Explore Hiking to Complete - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hiking to Complete Map

Good hike inside the city. Great for swimming when we get enough rain.

17 days ago

Fire and flood damaged terrain but not unappealing, trails are well marked and maintained and the color-coded paths are easy to follow. Nice mix of surfaces across undulating terrain, suitable for walking or trail running. Not much shade in many parts, we went in October on a clear day but summer would be tough to handle. $8 entry fee at park gate, there is plenty of parking as it doesn’t appear to get too busy.

trail running
23 days ago

Lost pines loop is 4.3 miles. It connects with Scenic Overlook Trail, which is 1.7 miles, for a 6 mile total Loop. Good elevation change for the area, lots of differences in the terrain throughout - even sections of fine sand.

As others have said there is VERY little shade. recommend this for spring/fall. Water is a must if you go in heat of summer. the trees are burnt like matchsticks from previous fires but this is actually somewhat pretty in it's own way and gives an interesting perspective - different from the usual forest. very good educational opportunities as you can see how the forest regrows itself. very nice gazebo at top of trail, catches breeze perfectly and provides welcome shade.

The map of the Buescher State Park trail(s) near Smithville, Texas as it appears on All Trails is no longer entirely accurate. Google Maps shows the trail(s) as they appear on All Trails. Regarding the All Trails map there is a segment in the northwest portion of the loop (once known as Pine Gulch Loop) that no longer exists. The out and back section on the southern end (Winding Woodland Trail) remains the same. There is now a newer segment of trail (Roosevelt’s Cutoff) that forms a smaller loop and a segment of the original loop now forms a second out and back on the north end. What remains of the Pine Gulch Loop is now named Pine Gulch trail. Attempting to follow the old loop in its entirety leads one into a yaupon and brier thicket that is merciless on lower legs unprotected by hiking or running shorts. The problem is that when one gets to the end of Pine Gulch Trail as it now appears to be at Park Road 1C on the current park trail map (follow the link below) one looks across the road and sees signs indicating that the trail continues, and it does but only about 150 yards before it plays out. Pick up a park trail map and follow it. It will appear as does the PDF from the link below.


The southern half of this trail system winds through oak and cedar woods with ups and downs, turns, roots and some not very large rocks and is outstandingly beautiful. This section is easier to follow than the northern section that travels through what was once pine forest that was destroyed in the 2011 Bastrop County complex wildfires. Therefore the out and back section of Pine Gulch Trail travels through this section where the natural beauty of the landscape was destroyed. The trail can still be followed easily enough, and the terrain is flatter here than in the oak/cedar section to the south. However, any hiker or runner will experience pushing knee high to waist high grass and weeds aside with the lower body throughout this section. It is this upper section that causes me to withhold the fifth star.

More sections of trail have reopened so more to see. Trails through the piney sections are beautiful

nice trail along the banks of the river

trail running
2 months ago

Fun trail and well marked. Ran the first three miles during the early morning hours with light trail traffic. For runners, I would recommend trail shoes as some sections were a bit technical (rocks, roots, unstable footing). If you are looking for a trail where you don't need to watch your step, I'd recommend the Lady Bird Trail.

2 months ago

Nice trail, the most strenuous in the park.

The homestead Trail was nearly impossible to find. I went out there once before and couldn't find it at all. I went out there second time with my cell phone that had a GPS map on it, and I almost missed it again. My friend and I walked down it a little bit and it's really overgrown. We turned around after about a half-mile because there was a huge spider webs crossing the trail with a huge spider on it. We figured is that was at the beginning of the trail, where most people probably walked, it was just going to get really primitive later on. The Onion Creek Trail, which we did only that loop instead of doing both loops, was nice but a little boring.

Loved this trail, great views and a couple nice waterfalls at the end of the trail! Plan on going back more often.

my favorite place in Texas <3 great views and easy trails. plenty of places to cool off too.

Easy relaxing walk...would be a great place to go fishing if there were not so many families swimming. The waterfalls were non-existing due to lack of rain. Trail was EASY! Trails were not marked so it was hard to tell which trail you were on. Lots of people. And this was on a Monday afternoon walk.

4 months ago

Nice for a leisurely walk with your pet, decent scenery. Not my favorite of the choices of hiking around Austin, but the falls were nice.

5 months ago

Parking on a Sunday was more of a challenge than the actual hike! It’s next to Barton Springs city pool. Place was jam packed at the pool and their were a lot of people on the trail. The trail leads to mountain climbing areas, small water holes, small observation cliffs. There was a really nice place where a couple found a random lone tree in a pebbled creek and we’re having a picnic. The biggest issues are the bikers on the trail. I passed about 11 of them and only one warned me that they were behind me. The rest were zipping by liked they owned the place. No heads up, no head count if they were in a pack, and going too fast on lose gravel.

The falls were not what I expected the trail were ok. would choose another place to hike at if I had the option

Nice easy hike with good views of the lower and upper waterfalls. Go early to avoid the crowds of people swimming. The paved Onion Creek loop adds some miles but is more like a leisurely walk instead of hiking. Nice wildflowers along the loop.

5 months ago

Fantastic trail. Great for a long backpacking training hike.

Great hike trail went on Mother’s Day

Love to hike on weekends and on climb some bluffs here. It has some pretty nice views and fun sights! Bring bug spray, camera, and sun screen. There are also lots of animals out there!

6 months ago

We did this trail on the same weekend as their yearly trail races which made the trails definitely more trafficked than normal. Great train. Tough rolling hills that will keep you moving. Signage at trail splits weren't totally clear and we got off trail quite a ways without knowing it. There is VERY little shade so be prepared for direct sun for most of the hike. Beautiful trail overall that was a good challenge for myself and my dog. Be sure to bring plenty of water!

fun trail for the family, well marked and cool sights

Nice and relaxing hike. Trail is wide open and clear. Would be perfect for mountain bike riding.

Mild hike, rocky at parts, had to cross in the creek twice. Hill of life was a great end to the trail! Mostly shaded woods, so bring bug spray. Still Texas, so bring sunscreen too!

It was easy and relaxing.

7 months ago

Fun trail! I’d do it again

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