Enjoy Kuma’s Korner – A regular travel blogger on houstonpettalk.com!
Lost Maples State Park
Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith
Although known for fall color, Lost Maples State Park is a super fun place to explore any time. I know because my family and I recently visited. Lost Maples is located five miles north of Vanderpool on Ranch Road 187 in Hill Country. Once again, we stayed at the Kerrville LaQuinta, which is pet friendly. I love those peeps! The drive from Kerrville to Lost Maples is roughly an hour, depending on the route you select.
The entrance fee is $6 per human; doggies are free! March through May are busy times, but nothing like October and November, from what we are told. Apparently, during the peak of the fall color, cars are turned away by as early as 11:00 in the morning. Plan accordingly. By the way, Lost Maples government website has a color report during those times of year so you can visit at just the right time.
Our goal was plain and simple: adventure, baby! We opted for the long route; it basically loops around the entire park. The day was cloudy and some cool rain actually spit on us. Most awesome, temps were mild. If you happen to go on a bright, sunny, hot day, bring lots of water or, minimally, a water filter. The pond, as they call it, has water available for filtering.
We started off on the West trail, and it eventually goes up a steep incline. Now I’m a Colorado dog, so I wasn’t intimidated one bit. In fact, I noticed ya’all have a lot more air down here in Texas—yehaw! Anyway, this direction provides some man-made steps, which are easier to climb up. I’d suggest you head that direction. We stopped to look at Monkey Rock. You’d have to take a short vista trail off the main one to view it. Personally, I thought it was kinda creepy! I didn’t like this big ol’ monkey dude staring at me.
More hiking from that point with very pretty rocks and trees. When we got to the top plateau, the fog was too dense for us to see much, but some gorgeous plants had purple flowers—my mom just loves the color purple. We took pictures and enjoyed the vast open space. The trail flattens out for a while before heading back down. What goes up must go down!
The West trail connects to the East trail at the pond. Here, you can actually head out to a parking lot and shorten your hike. Not us. No way! We took a quick break for lunch, then back on the trail again for us. The pond has facilities for humans to use, and that always makes my mom a happy camper. Speaking of camping (weren’t we?), the park has lots of sites available. The trail lends itself well to hiking part way and camping for a night.
Onward we went on the East trail. It starts off flat but heads back up the plateau. This direction doesn’t have steps, so it was a bit tricky. However, this side isn’t as steep or long. No problem for a Shiba dog like me, but we saw some tuckered out Boy Scouts. Of course, they had heavy packs on their backs. Me—I go freestyle!
The trail brought us back down, but we had to walk along a road for a spell to find our car. All good from my perspective; I got to say hi to my kind. The entire loop is just over seven miles. The lady at the visitor’s center told us to allow five hours; we did it, including lunch, in three and half. Whatever your pace, Lost Maples has much to offer. Be prepared to cross some creeks and have a grand time! See you on the trail.
Kumaito (Kuma for short) is a multi-tan Shiba Inu, an ancient breed from Japan, who moved from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Friendswood, Texas. He enjoys running almost every day with his mom, chasing squirrels out of his yard, playing with toys, pestering his brother Edmond, eating, napping . . . well, Kuma loves about everything and everyone! His mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, was kind enough to help him tell his story. She is the author of seven published books, writes for magazines on assignment, has been seen on national television, and inspires people to live healthy, balanced lives through KUMA’S personal training, life coaching, and workshops. You can reach Kuma through Lorraine’s website: www.thetotalyou.biz. Be sure to visit Kuma Dog’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl
You never know what he’ll be up to next!