Lost Maples State Park

History

Lost Maples State Natural Area covers 2,174.2 scenic acres in Bandera and Real counties, north of Vanderpool on the Sabinal River. Acquired by purchase from private owners in 1973 -1974, the site was opened to the public on September 1, 1979. Approximately 200,000 people visit the park annually.

Archaeological evidence shows that this area was used by prehistoric peoples at various times. In historical times, which began with Spanish exploration and colonization efforts in the late 17th century, the Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche Indians ranged over the land and posed a threat to settlement well into the 19th century.

Fall Foliage

We visited in the middle of November and had a great treat to the fall colors.  There’s not much color in this part of Texas, and Lost Maples is the best, if not the only, place to go to see huge stands of maples in Texas.

The park is an outstanding example of Edwards Plateau flora and fauna. It is a combination of steep, rugged limestone canyons; springs; plateau grasslands; wooded slopes; and clear streams. It features a large, isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde bigtooth maple, whose fall foliage can be spectacular. Generally, the foliage changes the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. The park is extremely popular during the fall and is often crowded. Parking is limited to 250 cars, so unless yu get there early, or camp as we did, you may be out of luck.

Hiking

We hiked the east trail.  Most of the images on this page where taken here.  the loop is 4.8 miles and passes two good swimming holes.  I would rank the hike as a difficulty 3 out of 5, but there is a fairly steep uphill for about one mile of the hike.  Walking counter-clockwise gives a more gradual accent, but the descent is pretty steep.  The top of the hill offers many look-outs with great views.

 

 


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