If you’re a transplant from places to the East or just a native Texan who has a hankerin’ for beautiful Fall colors, Lost Maples State Park protects a special stand of Uvalde bigtooth maples that are afire with color in late October through mid-November.
The park has an influx of visitors each year to see the colorful leaves on these and other trees in autumn. The show varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions, but you can check their Fall Foliage* report for peak times and trail conditions.
Located due west of Boerne, the park is about a three-hour drive, but don’t just go for the leaves; the park has everything for a weekend (or a week) away. In fact, the park service recommends a visit during the week in the Fall to avoid the crowds on the weekends.
Park Manager Lisa Fitzsimmons recommends reserving a space online ahead of time, to ensure admission.
On peak weekends in the fall, they reach capacity quickly and Rangers can not overcrowd the park.
Come for the colors, but if the leaves don’t quite cooperate, the park is so beautiful, you will enjoy the drive and all the cool things to see!Lisa Fitzsimmons
Lisa says the summer season has been dry and they expect a pretty good show; “We love having so many visitors during this time of year. And even if the colors are not as you expected, it’s a beautiful area—everything in the park is pretty and there are many things to do and see.”
Including… ten miles of hiking trails, from beginning to advanced; picnicking, camping, backpacking, sightseeing, photography, birdwatching, and fishing.
The night sky is very dark due to their location and little to no light pollution. The scale ranges from Class 1, the darkest skies available on Earth, through Class 9, inner-city skies. Lost Maple’s Bortle Scale rating is 3.
If you want to visit during off-peak weekends, they have Star Parties five times a year, and the schedule is available on their website.
They also schedule full-moon hikes to enjoy nature by the glow of the moon… and flashlights when appropriate.
If you are want a little less roughing-it, try the Lost Maples Café in nearby Utopia and the Apple Store at Love Creek Orchards in Medina. Medina also has a weekend pumpkin patch in October and November.
Restrooms and picnic tables are wheelchair accessible, and if the park is at capacity for some reason, visitors may still drive about one mile into the park to view and photograph the foliage from a vehicle.
Contact or reserve your space at (830) 966-3413. Lisa says everyone in the park is well-versed on events and amenities so anyone who answers the phone can help you plan a visit.
Maples in Texas?
At the end of the most recent Ice Age —about 11,700 years ago—the last ice across Texas melted. Maple tree samaras (helicopter seeds) came down with the glaciers and the canyon in which Lost Maples is located was a great little spot to take hold. It has plenty of moisture and a perfect environment to flourish.
Evidence shows prehistoric peoples used the area at various times too.
The Spanish began exploring and colonizing in and around the canyons in the late 17th century. Beginning in the mid-1800s, the land was used for ranching.
Records show Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche Indians ranged over the land and challenged settlers well into the 19th century.
The land was purchased from private owners in 1973-94 and additional parcels in 2009 brought the total area to 2,900 square acres.