“Scenic” is the word that comes to mind when describing Buescher State Park, which is known primarily for charming country drives, winding bike rides, and day hiking through Central Texas’ Lost Pines Forest.
Only 12 miles from the larger and more well-known Bastrop State Park, visitors often enjoy both parks on the same trip, making a drive or ride along Park Road 1C (which connects Buescher and Bastrop) a focal point of their experience.
Less than an hour southeast of Austin, Buescher’s eight miles of trails, stocked lake for fishing and canoeing, and challenging ride for road bikers, makes it ideal for a day trip or an easy overnight.
Buescher’s single trail is a 7.7-mile loop, enjoyed by walkers, hikers and trail runners, that provides a pretty overview of the piney woods. Mild elevation change on the trail means that even inexperienced hikers can take on this day hike with little difficulty.
For runners, Buescher is a great place to get in longer training runs on the trail. Plenty of shade, a looped route, and a great mix of solitude and safety make it ideal when training for an upcoming trail race.
Leave the mountain bikes at home for this outing, which offers a fully paved ride for cyclists looking to spend some time in the saddle of their road bikes.
The 12 miles of road that connect Buescher with neighboring Bastrop State Park are known unofficially as the “roller coaster” portion of the annual MS 150 ride from Houston to Austin. The hills make for a challenging ride frequented by serious and casual cyclists alike.
The park cautions beginners that the ride may be beyond their ability level.
The 30-acre lake at Buescher is idyllic for kayaking and canoeing. The state park has both available for rent or visitors are welcome to bring their own. Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the water, and fishing is popular in the stocked lake.
While the lake is beloved as a “hidden gem” for fishing and small watercraft, it is not available for swimming. Leave the bathing suit at home next to the mountain bike, and enjoy some of the alternative activities at Buescher.