Lost Maples State Natural Area Review & Rating
Lost Maples State Natural Area Overview:Lost Maples State Park is a quiet and isolated small 2174 acre park located on the Sabinal River and is known for it's strands of bigtooth maple trees. The park has steep, rugged limestone canyons, springs, plateau grasslands, wooded slopes, and clear streams. The Park has an isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde Bigtooth Maple (the largest strand east of the Guadalupe Mountains) and when the seasons change, the foliage is unbelievable with a dazzling show of fall colors - the best time of the year is generally the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. The scenery is beautiful but the park gets very busy and parking is limited to 250 cars. Try to visit during the weekday when it is not so busy.
Lost Maples State Park is also home to a number of rare birds like the Green Kingfisher, the endangered Black-capped vireo, and the Golden-cheeked warbler. You'll also likely to spot a variety of wild animals including gray fox, white-tailed deer, armadillo, raccoon, bobcat, javelina, and rock squirrel.
Amenities and Fun Things To Do:Lost Maples has 30 back-in campsites with water and electric, the first twelve of which also have 50 Amp and sewer. Most of the site pads are level and about average length. The Park has one loop of sites which are fairly close together and each site has a paved driveway, covered picnic table, and grill. Each have a scenic view of the cliffs and hillsides. 8 primitive sites are available for backpackers. You'll also find a clean restroom, showers, and a dump station.
The clear waters of the small Sabinal River run through the park and are easy to access for picnicking, swimming, or fishing. Lost Maples State Park has over 10 miles of hiking and backpacking trails. The trails cross creeks as they meander through the maples, near some ponds, and up and down the hillside. With elevation changes of 1800 to 2200 feet some of the trails are more difficult and rugged. There is a 4/10th mile nature trail as well as an interpretive center.
A Typical Texas Outsider Day:We come to Lost Maple State Park to enjoy the beautiful scenery and camping with campfire stories and smoores. After a hardy breakfast we will lace up the boots and hit the trails for a few hours of hiking.
The Maple Trail is a short level path through wooded clearings along the river, past some maples, and back along a more open sunny route. The East Trail is a 4.6 mile loop along Can Creek and you'll find small lakes, some steep cliffs, 300 foot climbs, and scrub covered plateaus as you head back home along the Sabinal River. The West Trail is a little over 4 miles and also follows Can Creek but further upstream across some hilly terrain and then down a canyon to another tributary canyon before rejoining the East Trail.
Cool Nearby Activities:Nearby Lost Maples State Park you'll find Garner State Park, Hill Country State Natural Area, Kerrville-Schreiner Park, Camp Verde, Lake Medina, and the towns of Utopia and Bandera. Bandera is the "Cowboy Capital of Texas" and has some ok restaurants, some dude ranches, a golf course, water park, and lots of fun and lively honky tonks. Kerrville isn't that far away and has good golf courses, shopping, restaurants, tubing on the river, and more. All of roads into and out of Lost Maples make for some very scenic drives.
- Overall Rating:
- Scenic Beauty:
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Additional Pictures of Lost Maples State Natural Area
Texas Outside uses a tough rating scale and it’s difficult for a campground to get a “10”. Each park is rated on:
- Scenic Beauty: a campground that is flat with no trees or character gets a “1” and hills, lots of trees, beautiful lake site, and lush ground cover gets a “10”
- Park Condition: the cleaner, well kept, and maintained campgrounds receive high scores
- Amenities: we are looking for lots of amenities like restrooms, dump stations, playgrounds, boat ramps, shelters, concession stand, rental toys, and more.
- Campsites: low scores are given for sites that are right next to each other (good for getting to know your neighbors, but not what we’re looking for when we’re camping); have no lantern holder, no water or electricity, no fire pit, no grill, or no picnic table (or it’s rotten wood); have no trees and no view; the ground cover is crushed rock (my bare feet hate that stuff!); and they require a lot of work to get your rig level.
- Things To Do: Bonus points are given for campgrounds that offer lots of fun things to do at the park or very nearby – this includes: biking, hiking, climbing, boating, entertainment, golf, swimming, fishing, volleyball, horseshoes, and more