on October 11, 1974. In one geographical location the eastern hardwood forests, Gulf coastal plains, southeastern swamps and midwest prairies can be found, along with their respective flora and fauna. There are 85 tree species, more than 60 shrubs and nearly 1,000 other flowering plants, including 26 ferns, 20 orchids and four of North America's five type of insect-eating plants. There are 50 reptile species, numerous amphibians and armadillos galore. Also, nearly 300 kinds of birds live here or migrate through. Many of these can be found at Martin Dies Jr. State Park, where this letterbox resides and which is part of the Big Thicket Loop described on the Upper Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail map. Note: Hurricane Rita severly damaged this park and the landmarks in my clues may no longer exist. Hopefully the tree with my box still exists if you can find it.

From Houston, take US Highway 59 north about 90 miles to Livingston. Then travel east on US Highway 190 for 65 miles to the Hen House Ridge Unit of the park on Park Road 48 to the right just after crossing Steinhagen Lake. Stop at the visitor center to pay and get a park map. Continue on Park Road 48 across the bridge over Gum Slough and look for the Nature Trail parking area on the left.

From the information board, head south on the trail skirting the swamp on your left. After about 200 yards you will come to a fork in the trail. The right fork goes to a nice view of the lake. Continue on the left fork heading east then bending north as it goes around the swamp. After another 200 yards you will come to a bench on the right. Take a rest and listen to all the birds. From the bench, continue on the trail for about 70 steps (if you get to a bridge you have gone too far). On your right (east) will be a tree with a long, dark cavity near its top. Walk 10 steps to it and look on the back side where you will see a large opening about 4 feet off the ground. The box lies within under some dead branches.