Located on the upper Sabinal River, Lost Maples State Natural Area is 2,906 acres of wilderness. Although it’s a Natural Area, this is not a State Park. This natural area protects and enhances the natural environment, preserving and restoring native plants and animals.
The park is a favorite for nature enthusiasts. Its diverse plant life and animal population make it a great destination for birding tours. Almost 100 species of birds have been documented in the park, including two endangered species. The area is also home to several mammals, including bobcats, javelinas, and green kingfishers.
Bring your hiking shoes and water when visiting Lost Maples State Natural Area. The trail is challenging, but the rewards are spectacular. There are benches where you can stop and rest in between climbs. Be sure to reserve a campsite before you go. During the fall, this is one of the best places to experience the spectacular foliage.
Located in limestone canyons, Lost Maples State Natural Area is a great place to see fall foliage. The area is home to groves of Canadian bigtooth maple trees. This tree is typically found further north and west but thrived in this area once. These trees have survived in the sheltered canyons and mountains.
The fall foliage season is a popular time to visit the Lost Maples SNA, and the park expects record visitation over the next six weeks. It is important to purchase a day pass to the park ahead of time during this time. Visitors should understand that there are capacity restrictions to preserve natural resources and infrastructure.
Lost Maples State Natural Area has several miles of hiking trails. Some of these trails include a 2,000-foot overlook. You should follow the hiking trails marked by signs and avoid walking off the trail. The hiking trails are challenging and should be taken with care. While there are plenty of trails to enjoy in the park, there are many other things to do and see.
Lost Maples State Natural Area offers primitive camping areas and several developed sites. The campground has 30 sites, and eight are primitive. Most campgrounds are booked well in advance. The rest of the campsites are walk-in. There are also many hotels and motels within the park that provide accommodations to travelers.
Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, photography, bird watching, fishing, and sightseeing within the park. Visitors should stick to designated trails and stay on the marked paths to protect the area’s ecosystem. Maple trees have shallow root systems, so compaction of the soil can affect the trees. Also, the landscape is steep and presents natural hazards.
The park is located in the upper Sabinal River watershed and is surrounded by steep canyon walls. It’s a natural habitat for a variety of plants and animals. It’s a popular scenic attraction. Many visitors arrive in October to admire the fall foliage. One of the most stunning displays of the season is when the maples turn orange and red. If you go soon, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the colors before the foliage fades.