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 !