Monday, September 26, 2022

Lost Maples State Natural Area by Bea Tifton


Many people make jokes about Texas only having two seasons, hot and cold. While Texas doesn’t have the leaf peeping industry of New England, some places do exist where beautiful fall colors can be seen.  One of the most popular places to visit in the autumn is the Lost Maples State Natural Area.

Lost Maples State Natural Area is located in Bandera and Real counties. The park covers about 2, 174 acres. In 1979, the area opened to the public after being obtained from private owners in 1973. In 2009, the state acquired 603 additional acres.  Prehistoric people used the area, and in the late 1600s the Spanish explored and settled there. The Apache, Lipan Apache, and Comanche Indians roamed the area and had clashes with settler into the mid 1800s.

The park is visited year round for hiking, camping, bird watching, fishing, hunting, and star gazing. Among the most sought after birds are the green kingfisher, the black-capped vireos, and the golden cheeked warblers. Fortunate visitors can also spy gray foxes, white-tailed deer, armadillos, raccoons, bobcats, squirrels, and javelinas.

Although the natural area is popular year round, it’s quite well known for the breath taking fall foliage. Beginning in the last two weeks of October and lasting through the first two weeks of November, leaf peepers can travel to see the Uvalde big tooth maples show off.  The website includes a “Fall Foliage Report” and encourages visitors to visit during the week since the park only admits 250 cars a day. For the leaf peeper set in Texas, Lost Maples State Natural Area is a wonderful place to visit. 


  1. That is one of the prettiest places I have seen. It's such a surprise because it's so different from the rest of the area. I would love to go back again and again. It's almost like a cathedral in that it gives a peaceful and reverent sense when there. I'm glad you reminded me of the park. It has happy memories for me.

    1. I'm so pleased that my article reminded you of those memories.


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