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Lovely in a desolate, eerie way

A forest of dead trees on the Purple Trail
A forest of dead trees on the Purple Trail
Lots of dead pines, plus some living oaks and an exuberantly fruitful yaupon on the Purple Trail on the east side of the park.
User: plectrudis - 12/30/2015

Location: Bastrop State Park - Lost Pines Trail

Rating:
Difficulty:  Solitude:
Miles Hiked: 6.50 Miles  Elapsed Time: N/A

Comments:

I hiked the outer loop of Bastrop State Park's trails today. You wouldn't so much say that the fire damage was still visible as that it remains the dominating feature of the park. There are dead trees everywhere--standing and fallen. In some areas, it's a forest of bare, whitened trunks. 

The Red Trail weaves through the floor of a large ravine or small valley, crossing a small rust-colored stream repeatedly, and the whole thing feels strangely unearthly or primeval.

But there are signs of recovery. Grasses have moved in to take advantage of all the newly available sunlight, as have yaupons and povertyweed. Post oaks and blackjack oaks, coppiced by the fire, have put out thickets of new sprouts. And pine saplings are growing in, if a little hesitantly and unevenly. Most are 5 feet or smaller, but in some favored spots there were small groves that were 10 or 12 feet tall.  It's worth visiting just to see how the forest repairs itself.

The hike was a nice blend of valley and ridgetop ecosystems, and it provided some comfortable flat areas, with a little variety provided by some not-too-terribly-taxing hills.

Side note: the park's Copperas Creek camping area has the nicest restrooms I've ever seen in a state or national park in my entire life.



Log Photos:
Arrestingly primitive-looking CCC-built overlook
Arrestingly primitive-looking CCC-built overlook
New bridge & winter grasses
New bridge & winter grasses
A forest of dead trees on the Purple Trail
A forest of dead trees on the Purple Trail

Area around Bastrop State Park - Lost Pines Trail

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