Explore Bastrop County!

Explore Bastrop County

Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort


As the pine and oak forests in Central Texas, Bastrop County embodies the outdoors, with plenty of friendly nature to share in the area affectionately known as The Lost Pines Region.

With an enviable location next to the state capital and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Bastrop County holds on to its rural presence with two beautiful state parks, the Colorado River, Lake Bastrop, three charming historic small towns, and an abundance of family-friendly activities.

Bastrop County is filled with memory-making experiences such as hiking, biking, birding, watersports, boating, kayaking, zip-lining, horseback riding, golfing, self-guided tours, museums, dinosaur trails, and far more such as museums and self-guided tours like film locations and barbecue. Watch the F1 races at Circuit of the Americas or head to the local dirt- and gravel-track races, all while relaxing in the stay of your choice.

Bastrop County has friendly people to help you discover and explore.

Bastrop and Buescher State Parks

Buescher State Park Fishing


The hilly, 6,500-acre Bastrop State Park is filled with towering Loblolly pines and an abundance of wildlife. It has a trail system, and a seasonal pool, and is known for hiking, biking, birding, geocaching, historic cabins, event building, and camping. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/bastrop-state-park/

Over a thousand acres, Buescher State Park, near Smithville, is also home to the pines and oaks of the region and similar wildlife. The park has an extensive trail system, historic cabins, camping, and event building, and a stocked fishing lake with gear on site. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/buescher-state-park-2/

Both parks were built in the 1930s as part of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) program to get men working again after the Great Depression. Every reddish block on buildings and infrastructure was quarried locally by hand – you can see the hand-tooled groove marks.

Park interpreters host free, seasonal guided programs accommodating youth and families.

Both parks are also known for their impressive trail systems, many have been used for running and biking races in the past. Maps are available online. Take a hiking buddy and immerse yourself in the soothing nature of the pines. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/buescher-state-park-trails/

Park Road 1-C is a striking alternative route from Bastrop to Smithville. Drive, bicycle (expert level) or hike the 11-mile winding and hilly roadway between Bastrop and Buescher State Parks to see the towering pines, abundant wildlife, and the tree regrowth in the burn scar from the 2011 wildfire. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/buescher-state-park-trails/

Other Nature Park Activities

Bastrop County is made for birding. Located in the path of major migratory patterns and with an abundance of relaxing forested acres and plenty of water, the feathered travelers love this region. See the Top 10 Birding Hotspots and learn tips for a fulfilling time in nature. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/top-10-public-birding-hotspots/

Your next adventure awaits at McKinney Rough Nature Park. Choose from UTV rides through miles of multiuse trails or raft down the lower Colorado River. You can also horseback ride, mountain bike, or head to the bird viewing area with your picnic lunch. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/lcra-mckinney-roughs-nature-park/

Bastrop County Nature Park is a free-admission, county-owned park along the Colorado River with shaded hiking trails, a picnic area, and a sand bar for easy access to the river. The spot is a take-out for one of the Texas Paddling Trails and swimming is allowed. The second entrance includes a concrete boat ramp. Flat-bottomed boats run best on the river. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/bastrop-county-nature-park/

And More Watersports

Both the slow-moving, and best described as meandering Colorado River and 906-acre Lake Bastrop offer experiences on the water for the entire family, from self-guided to guided. Outfitters, Bastrop River Company, and Rising Phoenix Adventures, can provide watercraft, put you in the water and get you out, and will also guide your group for day and overnight trips with river camping which is an immersive, hands-on way to learn the outdoors. Rising Phoenix also rents bicycles and offers hiking experiences.



Bastrop County Kayak River


Two continuous Texas Paddling Trails intersect the County along the winding Colorado River. The 14-mile Wilbarger starts in Utley and ends in Bastrop, with places for stops along the way. The El Camino Real is a wide, six-mile trail, picking up in Bastrop and ending at the Bastrop County Nature Park’s sandbar area. Though not on a paddling trail, you can continue for another 3-5 hours to reach Smithville. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/bastrop-county-paddling-trails/

Lake Bastrop has both Northshore and Southshore parks with trails connecting the two. You’ll find These family-friendly parks offer watercraft rentals including craft, especially for youth and custom single-person fishing boats, picnic areas, hike and bike trails, a sand volleyball court, a 9-hole putt-putt course, and a camp store for snacks and souvenirs. The lake is stocked with bass, and boats are allowed. Tent camping, glamping, iconic Airstreams, RV amenities, cabins, and campsites are available for overnight stays.



Fishing is also allowed at the 3-acre Buescher State Park and Moby Dick’s Private Pond Fishing, 4.5 acres of fishing paradise containing the entire food chain for the entire family. Drive right up to one of the shaded docks. All fish are catch and release. A state fishing license is not required at Moby Dick’s. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/moby-dicks-private-pond-fishing/



And More Family-Friendly Things To Do

Dino Park


With our Top 10 List of Family Friendly Things To Do, find activities big and small for you and your family. A few of the most popular include the following. https://explorebastropcounty.com/top-10-family-friendly-outdoor-activities-in-bastrop-county/

