The City of Kountze is located in, and the county seat of, Hardin County Texas, on U.S. Highway 287. The city is considered part of the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is situated northwest of Lumberton and west of Silsbee.
Kountze was originally established as a railroad town in 1881. The city was named for Herman and Augustus Kountze, financial backers of the Sabine and East Texas Railroad.
Kountze describes itself as "The Big Light in the Big Thicket". The thicket is a vast area of tangled, often impenetrable woods, streams, and marshes that occupies a 50-mile area of southeastern Texas
Kountze Independent School District
|Population||2,116 residents in the 2020 Federal Census|
Interactive Map of Kountze Texas (courtesy of Google)
Map of South East Texas Showing the Location of Kountze
Big Thicket National Preserve
The Big Thicket is an area of dense forest located north and northwest of Beaumont.
This 97,000 acre National Preserve protects a unique environmental confluence of swamps, coastal prairies, piney woods, plant life and animals.
Established in 1974, Big Thicket National Preserve protects a biologically significant portion of the Piney Woods of southeast Texas.
For more information visit the Big Thicket website at NPS
Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary
The Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary, located to the east of Kountze on Hwy. 327, harbors a variety of plant communities, including one of the last remaining Longleaf Pine communities in Texas.
Nestled along the banks of Village Creek, Sandylands Sanctuary protects and preserves 5,654 acres of East Texas’ great natural heritage. The preserve is a hotbed for biodiversity, where one can find cacti, pines, ferns, colorful wildflowers and wildlife, including songbirds and roadrunners.
A rare combination of swamp, open-floor forest and Southern pine lands create a preserve with remarkable diversity, sustaining 727 plant species and 234 animal species. Visitors can hike, bird watch and study nature, or rent a canoe from local vendors on Village Creek.
Connected with the Big Thicket National Preserve, the preserve also serves as a corridor for wildlife as they feed, breed, move and migrate through southeast Texas.
For more information visit the Sandyland Sanctuary website at the Nature Conservancy
East Texas Attractions
While visiting the Kountze area, you may want to take other interesting day trips in several directions:
- Livingston - Polk County Memorial Museum, Pedigo Park, Trade Days, Locomotive No. 5, Lake Livingston, Sam Rayburn Reservoir
- Coldspring - Davy Crockett National Forest, Sam Houston National Forest, Lake Livingston, Double Lake Recreational Area
- Groveton - Ratcliff Lake Recreation Area, Davy Crockett National Forest
- Crockett - Houston County Museum, Monroe-Cook House, Houston County Lake, Silsbee Drive-Thru Safari, Piney Woods Fine Arts Association
- Center - Toledo Bend Reservoir, Shelby County Museum, What-A-Melon Festival, bird watching
- Lumberton - Big Thicket National Preserve, Village Creek State Park
- Jasper - Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sandy Creek Park, Azalea Festival in March, Air Show in April, Jasper Lions Club Rodeo in May, a Fourth of July Celebration, and the Fall Festival in October.
- Woodville - Tyler County Dogwood Festival, Festival of the Arts and the Harvest Festival. Outdoor activities abound in the nearby Martin Dies Jr. State Park and the Big Thicket National Preserve.
- Newton - Toledo Ben Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir
- Hemphill - Recreational opportunities abound in the Hemphill area, with its closeness to the Sabine National Forest, Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir and the Trail Between the Lakes. Also popular attractions are the Sabine County Jail Museum and Vergie Speights Memorial Library. In town is the Patricia Huffman Smith NASA "Remembering Columbia" Museum
- Port Arthur - Pompeiian Villa, Sea Rim State Park, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Park, Dutch Windmill Museum and the French House
- Orange - Frances Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts, Shangri La Botanical Gardens, W.H. Stark House, Stark Museum of Art, Blue Elbow Swamp & Tony Houseman WMA
- Nacogdoches - Spring azalea trails, Ruby Mize Azalea Garden, Mast Arboretum
- Rusk - Texas State Railroad, Cherokee Civic Theatre, Silsbee Drive Thru Safari
- Lufkin - Ellen Trout Zoo, Cotton Square Heritage Park, First Street Arts Center, Texas Forestry Museum
- Beaumont - Ben J. Rogers Regional Visitors Center, Beaumont Botanical Gardens, Crockett Street Entertainment District, McFaddin-Ward House and Museum, Texas Energy Museum, Fire Museum of Texas, Babe Didrikson Zaharias Memorial Museum, St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, and the Big Thicket National Preserve