Cart |

Village Creek / Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary in Texas

by  canoeman

A self-supported trip created by canoeman

Trip Overview

Located in the heart of the old Texas Big Thicket region of East Texas, Village Creek was for years a well-kept paddlers' secret. Very pristine and traveled almost entirely by canoe or kayak, Village Creek is fed entirely by rainfall and is completely free of man-made impoundments.

Fallen trees, brush and over-hanging limbs are the only real hazards and during the summer months, exposed logs along the bottom of this white-sandy creek create a perfect atmosphere for paddlers.

The bank on one side of Village Creek is a large flood plain that creates excellent sandbars for day use and makes primitive campsites further downstream. If you like what Mother Nature has to offer, Village Creek is an easy Day Trip or Overnighter from the Houston or Beaumont area and also makes for a good Weekend or 3-Day Trip from the Dallas, San Antonio or Austin regions (4-5 hrs).

Canoeing through the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary, you and your children will encounter enjoyable wildlife including turtles, birds and lots of butterflies. Many different species from all over North America are represented here and it is not unusual to see roadrunners and desert cactus thriving very near to eastern bluebirds and box turtles.

White sandbars and clean water lend itself to fishing, swimming and picnicking during the summer months, as well as "Ecology" Field Trips for students and Camp-Outs for Youth and Scouting Groups during the Spring and Fall. Anglers will catch Bass, Catfish and panfish. The paddle trip itself is exciting, yet Village Creek is, most of the time, a slow - moving wooded stream that is enjoyed both by beginners and life-long paddlers like me. Majestic Cypress, over-hanging Willows, Tupelo, Water Oaks and Tall Yellow Pine trees line the Creek while underneath the Forest Canopy is a thick growth of Iron-wood, Magnolia, Dogwood and over 1000 different shade-loving plants that bloom along the Forest floor. The canoe trail here winds slowly, so you may enjoy the tranquility, the serenity of the water and the life it gives to this precious and rare community that is "The Big Thicket."

Your canoe or kayak is your "vehicle" to observe what is indeed unique, because it allows you an up-close opportunity to see that the balance between man and his environment really is a delicate one that must be preserved. The Sanctuary is protected property and there are no roads, no homes or logging allowed. Littering is illegal as is taking or killing of any living thing. Styrofoam and Glass containers are prohibited.

A great experience and a paddler's "Paradise", The Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary has been attracting canoers and kayakers for years. It is no small wonder why.


Village Creek State Park - Lumberton, TX.

Indian Springs Campground & RV Park - Kountze, TX.

Pinewood Inn - Silsbee, TX.

Beaumont, Tx. is large city with all services.

Lumberton has numerous food establishments with Public Restrooms (there are no facilities at put-ins or take-outs)


From Houston, take I-10 East to Beaumont, then North on US Hwy 69, 10 miles to US Hwy 96 North to Silsbee, then 5 miles to Silsbee.


Put-in at FM 418 Bridge between Silsbee and Kountze.

Day Trips take-out at Hwy 327 Bridge (9 miles).

Overnight Trips take-out at Hwy 96 Bridge (20 miles).


Eastex Canoe Trails in Silsbee has been a clearing - house for information about the big thicket area since 1978. Call (409)385-4700.


Eastex Canoe Trails in Silsbee offers a free map of Village Creek. Contact The Big Thicket NP (Nat'l Park Service) for maps of the Neches River. The East Texas Vacation Guide online (

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing, Kayak Fishing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location