  • Dinosaur Park Nature Trail where you and your family will be amazed at these dinosaur-sized replicas out in the woods. As you wander on the smooth paths, you’ll spy a dinosaur and read more about it. It’s a hunt through the forest, both entertaining and educational! Afterwards let the kiddoes enjoy the dig pit to hunt for bones or play on the playground while you set out your picnic lunch. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/dinosaur-park/
  • Toads in Town Hunt is perfect for the little ones as you walk your way around downtown Bastrop. They’ll find the cutest little bronze toads and receive a prize after completing the scavenger hunt. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/toads-in-town-hunt/
  • A trip to the region wouldn’t be complete without meeting Guinness World Record Smitty – The World’s Largest Gingerbread Man, who at 20-feet-tall, loves to stand for selfies with people. His cookie sheet is painted like he was frosted – see his holiday Santa hat – and he even has his own Facebook page where you can upload your selfie. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/smitty-guinness-world-record-gingerbread-man/

The Only Dual Zip Line Family Adventure in Texas

Zip Lines Lost Pines

Soar over the forests at Zip Lost Pines where adventure meets natural beauty in the heart of the Lone Star State and offers an unforgettable experience for all ages and abilities. With six diverse, side-by-side ziplines, including options for kids, they ensure thrills for the entire family.

Zip Lost Pines also has scenic hiking trails, flexible event spaces, and refreshments. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/zip-lost-pines/

Family Hiking

Golfing on the Greens

If you prefer the green firmly under your feet, Bastrop County has three challenging golf courses where you can enjoy a round of golf amid scenic surroundings.

  • Lost Pines Golf Club at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort & Spa, formerly known as Wolfdancer, provides an award-winning 18-hole championship golf course and features three different terrains of rolling prairies, wooded ridgelines, and native pecan trees. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/wolfdancer-golf-club/
  • ColoVista Golf Club has two completely different settings with the front nine with traditional wide open fairways contrasting against the rolling back nine, huge elevation changes and its signature Hole No. 15 with the tee overlooking a 200-foot drop off the bluff to the green.
  • Bastrop River Club is a stunning golf course beautifully situated along the picturesque bends of the Colorado River. It’s the perfect blend of timeless tradition and contemporary luxury, offering a sanctuary for passionate golfers and a peaceful retreat for those who crave serenity amidst nature’s beauty. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/pine-forest-golf-club/

Watch the Races and Go-cart

In 2012, the first F1 racetrack in the United States was built in the area. The annual F1 race still occurs at the Circuit of the Americas track as well as other motorsports, live music and more throughout the year. There are even opportunities to bicycle on the track, plus enjoy the Kota Karting for a fun adventure.  Stay in Bastrop County and head the “back way” to the track to avoid the big city traffic in Austin.



For a more personal experience, Cotton Bowl Speedway is a half-mile oval dirt racetrack located in Paige. In addition to stock car racing, the track hosts events like monster truck races, a leg in various race series, and music concerts. The pits are open before the days races to meet the drivers and see the cars. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/cotton-bowl-speedway/

Or Get Behind the “Wheel”

Dubbed “the Mountain Biking and Outdoor Events Capital of Texas,” Rocky Hill Ranch offers over 13 miles of exhilarating single-track experiences for mountain biking, trail running, and hiking enthusiasts alike. Rocky Hill presents a diverse array of trails, from easygoing jeep paths to challenging climbs, tree-lined twists, and exhilarating obstacles like Fat Chuck. Spectators and volunteers are warmly welcomed, with camping and RV sites available. Races are held throughout the year. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/rocky-hill-ranch/

Rally Ready Driving School holds races throughout the year, but the unique aspect of this is the educational thrill of learning how to drive on dirt and gravel tracks at the ranch, which offer a sampling of world-class terrain built for the rally enthusiast. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/rally-ready-driving-school/

Murphys MX has a mix of four dirt-bike-only tracks for the enthusiast and beginner, including a Kid’s Track, a track through the woods and a Night Track. Primitive and tent camping is allowed. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/murphys-mx/

Hiking Bastrop State Park


Self-Guided Tours

Historic Bastrop Bridge


Take a look at beautiful and diverse Bastrop County with our self-guided tours. You can stand where famous people did during filming ‘Hope Floats, eat your way around the county with must-try savory barbecue, or head to history with the making of our charming communities in the 1800’s.




Historic Museums Find Their Niche

Enjoy the rich history in Bastrop County as featured by our 10 historical museums, including a Halloween Park and a Dinosaur Park nature trail! And in addition to the wonderful museums located below, we have compiled several notable sites worthy of attention for our heritage tourists, and a list of resource organizations in Bastrop County. Download a Museums Guide and check out the sites of our partner museums. Happy history travels! https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings/tour-of-bastrop-county-museums/

Walk, Shop and Dine our Three Historic Downtowns

Elgin Western Days

Spend some time exploring the historic downtown areas of Bastrop, Elgin and Smithville, Texas. You’ll find charming shops, delicious dining, and historic buildings in these walkable areas along with beautiful murals and friendly people. It’s lovely to take a leisurely stroll in town or along Bastrop’s half-mile Riverwalk along the Colorado River.




Texas Foods

Bastrop County has a growing, mouth-watering culinary scene. Experience the dishes at the local restaurants to savor Texan and Southern cuisine, along with so many other delicious varieties. https://explorebastropcounty.com/listings_category/dining/

The Art Expression

The Lost Pines inspire and have attracted many artists to the area. Explore the local up-and-coming art scene by visiting art galleries and studios where you’ll come across some unique pieces created by local artists and special curated shows. Some of our favorites include:

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