Vanderpool  Population- 20  Altitude 1,610


Lost Maples State park near VanderpoolTown received its name from early settler L. B. Vanderpool, when a post office was granted in 1885.  On the Sabinal River in exceptionally scenic Hill Country of western Bandera County.  Largely utilized for sheep, goat and cattle ranching, the area is a favorite of deer hunters during season, and year round gateway to popular Lost Maples State Natural Area.

Lost Maples State Natural Area -

While they aren't really "lost", the bigtooth maples for which the park is named are very selective in their habitat.  Widely scattered over several western states and northern Mexico, this maple thrives only in small, protected pockets in mountainous regions where temperature and humidity are moderated, where moisture is retained, and solar radiation is minimal.  Because of their shallow roots, the trees are susceptible to damage by soil compaction and visitors are cautioned to stay on prescribed paths to ensure continued vigor of the maple stands.  Fall color is usually at its peak in early November.

Note: Usually the park is crowded in autumn when fall foliage reaches its peak; it is recommended to see scenery during weekdays.  Reservations are needed at this time of year for overnight stays.   Also, nature sometimes plays tricks and autumn colors don't always attain their usual brilliance.

For information, call 830/ 966-3413.  For reservations, call 512/ 389-8900.

Other vegetation in the scenic Hill Country park includes more than 90 plant families with some 350 species recorded.  Bird life is abundant, including the rare golden-cheeked warbler.  Of many mammal species in the park, native white tailed deer are most numerous.

Park facilities include campsites with water and electricity, picnic areas, rest rooms, showers, and primitive camp areas reached by 11 miles of hiking and backpacking trails.

Three trees are State Champion Big Trees - an escarpment chokeberry, a Texas ash, and a Bigtooth maple.  The chokeberry and Texas ash have been nominated to the American Forestry Association Big Tree program for consideration as national champs.  The park is four miles north on R. M. 187.  Admission.

Scenic Hill Country ViewScenic Drives - 

F.M. 187 north of Vanderpool climbs to the surface of the Edward's Plateau (2,300 ft.) as it joins Texas 39.  Sinkholes, porous basins that feed rainwater into the deep Edward's Aquifer, abundantly dot the Hill Country.  A textbook example lies immediately at the west edge of F.M. 187 exactly 8.9 miles north of Lost Maples State park.


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