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By livetofish
#1389109
We camped/RVed out for Thanksgiving at Lost Maples. The colors were amazing. Not a whole lot of water in the streams but enough to keep things interesting. The family did both the East Trail and the West Trail (did not do the west loop). Weather gods blessed us with complete cooperation for entire trip with 60 deg. days and 40 deg. nights.

On rest days between the hikes, we did side trips to Medina and Garner SP. The apple store in Medina had one fresh apple pie left and of course, we picked it up. A real bargain at $22. A fresh pie from freshly picked apples is a whole world different from store pies. They had great apple pie spice ice cream too.

Second rest day saw us at Garner SP. The kids and dogs had a blast playing in water below the dam.

Some pictures below. More at this link - http://picasaweb.google.com/chron999x/LostMaplesPhotos?authkey=Gv1sRgCPC9s4TGjPfbzwE#slideshow/5410338711814197074

Location of Lost Maples SNA. There is a bug in Google Maps. When you click on the map, it will bring up text either in Mandarin or Arabic or some strange language. So consider warned. Please do not flame me.
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Maples starting to turn color
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Maples that had already turned colors along the maple trail
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The small (30 spaces ONLY) campground at the SNA. Reserve your spot no later than 4th of July
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Colors along the East Loop Trail
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Only the mid-day sun really gets into the canyons. Keeps it cool enough for the maples but can get chilly quick
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American Sycamore leaves have this beautiful tapestry
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Ponds where the east trail and west trail meet. There is a primitive campground next to the water.
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The East trail climbs 2100ft. Not much with just a water bottle but enough to challenge you and the kids. Hikers go up to get to the campground on top of the ridge.
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we had one frosty morning and it called for an early morning walk.
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Cypress trees in the Frio river at Garner SP. The road from Vanderpool to Uvalde would be a fun ride on a bike.
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My yorkie and the mutt hanging out in the mid-day sun
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Saw some flyfishers by this pool. I think they were trying to catch the LMB (large mouth bass) that where quite visible in clear water
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Closing colors
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#1389208
With all the views that have seen this topic, I can't believe there aren't more comments on this post. The photos are great. In fact, later on, when I leave TKF, I'm going to check out Lost Maples on the internet.
By kingfish
#1389245
I'm jealous. We used to go there a lot when my sons were teen agers and later when they were in college. That was too long ago, and haven't been there in a few years. Those pics are beautiful and looked nicely familiar. We used to tent camp in the small camping area and do lots of hiking. Sometimes we could hear "poorwills" calling from the darkened hillsides at night and be awakened by the call of great horned owls in the early mornings. A wonderful place and great report. I agree that you need to reserve early, especially on long weekends. In the 70's and early 80's we just drove out there, signed in and put up our tents. Foxfire Cabins nearby manage a lot of cabins, houses and rental spaces along the Sabinal Canyon area and that is always a great option, but you still have to reserve early. There is probably not a better bike ride in Texas than the ride from Vanderpool to Leakey.


Thanks for posting the great report and pics.

Kingfish
By monaville
#1389273
we had reservations for lost maples in Oct. and had to cancel. after seeing the pictures I should have made the trip happen. Very nice pics and I will have to go next year during the color fest.
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By livetofish
#1389345
mackerel wrote:I was there for Thanksgiving this year also. Beautiful park. I had my fly rod with me but did not catch anything. What campsite were you in?


#7.

Were you the guy walking up the east trail with fly rod and I asked what kind of flies do you use? The response was small hoppers and something small like that.

Here is my rig

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#1403438
The biggest bass I have ever caught was caught in the Sabinal just outside Lost Maples. Right at ten lb!!! He hammered a sunfish on my line and ripped it off. 20 minutes later I snuck back up on him and he hit the rooster tail. So big he could not even fight much. Very pretty area indeed!
#1406042
Nice pictures! IMHO, there is one key to Lost Maples and the color - Mother Nature. Getting everything to align for great fall color can be hit or miss. For anyone considering going next year, I'd recommend checking out the park's webpage and click on some of the past fall foliage reports to get an idea of what you might expect. A man takes pictures of the park starting generally in October and posts an update every Wednesday through the fall season. You can see how the color is progressing and what areas are changing first. Not all years are equal. Here are a couple of pictures that I took Nov 3, 2009 and same day 2008. Big difference.

The entrance Nov 3, 2009

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and Nov 3 2008

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In camping area 2009

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And in 2008

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LMSNA was my first destination for Texas camping in mid-November, '05 I think and the subject of my first new thread on the board. Dang it got cold! and apparently either I had missed the color or it just wasn't very good that year. I hit the jackpot in 2008 but as you can see not so much this year. I do believe the color got better a little later but not quite like 2008.

Regardless, the park is great, has some great hiking trails and the camping area is small (about 30 sites I think) but with enough space that you're not on top of your neighbor. I camped at S Llano River State Park in 08 because I wanted to camp there and on 09 because I was too late to get a spot at LM. Worked out just as well since I ended up staying at SL for a week anyway. And there are several other parks nearby and makes a trip to LM a nice day trip. From S Llano is was about 90 miles and quite the scenic drive!

If state parks aren't your thing, as mentioned previously there are plenty of cabins nearby and not that pricey. A group of girlfriends stayed in one in mid-late October. I remember my swimming friend from Austin and I took a dip in the Frio - I think it was a wee bit colder than Barton Springs!

Just get out and do it!

GG
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