Lost Maples State Natural Area
Friday, April 25 through Sunday, April 27, 2003
|Lost Maples State Natural Area is located near Vanderpool
, Texas. Both Vanderpool and the park are in Bandera
County Texas which is in the Hill Country region of Texas. The Texas State Parks web site has information and about the
park. As far as getting to the park, we opted to drive from San Antonio up I10 (West
bound) past Kerrville to State Highway 41. Then we went South on US 83 to State
Highway 39. to the State Ranch to Market (RM) 187. The reason I mention the route is
there are a variety of different ways to get the Lost Maples. If you are in a car,
the route isn't so important. However, with a larger vehicle, some of the other
possible routes just aren't all that safe. The roads in this area of Texas tend to
me narrow, curvy with switchbacks, without shoulder, and in general need of repair.
The maps rarely show just how winding the roads are.
This is a great park. One of the things that makes this park better than Garner State Park is the limited number of campsites (30). There just aren't that many folks here. Linda had been watching the reservation system to see how many spots might be left and all of the spots had been reserved for over three months. This is very different from Garner. At Garner, hardly anyone had made reservations in advance. For us, Lost Maples is a better experience because the other campers are more considerate of their neighbors. Garner and Lost Maples are fairly close together
There were church groups staying this weekend. Large extended families with lots and lots of children. A number of couples, some older. This weekend they also had a "volks march" where people come to hike and walk together. These are organized events. "volks march" may not be the right name of the event.
Something else I liked about this park. I didn't hear any radios playing. People were playing guitars. Other folks were singing campfire songs. For me, these types of activities bring a sense of nostalgia. These were the kind of joyful activities I did as a child while camping with my family, school, and church groups.
At the ranger station (below left), they have a display area where they show how to tell which trees are the Bigtooth Maples. This is worth looking at. Just in case you don't know what a maple looks like. The maple trees stick out from the trees you normally see in this region. There is a picture of maple trees two rows down. Three rows down are close-ups of maple leaves.
The park is well run. The bathrooms and showers are especially clean and in good repair.
|This park is also a good place for birders. The folks on the left had spotted an unusual tiny bird in a tree. This wasn't the only group of bird watchers sharing the park with us.|
Our campsite (#4) was quite cozy. Both nights we were here, the park was full.
There are a number of these "bridges" across the creek that runs through the park. The creek is called the Sabinal River. This may not be a good place to be if it is raining. Odds are very good that you would be stuck in between low water crossings inside the park or on any of the roads that lead to the park.
|The creek is lovely. There are many little pools to explore. At certain times of the day, the surface of the creek is a mirror that reflects the canyon walls, trees, and sky.|
The day use are had a lot of the volks march hikers picnicking at a site that overlooks the creek.
|Copyright © 2003 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved.|