Hill Country

Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

I personally don’t think that it’s much of a secret that down here in the great state of Texas (or the Best State Ever if you talk to most Texans), that when it comes to seasons we generally just have two- summer and summer. So when I see all of my blogger friends post these beautiful pictures of all the leaves changing from yellow to orange to red to maroon, I have to admit that I get a little bit jealous. Ok, I get a lot jealous!

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

We’ve been keeping it in the 80’s for most of the month of November, and when December finally rolls around, most of the time it gets just cold enough for all of the leaves to turn brown and die, which means that we miss the beautiful part of fall, all of the changing of the colors. Now there are plenty of options to see fall colors in other states, but sometimes you just want to spend the time and explore a little bit of your own backyard, which is why I’m going to tell you about my favorite place to see fall colors in Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area.

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

Located just 5 hours west of Houston (2 hours from San Antonio, 3 hours from Austin, and 5.5 hours from Dallas) in the heart of the Texas Hill Country is the small town of Vanderpool, Texas, which is home to Lost Maples State Natural Area. The Lost Maples State Natural Area protects a special strand of the Uvalde Big Tooth Maple. The park is literally filled with thousands of trees, so you can imagine how beautiful it is when they all start to change colors!

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

People literally flock from all over Texas during the months of October and November, depending on how cold the year has been, in order to see fall finally come to Texas. While the park is beautiful year round and offers a wide range of activities, from hiking to camping to fishing, the main draw to the area is for the beautiful fall colors!

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

With the color change happening at such a specific time of the year, it’s very important to plan your days in the park to avoid the huge crowds as much as possible. It’s literally like Disney World on a busy day, they will close the park if there are too many people inside and there’s no parking available, sometimes as early as 11:00 AM. In order to maximize our time in the park and beat the crowds, we generally will pack some sandwiches for lunch and try to get to the park around 10:00 in the morning. Sometimes that doesn’t always happen, but the earlier you can get into the park the better!

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

Obviously, everybody wants to see the fall colors once they’re in the park, and the best way to do that is by going on a hike! There are multiple hikes throughout the park that range in difficulty, so pretty much there’s a hike for everybody! When we go with my in laws, we have young kids, teenagers, and adults in our group, and generally the Maple Leaf trail is the perfect one for us. It allows us to take our time hiking, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and still get a little bit of exercise!

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

Another thing to consider with so many people visiting the area in such a short amount of time is the importance of reserving your cabin or campsite as early as possible. My in laws have made their trip to Lost Maples an annual trip, and before they leave during the current year they reserve their cabin at Foxfire Cabins for the next year. You’re allowed to make reservations a year in advance, and if you don’t reserve your cabin, you’d better believe that they’ll be sold out. I think that the campsites in the park work the same way.

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

So now that I’ve convinced you that you need a trip out to Lost Maples, here’s a quick recap of what you need to know before you go:

  • Cost- The cost to get into the park is $6/adult and children 12 and under are free. You can also get in for free with a Texas State Park Pass for $70.
  • Plan your day around the crowds- Arrive early to the park to avoid being locked out of the park. Also the hiking trails won’t be as crowded the earlier in the day that you go.
  • Go on a hike- The maple leaves are all throughout Lost Maples, and the best way to see them is by hiking! Plus no two trees are ever the same, so you need to see as many as possible!
  • Pack your lunch- There are plenty of picnic tables all over the park, and what better way to enjoy the fall foliage even more than with a picnic lunch! Also, you don’t want to feel rushed out of the park because you’re hungry, so bring your lunch with you!
  • Reserve your cabin or campsite as early as possible- Most cabins and campsites will sell out as early as a year in advance. Start planning your trip to Lost Maples for next year right now so you’ll have a place to stay!
  • Take it all in- It’s easy to get caught up in and stressed out about the hustle and bustle during this time of the year, especially with the holidays approaching, so sometimes it’s best to just take a look around and soak up as much beauty as possible!
The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area
So this last picture isn’t from Lost Maples, it’s from Garner State Park just a few miles away!

And just like that, I’m missing Lost Maples even more than usual! We’ve missed the annual trip the past few years because of weddings and other plans, but you’d better believe that we’ll be going next year! I’m just glad that I got to see some Fall Foliage this year while we were in Napa! I’m linking up with these Wanderful Women from some Wanderful Wednesday- Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World!

The Wandering Weekenders- Where To Find Fall In Texas- Lost Maples State Natural Area

Have you been able to enjoy the Fall Foliage so far this year? Is there a State Park or State Natural Area near you that you want explore? 

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Where to find Fall in Texas- Tips for visiting Lost Maples State Natural Area of Texas to see the Fall Foliage in October and November.

