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Kountze, Texas

Kountze was established as a railroad town in 1881. It is the seat of Hardin County, an area more than 89 percent forested that produces over 5.5 million board feet of lumber yearly.

Kountze describes itself as The Big Light in The Big Thicket, that vast area of tangled, often impenetrable woods, streams and marshes, portions of which are now protected as the Big Thicket National Preserve.

Indian Springs Camp offers guided canoe tours as well as camping facilities, including an RV park.

Be sure to check out the Big Thicket Smokehouse and Craft Corral. In a room that used to be a washateria, it now features an arts and crafts shop in a re-created frontier sawmill town. Replicas of a jail, general store, a doctor's office, barbershop, trading post, saloon, hotel, and church give visitors an idea of what the Big Thicket used to be like.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Big Thicket Information Station

Details about the Big Thicket National Preserve, interpretive panels, information on trails and boating. Hiking trails of various lengths have interpretive panels at several locations. 7 mi. north of Kountze on F.M. 420

Kountze, TX Information Centers


Pelt Pond Rural Life Museum

Features folk art, artifacts, and other media to preserve the pioneer spirit of rural East Texas. In scenic Big Thicket area, exhibits also include farm animals. From Kountze, Texas 326 south 13 mi.; F.M. 421 east 1.2

Kountze, TX Museums


Kirby-Hill House Museum

Built in 1902 by timber tycoon John Henry Kirby for his brother James. The house was occupied by his family for 85 years. The mansion is now owned by the Hardin County Arts and Educational Foundation and features furnishings, photos, papers, and artifacts dating back to 1832

Kountze, TX Museums

Things to do near Kountze, TX

Historic Upshur Museum

General history museum in 1925-vintage Gilmer Post Office building on courthouse square. Chronological exhibits including Cad...

Caddo Lake Boating

Caddo Lake offers visitors unlimited boating opportunities thanks to the many private and publicly owned marinas and boat ram...

Witness Park and Prayer Tower

A gift to the city from businessman Bo Pilgrim, the tower features four Paccard bells from France and a chapel that never clo...

Rangerette Showcase

Films and displays of props, costumes, uniforms, awards and mementos of Kilgore College's world-famous precision drill and da...