November 6, 2017
Lost Maples covers 2,174 acres on the Sabinal River. Texas purchased the property in 1973-74 and it opened to the public on Sept. 1, 1979. In 1980, it became a National Natural Landmark.
Known for its showy bigtooth maple trees, the park offers about 10 miles of easy to difficult hiking trails. Trails wander through limestone canyons and scenic woodlands.
Once when Texas was wetter and less hot, bigtooth maples were widespread. Now they only survive in a few sheltered canyons that protect a moist microclimate.
Today, Lost Maples hosts several groves of these beautiful trees which are relics from trees that flourished during the last glacial period...c.110,000-c.11,700 years ago. These trees were the reason for our visit...it is fall after all !
The park is designated a natural area rather than a state park which means the primary focus is the maintenance and protection of the property's natural state.
Canyon walls boast the area's limestone bedrock. The kiosk below explains the process of how new limestone, called travertine, is formed.
Our morning started off cool under cloudy skies...
...which eventually gave way to blue skies and sunshine.
|Wild grape vines...|
|A side hike to Monkey Rock...|
|Vines of these red leaves were common. Maybe poison ivy as some had three leaves, but a lot had four or five leaves.|
|The water was crystal clear.|
|We enjoyed meandering over and around the rocks on the trail.|
|The water dripping from the wall was like a sprinkle of rain...so cool !|
Until next time...
HAPPY TRAILS !
I've never heard of Big-Tooth Maples. Thanks for the information:) Beautiful colors. Glad you stood under Monkey Rock for perspective. That is one big "monkey!"ReplyDelete
We had not heard of them either Pam until I started our research for things to do here. Glad we visited in the fall !Delete
What a great share! I know there are places other than New England to see the fall colors, but Lost Maples Natural Area has to be a rare treat. Would like to wonder those trails too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jeff! I think you and Fran would really enjoy it here...it sure is quiet and peaceful! We only met a few people on the trails. We all spoke in hushed whispers...kinda funny and respectful of the nature that surrounded us!Delete
Hi Gay! What a beautiful area. We have spent a lot of time in the Hill Country and have never heard of this area. Thanks for sharing. Howard and I will be staying a few days at South Llano State Park and would like to meet you guys somewhere for lunch if you are available. Arriving November 22nd, leaving the 26th.ReplyDelete
Hi Sheila ! You and Howard would love Lost Maples...pups on leash are permitted too. We would love to meet you for lunch, but our younger son, daughter-in -law and our 15 month old grandson, who we have not met yet, are flying in from SC on the 19 for a week. They leave the 26th. If by chance you are in the area longer, we don’t leave until Dec 1.Delete
Hi Gay! I hope yawl enjoy your time with family! How wonderful to see your grandson for the first time. I will let you know if we stay longer than what we have scheduled. Enjoy!Delete
Such delicate beauty captured here. Love the transition from red rock to red leaves.ReplyDelete
It’s a beautiful park Jodee. Quite the change of scenery for us...Delete
You certainly caught fall in action. Love the color of the leaves. You did a great job of capturing it.ReplyDelete
Gorgeous! I remember someone telling us that this was a beautiful park when we were in TX, but we never made it there. Looks like you hit it at the right time of year!ReplyDelete
We were impressed with the park Lisa. It is small and this time of year reaches capacity quickly and closes for the rest of the day. We chose a Monday and the crowds were slim...yippee! Next week should be peak for color, but we had rain & wind yesterday with more expected on the week-end so we didn’t wait. We were not disappointed, but then it doesn’t take a lot to put a smile on our faces!Delete
One of my favorite state parks in the fall in Texas... you get the Big Tooth Maple in Guadeloupe National Park as well... hike the Mckittrick Canyon for best colotrs...ReplyDelete
Thanks John and Sharon...I will be checking that out!Delete
Looks beautiful, who know we might heed that way next year :) And Joe looks really good too!ReplyDelete
It is beautiful MonaLiza. Medina Highpoint Resort is a good location to explore from. We love the park...more on that later.Delete