July 8, 2016 - The park is open, but many areas are closed, . . .

Nature

Mist rising over the waterVillage Creek State Park teems with di­verse plants and wildlife. High average rainfall and the park’s location contri­bute to this bounty.

Varied habitats

Portions of the park lie in the floodplains of Village Creek and the Neches River. Bottomland hardwood forests full of cypress-tupelo swamps, baygall and backwater sloughs abound here. These wetlands provide habitat for beaver and river otter, as well as for many kinds of fish, snakes, turtles and frogs.

As the land rises, mixed hardwood-pine forests cover the landscape. Trees such as loblolly pine, white oak, beech and mag­nolia fill these forests. Bobcats, white-tailed deer, rabbits and opossums roam the woodlands, as do lots of amphibians, insects and reptiles.

Longleaf pine savannahs, one of North America’s rarest forest types, dominate the upper areas of the park. These arid sandy lands provide perfect soils for post oak, yucca and prickly pear cactus. Watch for roadrunners, armadillos and six-lined racerunners as they scamper across the sandy ground to hide in the sparse undergrowth.

Most of the park is heavily forested with a dense understory. It feels as if you are alone in the middle of the woods, even though the park sits within Lumberton’s city limits.

Birding bounty

Red-shouldered hawk sitting on a branchBirders will enjoy seeing wood ducks, egrets, herons, woodpeckers and owls, just to name a few. Over 200 species of birds are native to the Big Thicket area.

Spring and fall migration seasons bring in additional songbirds such as vireos and warblers. Year-round resident birds include cardinals, mockingbirds and red-shouldered hawks.

Download the Birds of the Pineywoods of Eastern Texas.

Natural impacts

Hurricanes, floods and even drought have impacted the park in recent years. Hur­ri­canes Rita (2005) and Ike (2008) damaged about 640 of the park's 1,090 acres. The park lost 30 to 80 percent of the trees in some areas.

As the park recovers from these natural events, we are seeing more plant and animal species. Reforestation with long­leaf pine and other native species is helping the park recover and return to its former beauty.

 


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