Just outside of the small town of Vanderpool, the Lost Maples State Park is a hidden gem of scenic natural landscapes within easy access of San Antonio. The Lost Maples State Park spans over 2,100 sprawling acres of rolling hills and towering trees. The park is located along the Sabinal River and boasts numerous tranquil ponds dotting the landscape. Lost Maples is the ideal destination to “get away from it all” without being far from the conveniences of San Antonio.
Each year, over 200,000 visitors enjoy the scenic beauty and variety of outdoor recreation offered by Lost Maples State Park. The park’s name suggests that it features a clump of Bigtooth Maple trees amidst the typical Hill Country vegetation. The maples growing in the park are descendants of a grove of maples that grew in the area during the last ice age, making the maples today rare but native. In addition to the maples, there are also numerous other trees in the park, including American Sycamore, Black Walnut, Pecan, Texas Red Oak, and more. Because of the wide variety of tree species growing here, the park is especially popular for visitors during the fall months when the vivid hues of red, orange, and yellow transform the park. The fall foliage is most prevalent during late October through early November.
While enjoying the fall foliage is popular at Lost Maples State Park, the park is also popular for year-round activities. The park boasts over eleven miles of hiking trails, which are largely well-shaded. Hikers are required to stay on the trails, as venturing off the trails can damage the delicate ecosystem. The trails are fairly rugged, so good hiking shoes should be warn. There are also thirty-eight total campsites, some with showers and running water and others with only an outhouses. For visitors only wishing to stay for the day, shaded picnic areas are available as well.
While exploring the park, keep your eyes open for the abundant wildlife native to the park. The park is home to a wide variety of native Hill Country species like gray fox, white-tailed deer, armadillo, bobcat, javelina, and more. In addition, rare bird species including the Green Kingfisher, the Black-Capped Vireo, and the Golden-Cheeked Warbler can be found at the park during various times of the year.
If you are planning a visit to the park, keep in mind that parking is limited to 250 cars. During the peak fall season, the parking lot fills quickly. If you are planning a visit to the park, especially during peak season, plan to arrive as early as possible. Weekdays are often a better time to visit than weekends during the fall months to avoid the crowds.