Relax Among the Trees
Largely utilized for sheep, goat and cattle ranching, the Vanderpool area is a favorite of deer hunters during season.
Vanderpool is a year-round gateway to the popular Lost Maples State Natural Area. You can hike, camp, and take photographs year round.
While they aren’t really “lost,” the bigtooth maples for which the park is named are very selective in their habitat. Widely scattered over several western states and northern Mexico, this maple thrives only in small, protected pockets in mountainous regions where the temperature and humidity are moderated, where moisture is retained, and solar radiation is minimal.
Because of their shallow roots, the trees are susceptible to damage by soil compaction. Visitors are cautioned to stay on prescribed paths to ensure continued vigor of the maple stands.
Fall color is usually at its peak in early November (Note: Usually crowded in autumn when fall foliage at peak; it’s recommended to see scenery during weekdays. Reservations needed this time of year for overnight stays. Also, nature sometimes plays tricks and autumn colors don’t always attain usual brilliance. For information call 830/966-3413.) For reservations, call 512/389-8900.
Other vegetation in the scenic Texas Hill Country park includes more than 90 plant families with some 350 species recorded. Bird life is also abundant, including the rare golden-cheeked warbler. Of the many mammal species in the park, native white-tailed deer are most numerous.
Park facilities include campsites with water and electricity, picnic areas, rest rooms, showers, and primitive camp areas reached by almost 11 miles of hiking and backpacking trails.
Four main trees present are State Champion Big Trees, an escarpment chokecherry, a Texas ash, and a Bigtooth maple. The chokecherry and Texas ash have been nominated to the American Forestry Assn. Big Tree program for consideration as national champs. The park is four miles north of Vanderpool on R.M. 187. There is an admission fee.
Enjoy a relaxing drive through the spectacular Texas Hill Country on wide-open roads lined with breath-taking flowers and trees. Relish views only available in the Hill Country. You’ll feel like you’re light years away from a crowded freeway…because you are.
And, you won’t have to pick up and move. No packing and unpacking. You can make yourself at home and still experience a multitude of adventures that are fun for the whole family.
Here are just a few of the possibilities: