Monday, March 14, 2011

Totally Texas -- The Lost Pines

It’s not always easy to find a naturally green setting in Texas during March for St. Patrick’s Day events, but central Texas has a site that’s evergreen – the forest of the Lost Pines.  This March 17 the Friends of the Lost Pines State Parks will hold its “Souper Supper” in the newly reconstructed Refectory of Bastrop State Park.  The park, about 45 minutes southeast of Austin, is one of two that protect the pines, believed to be the remnants of an extensive forest that otherwise disappeared following the last ice age.  The stand of loblollies rises from the central Texas prairie, as incongruously lovely as an oasis in a desert.

The entrance to Bastrop State Park is at 3005 Hwy 21 East, outside the town of Bastrop.  The park’s website warns that the address doesn’t show up in most mapping software, but it’s not hard to find with a little conventional map reading.  Some portions of Bastrop State Park and adjoining Buescher State Park are closed for construction, but a call to Bastrop last week confirmed that the St. Patrick’s pot of soup supper is on schedule.  The event is open from to and free to the public.

The easy to drive or bike
Park Road
1C loops through the parks, with plenty of places to stop and walk through the fragrant woods.  The first time I visited the parks, expecting the towering pines of East Texas, the smaller trees that have adapted to the drier climate surprised me.  But they’re miniature only by comparison – still tall enough to let visitors know they are, indeed, within a forest.

Together, Bastrop and Buescher total nearly 7,000 acres.  The state acquired them from the city of Bastrop and several private owners during the 1930’s, and the original park improvements, including an 18-hole golf course, were made by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  Now, the nonprofit Friends of the Lost Pines State Parks helps with management and conservation at the parks.  For more information, see or search under TPWD:  Bastrop State Park or Buescher State Park.  And be sure to share your favorite natural getaways with the rest of us.

No comments:

Post a Comment