Bastrop State Park

12.00 Miles
3point5stars (3.75)32
2stars (2.27)
3stars (3.37)
More Info

Many Bastrop State Park hikes start near this gazebo.
Many Bastrop State Park hikes start near this gazebo.

Getting there: From Austin head east on Highway 71. Take the Loop 150 exit and continue east to the intersection with Highway 21. The entrance to the park is in the middle of the Y-split in the road.

Fallen pine needles sometimes obscure the trail, but the park's blazes on the trees help point the way.
Fallen pine needles sometimes obscure the trail, but the park's blazes on the trees help point the way.
The Hikes: The Lost Pines of Bastrop State Park provide a refreshing change from the rocky Cedar and Oak trails common farther west in the Hillcountry. Here a small island of Pine forest resides, separated from the main Eastern Texas Pine forests by 100 miles. The sandy soil of the area encourages the Pine's growth despite the drier conditions here that normally preclude Pines from developing.

A thick Pine forest means lots of shade, and you'll get that here. Underneath that shade you'll often benefit from a blanket of pine needles on top of loose soil. At times it's like walking on a mattress.

The trails through the Pine forest provide some unique hiking opportunities in the Hillcountry.
The trails through the Pine forest provide some unique hiking opportunities in the Hillcountry.
Bastrop State Park is THE place to visit if you are interested in Orienteering. The park contains a large number of permanent orienteering "flags". A orienteering map is available for a nominal fee at park headquarters pointing out their locations. The park is also host to a yearly orienteering competition organized by a group out of Houston.

There are not too many places where one can golf in a state park, but this is one of them. The entrance to the park cuts through the public course. Other amenities include ample camping areas and a pool.

Bouncing Back
Flowers and bushes are flourishing again, but it will take years for the trees to grow back. (Photo by Blaze)
This Buckeye Butterfly was doing her job pollinating the flowers. (Photo by Blaze)
View Of The Trail
The trail offers nice, gradual elevation changes. (Photo by Blaze)
Orange Trailhead
The trails take you up and down some small hills, all covered by burned trees. (Photo by Blaze)
The Blue Trail will take you to a very scenic lake. (Photo by Blaze)
Paradise Lost
98% of the trees were burned in the Sep 2011 fire. The vast majority of these trees are dead and not coming back. (Photo by Blaze)
Fallen Trees
There were a lot of fallen trees blocking the trail. Most you could step over or around, but some made it hard to get by. (Photo by Blaze)
Purple Trailhead
The Purple Trail is one of the longer trails in the park. (Photo by Blaze)
Log Entries
By smj6107 on 2/10/2018
Rating: 4point5stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4point5stars
Distance: 5.79 Miles Duration: N/A
Lush green, vaguely surreal
By nobody on 10/1/2016
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: N/A

The only trails open are those inside the former Park Road 1A loop. Park Road 1A is now a C shape instead of a full loop, with the side near the former lake closed. These "interior" trails are in good shape, with a nice variety of open views and enclosing vegetation. Pine saplings are up to 12-15 feet tall in places, and there's a lot of plants I don't remember ever seeing in the park before. After a couple months of good rain everything is very lush.

The golf course closed down a year or so ago, and the cart paths are open for walking. This is rather flat, roughly paved, and the place where I saw the most wildlife. Lots of woodpeckers. You have the feel of walking through wild meadows scattered with mature trees. These golf cart paths also made up the bulk of the 5 miles I hiked.

All in all, it was lush green, but if you looked through the plants you saw fallen branches and logs all over. There were just a couple places where isolated stands of pine trees remained from before the fires, and lots of places where burned trunks rose above the greenery like strange totem poles.

Paradise Lost
By Blaze on 5/3/2013
Rating: 1star Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 1point5stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: 2 hours, 33 minutes

Bastrop State Park was affected by a fire in September 2011.  I thought the park was merely temporarily damaged, much like what happens with a prescribed burn.  What I found, however, was the trees in the park were nearly destroyed.  In fact, 98% of the trees burned and even though I hiked this park over 1 1/2 years after the fire, it still looked like a war zone.  It was very depressing because I could tell that this park must have once been very beautiful.  Paradise lost...  It is bouncing back slowly, but it will take many years to get back to its previous state.

