By this weekend, Bastrop State Park visitors will find most facilities and all but a fraction of the Lost Pines parkland open to the public only seven months after a destructive wildfire burned 95 percent of the national landmark.
Reservations currently are being accepted for all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs, and 80 percent of the park trails have been reopened, according to Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park site superintendent.
“Thanks to the extraordinary help of park staff, a host of volunteers and the Texas Department of Transportation road crews, most of the park shows promising signs of a remarkable renaissance,” Dolle says in a state park news release.
“We invite the public to come camp in the cool springtime temperatures, play some golf and enjoy a lakeside picnic.”
Still closed are a small portion of Park Road 1C between Bastrop and Buescher state parks, the primitive campsites, the scout camping area, and the refectory. The refectory, however, is expected to reopen when the reroofing project wraps up at the end of April.
The reopening of the almost 7,000-acre park comes just prior to Bastrop State Park’s 75th anniversary, April 21. An official grand reopening and anniversary celebration will take place this coming Labor Day weekend, the one-year anniversary of the fire.
Tentative plans call for the state park’s swimming pool, which is managed by the YMCA, to open in May.
Since the September wildfire, Bastrop State Park has been struggling to keep up with removal of hazardous trees, cope with hillside erosion caused by higher-than-normal rainfall, rehabilitate campgrounds, and come up with funds to address recovery and restoration efforts.
Donations from the public and private sectors are helping to address some of the financial shortfall.
At the recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting, it was announced that $134,600 in donations had been received recently to benefit the restoration of Bastrop State Park. Among other things, the money will be used to purchase a greenhouse and trail markers, and 20,000 pine seedlings for reforestation inside the park.
To reserve a cabin, refectory, or a campsite in the Piney Hill (full hookups), Copperas Creek (full hookups and sites with water and electricity), Deer Run (water only), or Creekside (water only) campgrounds, call the Customer Service Center in Austin at (512) 389-8900, or go online to the state park website (see below).
Bastrop State Park
Elevation: 374-600 feet
Entrance fee: $4/person
Camping fees: Campsites with water, $12; campsites with water and electric, $20; campsites with electric, water, and sewer, $20
Address: 3005 Hwy 21 East, PO Box 518, Bastrop TX 78602 (Note: Address does not show up in most mapping software)
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
Contact: (512) 321-2101
- Fire-Scorched Texas State Parks Update
- Wildfires Rage across Texas
- Good News from Texas State Parks: Bastrop and Buescher
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