Bastrop State Park is one of the more unique parks in Texas. Texas has a staggering array of different landscapes available, and the Pine trees near Bastrop illustrate this diversity well. Situated right in central Texas, Lost Pines State Park showcases 6,000 acres of pine trees. Pine trees are not indegineous to Central Texas, and it is unknown how this large Pine population established itself in an area so remote from the pine trees found in East Texas.
You don't have to understand why they are there to appreciate the nice oasis the trees give their visitors every year. Tall pines surrounding miles and miles of scenic drives and hiking trails make Bastrop State Park a wonderful place to visit. Native plants in central Texas often don't offer much in the way of shade or cool. Hiking at Lost Pines is a wonderful experience as a short drive from Austin can give you a completely new experience. During the cooler spring and autum months, visiting the park feels like a trip to the mountains.
During the dead of summer, you still have to deal with the heat and humidity of Central Texas, but at least the pine trees offer shade. In addition to hiking and driving around the park, cycling is also very enjoyable. Many paved roads exist for road riders, with a few light hills. Traffic in the park can be somewhat heavy depending on the time of year; however, drivers are usually courteous and pass carefully. Cycling is generally limited to the paved roads - hiking trails are limited to foot traffic with mountain bikes off-limits. There are many fishing locations in the area, including Lost Pines Lake located inside the park.
The state park in Bastrop is not the only show in town; there is also the nearby Buescher State Park and Lake Bastrop, both separate from Bastrop State Park.
Campsites are avaialble with water and restroom/shower facilities. Also unique for state parks are cabins that can be rented. The cabins can hold 6 people and feature a kitchen and, here's the best part, air conditioning! Reservations for both campsites and cabins can be made online at the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.
At the entrance to the park is a large (60' x 100') swimming pool next to the park gift shop.
The park is located east of Austin; take highway 71 east to Bastrop. Turn left onto loop 150. Loop 150 intersects Highway 21 - the park entrance is at this intersection.