Scenic USA - Texas

Lost Maples SNA

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Lost Maples State Natural Area - Vanderpool, Texas

Photos by Jason Merlo
Jason Merlo Photogrpahy

     The scenery in the Texas Hill Country is among some of the finest in the Lone Star State. As highways twist and turn through the hills, sightseers often climb through tree covered ridges that break open to Lost Maples Trail panoramic views of the Edwards Plateau. Once identified as a region of farmers and ranchers, tourist and new Texas residents have now discovered the wonders of the Hill Country.
     Joining the Texas state park ranks in the mid 70s, Lost Maples State Natural Area is one of the Hill Countryís popular parks. When late October rolls around, you can expect the parkís foliage to put on a brilliant show of color. Lying within the boundaries of the Edwards Plateau, this state natural area exhibits a rumpled landscape of exposed limestone cliffs and deep canyons. Here, park designers only developed portions of the park to provide minimal access. Although the parkland covers 2000 plus acres, the park's scenic drive is only a mile in length. Eleven miles of hiking trails wind through a forest of red oaks, black walnut, American sycamore, green ash, basswood and the Uvalde bigtooth maples. This isolated pocket of bigtooth maples gives the park its name. Relics from a period at the end of the last major glacial epoch, Sabinal River - Lost Maples SNA the bigtooth maples have survived in a deep canyon carved out by the Sabinal River.
     In nature there is never a guarantee of splendid autumn foliage, but the park offers plenty of other activities to make the trip worthwhile. Facilities include camping and picnic sites, as well as a primitive camping area. Birdwatchers visit for a chance to spot some of the 350 species of their avian friends, with rare sightings of green kingfishers, golden-cheeked warblers, and endangered black-capped vireos adding the biggest thrill. Itís best to check the fall color hotline and make plans for a weekday visit during the autumn season. The park enforces a limit of 250 vehicles, so come early to enjoy the show.

      Area Map
      Park Foliage Reports


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