State parks are a big part of what makes Texas a great state to tour in your recreational vehicle. From the wetlands and beaches of the Gulf Coast to hill country swimming holes to the breathtaking beauty of Big Bend, state parks are a vital part of Texas. State parks are great places to hike, bike, camp, fish, boat, canoe, bird watch, photograph, and swim.
Bastrop State Park
At Bastrop State Park, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has budgeted over $3.3 million dollars to replace deteriorating galvanized plumbing in six of the historic cabins, replacement of electrical systems in the recreation hall and general improvements at the golf pro shop, all structures built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) more than 60 years ago.
Bastrop is one of 31 state parks in Texas that was constructed by the CCC and one of only five recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
Bastrop State Park is 5,926 total acres; approximately 30 miles southeast of Austin in Bastrop County. The park was acquired by deeds from the city of Bastrop and private owners from 1933 to 1935; the park opened in 1937.
The park is home to the famous “Lost Pines,” an isolated timbered region of loblolly pine and hardwoods. This 70-square-mile forest of loblolly pines is the state’s most westerly stand of these trees. These woods are called “lost” because they’re separated from the main mass of East Texas loblolly pines by about 100 miles.
Some portions of Bastrop State Park are currently closed for construction. Six of the park’s 13 rustic cabins and roughly 10 of the park’s 78 campsites are being retrofitted.
Additional construction to include re-paving of all roadways and re-roofing of all cabins and refectory will cause closures during 2011.
In addition, the park’s iconic dining hall, built by the CCC of native sandstone and timber, will undergo a modernization of its outdated electrical system.
Wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) is available is available in some areas of the park for visitors to use. Please check with the park for details.
Buescher State Park
Just down the road, Buescher State Park’s popular recreation hall, also built by the CCC, is undergoing $913,000 in renovations, including the stabilization of the structure and the expansion of the restrooms. It is currently closed for construction.
The four screen shelters of Buescher State Park are adjacent to the Recreation Hall and may be affected by the construction, causing closures to these facilities.
Friends of the Lost Pines State Parks
The Friends of the Lost Pines State Parks assists in the promotion, interpretation, and operation of Bastrop and Buescher State Parks. As a fund raising and service group, the goal of the friends is to help in the overall operation of the park through sponsoring events, helping fund projects and raising the awareness of Bastrop and Buescher State Parks as an asset to the community and surrounding areas.
Entrance fee: $4/person
Camping fees: Campsites with water, $12; campsites with water and electric, $20; campsites with electric, water, and sewer, $20
Directions: 1 mile east of Bastrop on Texas 21, also accessible from the east on Texas 71 or by way of Buescher State Park along Park Road 1
Address: PO Box 518, Bastrop, TX 78602-0518
Contact: (512) 321-2101
Elevation: 324 feet
Entrance fee: $4/person
Camping fees: Campsites with water, $12; campsites with water and electric, $15-17
Directions: 2 miles northwest of Smithville on State Highway 71 to FM 153, then north on 153 for .5 mile to enter Park Road 1
Address: PO Box 75, Smithville TX 78957-0075
Contact: (512) 237-2241
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