We learned, through research and from word of mouth, of Lost Maples State Natural Area but were a little afraid to let our expectations rise above a pretty low level. It takes a little under 2 hours to get there, and the website doesn't seem to promise anything spectacular. However, starving for a little taste of the fall we know and love, we got up early this morning and piled into the car to see what the park had to offer before we completely missing the boat this year. Man, I am I glad we did.
It was a perfect chilly day (even had to buy the kids a couple of unexpected sweatshirts when we arrived!). The park is huge and, despite the fact that most of the leaves had already fallen and it's supposedly a more subdued year than it can be, we had an amazing time. We marveled at the similarities between this park and some of our favorite Colorado hikes. In true Stith fashion, we headed out with the intention of taking a quick look around and ended up hiking 5 miles or so, mostly motivated by the stubborn curiosity we all seem to share. While looking at the map, we noticed a section labeled "steep" and all agreed we had to see for ourselves how "Texas Steep", as we fondly dubbed all the inclines after that, measured up to "Colorado Steep" (incidentally, we were all impressed!).
As we drove out of the park, I felt deep gratitude for this little pocket of Texas. Not only did we enjoy it today, but we now know it will be there for us in the future.
|Point of interest: "The Grotto"|
|Point of Interest: "Monkey Rock"|