A Fourth Of July Weekend In The Country

Happy Tuesday everybody! I hope that everyone had a safe and fun weekend celebrating the birth of our beautiful country! We spent the weekend in the hill country with my parents, and we didn’t really do a whole lot, but you know what, that’s exactly what we needed after a very busy June! Here’s our weekend broken down by numbers, so I can link up with the always amazing Biana!

The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country

534- Miles driven
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country500- Pieces of puzzle that were put together
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country1- Stops at Bucees, it is a Texas tradition
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country2- Trips into town to get things we forgot at the Mercantile
20- People in front of us at the Mercantile (most people ever)
1- Amazing pecan pies eaten
2- Games of spades that we won against Chris’s brother and his wife
3- Mornings I didn’t sleep in and woke and walked with my mom instead
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country4- Miles walked every morning
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country12- Miles walked this weekend
2- Movies watched this weekend and Dirty Grandpa was the best one
1- Book completed, Eligible for my book club
1- Book started for Erin’s reading challenge
2- Jack rabbits spotted
5- Deer spotted, they were very scarce this weekend
4- Tires changed on the trailer so it could leave Leakey
3- Makeup free and hair not did days
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country10- Finger nails painted to be patriotic
100- Temperature it felt like all weekend
3- Naps slept that were glorious
2- Hour windows that I could actually log in and check social media because there were so many people in the park
0- Fireworks popped or watched
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country1- Dart dog that got lots of love and attention this weekend and was totally exhausted
3- Days that were totally lazy, relaxing, and perfect for celebrating our nations birthday!
The Wandering Weekenders- A Fourth of July Weekend In The Country

It might not seem very thrilling, but a weekend in the country always seems to center me and get me ready to conqueror the upcoming week, especially since quarter starts this week! Have a great start to your short week everybody!

P.S. I’m guest posting on Evelina’s blog today, and I’m talking all about my dream destination! You should check it out!

Father’s Day Weekend In The Country

Happy Monday and kick off of a short week for me! We’re headed on another weekend trip this week, and we’re actually taking off on Thursday which I’m very excited about! But anyways, I’m linking up with Biana to talk all about our weekend in the country to celebrate my dad and Chris’s 30th birthday!

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

Friday

It was actually really perfect timing, Friday they started the upgrade of our accounting system at 4:00 in the afternoon, so my boss let us all leave a little early that afternoon, which meant that we got an early start on the road. We were left so early that it was pretty much light out the whole time we were driving and got to Leakey about an hour and a half earlier than usual.

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

After we got the car unloaded we spent the rest of the night talking with my parents and drinking wine. It’s been 3 months since we’ve been to Leakey and it felt so good to be back!

Saturday

My mom and I decided to wake up bright and early on Saturday and went walking for about an hour. It was early enough that it wasn’t too hot for walking, and we had a great time talking about anything and everything.

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

On our walk, I couldn’t help but notice that there were still quite a few wildflowers around and a ton of butterflies flying between them. This summer there’s been some pretty devastating flooding in Texas, but it’s nice to see how the rain positively effects some other areas in Texas as well.

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

After our walk, we had a big breakfast and then spent the rest of the day just chilling outside. I got a lot of reading done and managed to finish up You this weekend, which I loved!

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

Chris had brought quite a few movies with us for the weekend, and we managed to watch Deadpool and 13 Hours on Saturday. Both movies were very good for vey different reasons. Deadpool was hilarious, and I feel like I’ll need to watch it a few more times to understand all the jokes since the talking was so fast. 13 Hours was a very sobering movie about what happened in Benghazi on 9/11/12. It really made me wonder about how they could hate us that much, and how no other Americans actually did anything to help out the Americans in Benghazi were under arrack and desperately needed their help. It just literally blew my mind. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a really good movie and definitely worth a watch.

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

We ended Saturday night with another delicious Leakey dinner to celebrate Chris and my dad. My dad grilled quail and steaks, and we ended the night with Chris’s favorite dessert, apple pie.

Sunday

Because we stayed up so late Saturday night watching 13 Hours, my mom and I decided to not wake up early for a walk, which resulted in all of us sleeping in until 10:00! I haven’t done that in forever, and it felt so good! We spent the rest of our time in Leakey just relaxing with my parents before we packed up the car to head home.

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

Poor Chris had to make the 5 hour drive back to Houston on his birthday, but I think that he didn’t mind since he had leftover apple pie for dessert, and an awesome episode of Game of Thrones to watch as well! It really was a great weekend in the country, and I can’t wait to be back for the Fourth of July! I hope that y’all had a great weekend too!

The Wandering Weekenders- Father's Day Weekend In The Country

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