While the Hill Country is laced with scenic drives, the east-and-west route of F.M. 337 is unquestionably among the most spectacular. Massive wooded steeps enfolding tiny, secluded valleys are beautiful! Remember to take your camera.
F.M. 187 north of Vanderpool climbs to the surface of the Edwards Plateau (2,300 ft.) as it joins Texas 39. Sinkholes, porous basins that feed rainwater into the deep Edwards Aquifer, abundantly dot the Texas Hill Country. A textbook example lies immediately at the west edge of F.M. 187 exactly 8.9 miles north of Lost Maples State Park.
Lost Maples State Natural Area
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 and 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 Nov. (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.
Three trees are State Champion Big Treesan 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.
There’s plenty of opportunities for day trips from the Vanderpool area.
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. While based in Vanderpool, you can stay as long as you want and experience an abundance of places to go and things to see and do.
Here are a couple of the possibilities:
|City/Attraction||Miles||Approximate Drive Time|
Click Below for Directions
|Leakey||16 miles||23 min||Directions|
|Utopia||10 miles||14 min||Directions|
|Concan||33 miles||40 min||Directions|
|Uvalde||54 miles||59 min||Directions|
|Kerrville||46 miles||52 min||Directions|
|Hunt||39 miles||48 min||Directions|
|Fredericksburg||70 miles||1 h 17 min||Directions|
|Luckenbach Texas||77 miles||1 h 26 min||Directions|
|Comfort||49 miles||56 min||Directions|
|Boerne||58 miles||1 h 9 min||Directions|
|Bandera||57 miles||1 h 5 min||Directions|
|Lost Maples State Natural Area||4 miles||6 min||Directions|
|Garner State Park||26 miles||32 min||Directions|
|Enchanted Rock State Natural Area||87 miles||1 h 40 min||Directions|
|The Alamo (San Antonio)||87 miles||1 h 36 min||Directions|
|Schlitterbahn (New Braunfels)||105 miles||1 h 56 min||Directions|
|Sea World (San Antonio)||74 miles||1 h 27 min||Directions|
|Six Flags Fiesta Texas (San Antonio)||73 miles||1 h 21 min||Directions|
|River Walk (San Antonio)||87 miles||1 h 40 min||Directions|
|Lyndon B Johnson State Park & Historic Site||85 miles||1 h 33 min||Directions|
|Hill Country State Natural Area||33 miles||47 min||Directions|
Source: Google Maps