August 20, 2014

Wild Texas Parks: Bastrop State Park - Smithville, TX

Bastrop State Park
Smithville, Texas (Bastrop County)


Get Campsite & Facility Reservations   Download a Park Map from TPWD

About the State Park

Camp amid towering pine trees at Bastrop SP
59k JPEG
Copyright © Shannon D. Moore
See more photos at OutdoorPhoto.com
The "Lost Pines" of 5,926-acre Bastrop State Park are an isolated stand of loblolly pines separated from the vast East Texas piney woods by more than one hundred miles. Twelve miles of well-marked hiking trails wander through the dense pine-oak woodlands, including the 8.5 mile Lost Pines Hiking Trail. A trail map is available, courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD).

Opportunities for camping, picnicking, bicycling (paved or gravel roads only), birding and nature study are also available. White-tail deer and numerous bird species inhabit the park. Ten acres of surface water, in the form of small fishing ponds and lakes, are found within the park; additionally, 900-acre Lake Bastrop is located a short drive away, offering ample fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming and water skiing opportunities.

Developed (RV) and primitive tent campsites, screened shelters and thirteen rental cabins with kitchen facilities are available. For large gatherings, a group barracks and dining hall may be reserved. Unlike many Texas State Parks, Bastrop also features a large (60-foot by 100-foot) swimming pool and a beautiful eighteen hole golf course. The swimming pool is equipped with two children's wading pools and is open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day (closed Tuesdays); lifeguards are on duty during pool hours. The golf course is operated by the Lost Pines Golf Club; call (512)321-2327 or (512)303-1368 for tee times.

Bastrop State Park and Buescher State Park are linked by the scenic 13-mile paved Park Road 1. During the drive, note how the lush pine forest of Bastrop State Park gives way to blackjack, post and live oak woodland in nearby Buescher State Park. Birders may wish to stop at the Alum Creek crossing on Park Road 1, a noted birding locale. A bird checklist covering both Bastrop and Buescher State Parks is available from both parks' headquarters.

Park Ratings

Explanation of Symbols
Campsites/Overnight Facilities**** 4 star
Leashed Pets Permitted?Animated Running Dog YES
Picnic Areas/Playgrounds*** 3 star
Solitude** 2 star
Trail System*** 3 star
Water Recreation* 1 star
Wildlife**** 4 star
Ratings are based on a scale of 0 (low) to 4 (high).

Wild Texas Notebook

Stone shelter built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's
51k JPEG
Copyright © Shannon D. Moore
See more photos at OutdoorPhoto.com
Justin and I first visited Bastrop and Buescher State Parks in early August 1996; we have returned many times since. Weather conditions in the summer are hot and humid, but the hiking and nature trails are worth the discomfort. Having stayed in both the comfortably rustic CCC-built rental cabins and the tent campsites, we have found both yield fine birding opportunities. Within a short time, the bird life grows accustomed to your presence and literally descends around you. Birders may observe the following species: pied-billed grebe, mallard duck, canvasback duck, redhead duck, lesser scaup, turkey vulture, red-bellied woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, Eastern phoebe, blue jay, Western scrub jay, American crow, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, American robin, Northern mockingbird, solitary vireo, Northern parula, Northern cardinal, and field sparrow.

Rental cabins on the banks of the fishing pond
36k JPEG
Copyright © Shannon D. Moore
See more photos at OutdoorPhoto.com

Location

Located about 30 miles east of Austin. Travel one mile east of Bastrop on Texas Highway 21; the park entrance is accessible at the intersection of Texas Highways 21 and 71 via Texas Loop 150.

The nearest major Texas cities are: Austin, San Antonio, Houston

Maps for Bastrop State Park

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Coordinates for GPS Users:

30.110719° Latitude    -97.2928619° Longitude (WGS84/NAD83; decimal degrees)
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Hours

Open 7 days a week year-round from 8 AM to 10 PM for day use activities.

Check for restricted park access before any trip. When controlled public hunts are in progress, general access is not permitted.

Fees

A park entrance fee is charged per day -- $4 per person for adults 13 years of age and older. (Texas residents age 65 or older pay only $2 per person.) NOTE: Listed fees may not be accurate year-round due to seasonal changes. Contact the park directly to confirm fees.

Campsite and other facility fees are in addition to the park entrance fee.

Note: Learn about the $60 Texas State Parks Pass which exempts passholders, and the passengers in their vehicle, from the entrance fees at all Texas State Parks.

Reservations

Reserve Now for campsites or other park facilities.

Reservations can also be made by calling TPWD's Central Reservation System at (512)389-8900 from 9 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to noon on Saturdays.

Smithville, Texas Weather

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Volunteer Opportunities

Contact the Friends of the Lost Pines, the officially recognized non-profit support group of Bastrop & Buescher State Parks, at P.O. Box 1714, Bastrop 78602.

Official Contact Information

The State Park is managed by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Bastrop State Park
3005 Hwy. 21 East
Bastrop, TX 78602

Telephone: (512)321-2101
TPWD Park Info: 1-800-792-1112

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