Lost Maples State Natural Area covers 2,174.2 scenic acres in Bandera and Real counties, north of Vanderpool on the Sabinal River. Acquired by purchase from private owners in 1973 -1974, the site was opened to the public on September 1, 1979. Approximately 200,000 people visit the park annually.
Archaeological evidence shows that this area was used by prehistoric peoples at various times. In historical times, which began with Spanish exploration and colonization efforts in the late 17th century, the Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche Indians ranged over the land and posed a threat to settlement well into the 19th century.
The park is an outstanding example of Edwards Plateau flora and fauna. It is a combination of steep, rugged limestone canyons; springs; plateau grasslands; wooded slopes; and clear streams. It features a large, isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde bigtooth maple, whose fall foliage can be spectacular. Generally, the foliage changes the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. The park is extremely popular during the fall and is often crowded.
Rare species of birds, such as the green kingfisher, can be seen year-round. The endangered black-capped vireo and Golden-cheeked warbler nest and feed in the park in spring and early summer. Wild animals include gray fox, white-tailed deer, armadillo, raccoon, bobcat, rock squirrel and javelina.
We will be car camping accessible water and electricity at our camp sites and bathroom facility nearby. We will have community meals to be determined at a later date for both Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and dinner and Sunday breakfast. Everyone will be asked to bring an ingredient or two to pitch in. I'll send an email closer to the date to get that organized as well as cooking gear.
As for the basic schedule, plan on departure on Friday as it is a several hour drive, carpooling strongly encouraged. I will have room for one additional person. Friday evening is setting up the campsites, resting, eating, relaxing and socializing beneath the stars in anticipation of a full day of hiking! Saturday anticipates a wonderful breakfast, all day hiking and a wonderful evening meal to follow. Bring trail snacks, lunch, water containers, sturdy boots, day pack and a wonderful sense of adventure. Sunday will entail breaking down the campsites, another yummy breakfast and departure for a return trip to Austin. There are several wonderfully beautiful scenic routes to choose from for the ride back to Austin.