Bastrop State Park Texas
- 1 Bastrop State Park Texas
- 1.1 Bastrop From Nothing to Something
- 1.2 What You Can Do At The Park
- 1.3 Directions To The Park
- 1.4 Accessibility Information
- 1.5 Natural Disaster Damage To Bastrop
- 1.6 Lost Pines
- 1.7 Planning a State Park
- 1.8 Texas State Parks
Bastrop From Nothing to Something
Bastrop State Park has been an attraction for its history and its view of the lost pines for over 70 years. Forest fires and floods have taken their toll on the park in the past few years, but nothing can take away the natural beauty of the park. The park is only 32 miles east of Austin.
What You Can Do At The Park
The park makes a great destination for family gatherings. In the park you can enjoy swimming, picnicking, camping, bike riding, hiking, geocaching, looking at nature, fishing, and going to a nature program. There is also a group hall that you can rent for large gatherings.
The park has an array of camping options from tent sites to fully accommodated RV sites. They also offer a group deal for your family and friends to all camp together.
There are seven miles worth of trails waiting to be explored. While on the trails you can see the recovering forest, the new loblolly pines, and even take a virtual tour with interactive trail maps.
The pool is open from May to September but makes sure you read through the park’s swimming safety tips before swimming.
Enjoy Park Road 1C that spans from Bastrop Park to Buescher Park. The road is 12 miles long and while on it you can see more of the park’s trees and parts that have been lost to the past natural disasters. While on the ride make sure you are careful of others, and make sure you maintain the speed limit of 30 miles per hour.
Lake Mina is a perfect fishing spot.
The park lends fishing gear and a fishing license is not required to fish in a state park, as long as you do not go into a boat. Sadly, the 10-acre lake located in the park has dried up due to dam failure.
Our park store has great souvenirs and gifts.
While in the Area
If you are in the area and looking for things to do you can go west to the city of Bastrop which has many attractions such as parks, museums, and dining options. You can also head east to Smithville which offers the Railroad museum & Depot among other things.
You can also visit Buescher State Park which is connected to Bastrop by previously mentioned Park Road 1C.
Lake Bastrop is nearby as well and offers plenty of room for water sports and beach days. Lake Bastrop does require a small entry fee and is run by The Lower Colorado River Authority.
Directions To The Park
Bastrop State Park is one mile east of Bastrop on Texas 21, also accessible from the east on Texas 71 or you can get there from, Buescher State Park along Park Road 1.
If you enter “Bastrop State Park” in a GPS when coming from the west, you have a chance of being routed off of HWY 71 to unpaved Harmon Road, and into the park through Park Road 1C; try entering in “Park Rd 1 Bastrop, TX 78602”.
100 Park Road 1A
Bastrop, TX 78602
The Park HQ is located at:
The park includes several wheelchair-accessible campsites, picnic sites, group sites, and cabins.
Cabins 12 & 14 are wheelchair-accessible.
The historic group hall also has a wheelchair entrance.
The following campsites are designed for use with wheelchairs and are close to the bathrooms and have a raised fire ring, upright grill, lantern post, picnic table, and paved pathways:
Campsites with full accommodations 18 & 19 in the Piney Hill area.
Campsite with electricity 61 in the Copperas Creek area.
Tent campsites (with water) 27 and 28 in the Deer Run area.
The swimming pool has a wheelchair friendly entry into the pool house, pool area, and ADA accommodations to enter the pool.
Natural Disaster Damage To Bastrop
In recent years natural disasters have damaged Bastrop Park. The Bastrop Complex Wildfire in 2011 affected more than 90 percent of the park, also the Memorial Day flood in 2015 led to dam failure. Another fire occurred in 2015, the Hidden Pines Fire.
After all of the disasters, the park is open and ready for visitors!
Bastrop Complex Wildfire in 2011
Wildfire struck Bastrop State Park and the surrounding pine forest in September 2011. Firefighters managed to save the historic cabins and facilities built by the CCC in the 1930s, although the park is still recovering from the fire, the trails, campsites, and facilities have reopened.
Memorial Day Flood in 2015
The dam on the 10-acre lake at Bastrop State Park failed after excessive rains on May 25, 2015.. After the dam failure, all of the water in the lake surged down Copperas Creek to the Colorado River.
You can still see evidence of the power of the water that pushed around fallen trees from the 2011 wildfire and, in some places, piled them up along trails.
The “Lost Pines” is a unique pine-oak forest just east of Austin, which Bastrop Park is a part of.
Over 75,000 acres of loblolly pines, known as the “Lost Pines”, are scattered across sections of five counties on the Texas Coast. Bastrop and Buescher state parks protect part of this pine forest.
The “Lost Pines” is the most western forest of loblolly pine trees in the United States. This loblolly pine forest is isolated from East Texas pines by approximately 100 miles of post oak woodlands.
Pollen records point towards pines growing in this area for over 18,000 years. Sandy and gravelly soils, with a layer of water-preserving clay under them, help to create an environment where loblolly pines can flourish.
Over time the climate became drier, but the local soils allowed the trees to thrive. These loblolly pines have become genetically unique compared to other loblolly pines. They have learned to survive with 30 percent less rainfall than loblollies from East Texas and adjacent states.
Dewberries grow quite well amongst burned tree trunks.
The parks are located in the ecological region known as the Post Oak Savannah. A mosaic of pines, oaks, shrubs, grassland, and mixed flowering plants create an environment vital to many species of wildlife inhabiting the woods. This includes the largest of the woodpeckers, the pileated woodpecker.
Many other species inhabit the parks such as white-tailed deer, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, and armadillos. At headquarters, you can ask for a checklist of the birds of Bastrop and Buescher state parks.
The endangered Houston toad finds a great habitat in the seasonally moist, sandy soils of the Lost Pines. The loss of habitat led to a marked decline in numbers of the toad in the past century.
From 1933 to 1935 the state acquired land from the city of Bastrop and undisclosed landowners; after the purchase, the park opened in 1937. The park has continued to add new land over the years and now contains 6,600 acres. Buescher park includes 1,017 acres.
The El Camino Real
People have begun to see the value of the abundant natural resource here: trees. Also, a river crossing means this was most likely a place for early travel and settlement.
El Camino Real, a Spanish travel route, helped greatly in the early colonization of Texas. The park includes parts of the route. Bastrop State Park is incorporated in the El Camino Real de Los Tejas National Historic Trail.
Historians believe Mina, now known as Bastrop, is one of the oldest towns in Texas.
The harvest of the loblolly pines helped greatly in construction in nearby Austin and San Antonio. The timber from Bastrop was exported as far as northern Mexico.
Planning a State Park
The National Park Service, the CCC, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department came together in 1933. They were the driving factor in designing many buildings and facilities in many Texas parks, including Bastrop.
Arthur Fehr, The architect of Bastrop State Park, followed National Park Service design principles. These principles ensured harmony with the surrounding landscape of hills and forests. To help create that harmony, designs used locally sourced materials for construction.
The stone cabins at Bastrop look almost like natural rock outcrops. Designers applied the same, non-intrusive, design elements for dams, culverts, bridges, and fences. These same principals have been applied in parks around the state and nation.
The refectory in Bastrop is a showplace of CCC’s dedication. Cedar, oak, walnut, and pine from to the park and red sandstone quarried nearby the park blend quite well. The result is a stone structure with beautiful craftsmanship and a natural feeling of the park.
National Historic Landmark status was bestowed upon Bastrop State Park in 1997. This was due largely to the memorable work of the CCC. Only seven CCC parks in the nation can claim this title.
Texas State Parks
Visit the Texas State Parks main page to view other state parks.