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Exploring winding trails at Buescher State Park

Buescher State Park offers opportunities to hike, bike, swim, and fish in Central Texas’ Lost Pines forest.


The drive through Buescher State Park is dotted with overlooks featuring vistas of Central Texas.

Photo by ATXtoday

Although it’s similar in landscape, smaller, and receives less than half of the yearly visitors than its sibling Bastrop State Park, Buescher State Park is much more than just a little brother.

The Bastrop County park is frequented by cyclists and hikers alike for its peaceful, winding trails and unique nature. We recently spent a morning at Buescher as part of our mission to commemorate Texas State Parks’ 100 year anniversary — here’s what we learned.


318. That’s how many acres of land Emil and Elizabeth Buescher donated to the state in the early 1900s. Then, after Emil died, his heirs donated 318 more.

After swapping land a bit with the City of Smithville and the University of Texas, which operates a cancer research center adjacent to the park, Buescher State Park now encompasses 1,016 acres.

The park was built by Civilian Conservation Corps companies who also worked on Bastrop State Park, just down the road. The two parks are connected through a scenic road, making them perfect for back-to-back visits — read our guide to Bastrop State Park here.


City Editor London took her dog on a pleasant, four-mile hike through Buescher State Park.

Photo by ATXtoday

What to see

Buescher State Park is part of the Lost Pines forest, the westernmost stand of loblolly pines in the US. Get lost on the park’s hiking trails and long, winding roads, and you’ll feel like you’re far from Texas.

The entrance to the park also leads into a 30-acre lake surrounded by campgrounds and picnic tables.

What to do

Our No. 1 suggestion: take a hike.

Reader Gary P. also suggests hitting the beautiful trails, seeing the fish pond, and renting a cabin.

Visitors can also:

  • Bike — all trails are open for mountain biking, and scenic, 12-mile Park Road 1C is common route for cycling groups
  • Fish
  • Swim
  • Camp, starting at $15 per night
  • Picnic

Make a reservation to visit Buescher State Park.