Texas State Natural Area | Lost Maples – Maple Trail

Fall or autumn is the best time to visit Lost Maples. Located about 5 miles (8 km) north of Vanderpool, Texas and 71 miles (114 km) west of San Antonio, history recorded early habitation in 17th century by Spanish explorers and also identification of some Indian groups including the Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche.
Scenic drive along Ranch Road 187 from Medina to Vanderpool
Spotted along FM 187
Journey along FM 187
Lost Maples derives its name from Big-Tooth Maples which grow abundantly here. With the colorful maple and the impressive Texas red oak display in autumn almost every year, Lost Maples is most crowded when the fall colors peak in November. Besides maples and oaks, trees like American Sycamore, Black Walnut, Pecan, Green Ash, Black Willow, Juniper and Florida Basswood also live here.
Lost Maples Park Headquarters
Grow in abundance here...
. Our journey begins here
Can hardly get lost in Lost Maples
Left path takes us to spectacular Maple Trail
Nature is amazing...
Colorful foliage against blue sky...
Shady bridge along Maple Trail
Stunning moments
Maple leaves
Footprints on Maple Trail?
A few color hue...
Occupying an area of 2,174-acre (880 ha), this state natural area provides an ample picnic area near Maple Trail’s trail head by Sabinal River, 11 miles (18 km) of hiking trails, 30 campsites and 8 primitive camping areas with the facility of composting toilet. There are beautiful ponds next to Can Creek at Primitive Camping Site C and best viewed from an elevated area of East Trail Scenic Overlook.
Shark gets lost at Lost Maples?
Wild and Free...
Beyond words
Bench to rest
In total, there are 3 main trails namely Maple Trail, East Trail and West Trail. We made a day trip from Austin on the third Saturday of November. We exited IH-10 West at Boerne then passing Pipe Creek, Bandera and Medina along Ranch-to-Market Road 2828. The stretch from Medina to Vanderpool was a scenic drive through ranches among the colorful foliage.
Botanist - help needed to identify this plant?
Exploring Maple Trail
Our entrance into the park was hassle free as we are the annual state park pass holder. From my brief chat with a lady ranger gets me to know that an extreme wait time last year was up to 4 hours! Folks could be nuts over fall foliage! Guess it was the most perfect time to walk under the shady maples and oaks along Maple Trail. Although Maple Trail of 0.8 mile is the shortest and easiest of all, we spent more than 2 hours with camera clicking non-stop. Every corner was simply breathtaking!
Bald is beautiful?
If you are a fan or was a former of Winter Sonata (a blockbuster Korean drama series 2002), obviously you would recall scenes shot with the crimson color leaves of spectacular autumn. Witnessing the stunning foliage here is as good as being in Nami Island, South Korea!
A beautiful potrait of fall
Note: All the photographs in this installment were captured along Maple Trail on 21 November 2009 between 10am to 1pm. Please proceed to my next installment for pictures along East Trail.
To be continued on East Trail...
Getting there?
37221 FM 187
Vanderpool TX 78885
Phone: (830) 966-3413
Direction: 5 miles north of Vanderpool on Ranch Road 187
or click here for direction – provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife
Weekly Foliage Report from October through November: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/lost_maples/foliage.phtml
Website of Lost Maples: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/lost_maples/

Go early or get an annual state pass (like us) to beat the long waiting time during peak season.

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