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.