The trails are color-coded, generally well-marked and the map provided by the Park HQs is pretty good.  There are a lot of small hills and valleys that give you a little cardio work.  The trails themselves are in need of maintenance as there were a LOT of fallen trees blocking the trails (Note:  I went at a time when the winds were pretty strong (15-25 mph), so it's possible many of the fallen trees were recent victims).  Park rangers were out with their chain saws doing what they could.

The Purple Trail (aka Lost Pines Hiking Trail) is partially closed at the present time.  You can only go as far as Harmon Road.  The section east of Harmon Road is closed.

This park has nice campgrounds.  I had planned to camp at Creekside, but given the combination of dead trees and high winds I decided not to.  If it had not been so windy, I would have liked to camp here.

Fellow hikers, this park needs our help, so I encourage everyone to visit this park as the funds are sorely needed.

Worth the trip!
By texaskdog on 1/8/2011
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 2point5stars Solitude: 3stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Took the red trail.  Lots of huge trees.  Not a lot of variety, creek was dry, but being out in nature was worth it.  Lots of people for the remoteness and the season.  If we had to do it again we'd park on the road that cut through it and done 4 miles the first of our few 7 mile hikes!   Park pass sounded like a good deal but we have 2 different cars and you cant transfer it.

Texas State Parks
By J3NN1F3R on 12/16/2010
Rating: 3point5stars Difficulty: 1point5stars Solitude: 1point5stars
Distance: N/A Duration: N/A

Keep in mind that you can also become a member of Texas Parks and Wildlife. My husband and I have been members for over five years and absolutely LOVE IT. When you become a member, you are not charged enterance fees (except to some of the cave tours like Longhorn Caverns), the membership fee goes towards park conservations, you receive 50% off camping coupons, and members discounts at the state park stores. Bastrop/Beuscher SPs are among some of our favorites, including Pedernales, Enchanted Rock, Lost Maples, and Garner State Parks. Also, as of right now, you do not need a state fishing license to fish inside a state park. So instead of buying a fishing license we buy a state park pass and go fishing in all the different state parks.  This policy is not garunteed to continue, but has been active for the past several years.

By SnickerD on 3/10/2010
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 2stars
Distance: 2.00 Miles Duration: 1 hour
Excellent Hike
By Veganne on 1/23/2010
Rating: 5stars Difficulty: 3stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 12.00 Miles Duration: N/A
This is probably one of my favorite places to hike in the area. Lots of nature and wildlife with varying terrain. If you go in the spring, look for baby frogs around the pond area.
pleasant and lots of shades
By sandew on 5/24/2009
Rating: 3stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 5.00 Miles Duration: 3 hours

Rates are now $4 entry to park and the map isn't quiet acurate.  A lot of the trees are marked and there are lots of maps when the trails change names.  The paper map has different color code for the different types (elevations).  Nice and wide most of the time, we did the blue trail which ran into the red trail when heading back to the car.  It didn't, instead it runs into the gray trail that will run into red, then the white where we parked.  Saw very few campers in the wilderness section or hikers.  Good trail when hot, but can see how the drought has kept the man made waterfalls dry and the lake looked very low.

By Buddahbabym on 4/5/2009
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 2stars Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 7.00 Miles Duration: 4 hours
Get away from it all
By squidulum on 12/13/2008
Rating: 4stars Difficulty: 1star Solitude: 4stars
Distance: 8.00 Miles Duration: 4 minutes

My husband and I started at the overlook the first time that we did this hike, but we found that if you take Park road C towards Buecher and turn down Hammond road to the right that you can park at the trail there and begin the hike in solitude.  This is one of the most peaceful hikes I have been on.  At times all you can hear it the wind in the trees.  It's wonderful.

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