LOST MAPLES STATE NATURAL AREA
37221 F.M. 187, VANDERPOOL, TX 78885Park Website • Park Map • Day Reservations Required
EAST + WEST TRAILS
Lost Maples gets its name from the seemingly displaced big tooth maples that have found refuge in this park just outside of Vanderpool, Texas. This is one of the most stunning areas to witness fall color in Texas and certainly one of the most popular. Make sure to reserve a day pass from Texas Parks and Wildlife well in advance of your trip. Crowds can’t stop the charm of this yellow paved set of trails that wind their way around in a clock like fashion through the park’s streams, hill sides and canyons.
The trails we recommend for the best views are the East Trail and the West Trail and shouldn’t be confused for the East-West Trail that runs through the middle of the park. Start your hike in the parking lot near the East Trail trailhead. You can choose to take the Maple Trail or the East Trail, both have great displays of scenery and connect together after 0.36 miles. This trail follows the Sabinal River and if you keep your eyes peeled, you will see the “Monkey Rock” located around the 1 mile mark. Be prepared, the scenery is accompanied by steep trails as you climb up above the Sabinal for a birds eye view of the park. After tackling the steep verticals, you will walk the ridge that overlooks the park and beyond. From here, observe one of the best views in the park — the yellow color of the maples snaking along the Sabinal River below you.
Connect with the West Trail and feel the burn as you tackle more elevation change that leads the way through a quiet stretch of park furthest from the entrance. As you approach the 5 mile mark of this hike, you will begin to enter Mystic Canyon which is absolutely full of color in the peak of fall as seen in this picture. Departing Mystic Canyon means you are headed back to the entrance of the park. The remaining 1.5 miles of trail has steep ups and downs and will exit you at the end of the East-West Trail. Use the connecting trail to the same parking lot you started in to return to your car.