You can view and feed exotic animals at Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari

The Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari is an oasis nestled in the piney woods of East Texas. It’s home to hundreds of animals, both exotic and endangered. And you can see all of those animals up close and in the comfort of your own car.

Here’s how it works…drive into the park and stop at the front building. Go inside and purchase your admission and your feed, and take our advice and buy extra feed. Then hop back in your car and drive through the park and feed the animals from your window.

There are just a few rules, so make sure you read them before you venture out:

  • Stay inside your vehicle at all times. No sitting on sunroofs, windows or hoods of vehicles. No one may ride in the bed of a pickup.
  • Feed only the food pellets provided. Any other food can cause these animals to have serious health problems.
  • Keep doors closed at all times. This includes tailgates, van doors, and hatchbacks. Jeeps must have side doors and a top. Convertibles must have the top up.
  • Pets are not allowed. Domestic animals present a health and safety risk to these animals.
  • Remove flags, balls, or other objects from the outside of your vehicle. Animals are attracted to them and, if eaten, can cause serious injury. Violation of this policy will result in eviction from the park.
  • Stay on the roads. Follow the yellow arrow route signs.
  • Drop food pellets on the ground do not hand feed. Animals may bite, spit, or kick if fed from your hand or a feeding sack.
  • Pull to the side of the road when stopping. Allow other vehicles to pass.
  • Speed limit 10 mph.
  • No alcohol allowed on this property.
  • No Coach Buses, RV’s, Trailers, Motorcycles, or ATV’s
  • Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari is located at 1200 CR 4405 in Jacksonville.

    They’re open 7 days a week, 361 days a year (they’re closed Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas).

    Their hours vary depending on the season:

    To avoid any inconvenience, you can call them at (903) 683-3322 before you head out to ensure factors, such as weather, are not affecting their hours.

    For more information, including directions and hours of operations, click here.

    **Cherokee Trace assumes no liability for damage to vehicles, persons, or property as a result of interactions with the animals and facilities.

    Things to know before you go:

    Kendyl Turner

    Kendyl Turner

    Kendyl Turner writes, shoots and edits all stories for The East Texas Weekend. A Texan at heart, Kendyl was born and raised in Houston before venturing away to study Journalism and Spanish at The University of Mississippi. A few years later, Kendyl and her husband moved to East Texas where they’ve decided to make it home.