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

Section still closed. Still a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Had good time with some challenges. Reunited 2 dogs with their owners. Trail had some hills. Walked thru meadows & small streams. Part of trail was still closed but plenty to still explore. Look out for the small rock structures off the path that people have built.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Very pleasant trail. Perfect length for our walk today. Lots of recently burned areas with no underbrush and charred trees. Should mention that half of the trails are closed.

mountain biking
Sunday, January 22, 2017

It was great except for the fact that half of the trail is closed for repairs.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Hiked the blue trail out and back late Saturday. Beautiful scenery. 3.2 miles out and back. Very hot and humid. Take plenty water. The entire park is very nice and was not crowded for holiday weekend.

Trail was great in spite of recent rains. A little muddy and some small run offs to cross in places. Will definitely do this one again!

Great trail and workout. A lot of down pine trees due to pine beetles. My map my walk measured 4.6 miles and the provided park map stated 3.6. There is enough shade, sun and breeze to make it enjoyable.

mountain biking
Friday, August 30, 2013

Nice trail system. Parts of the trails have been re-worked. The trail now routes through the woods rather than down the pipeline which is nice. New bridges have been built over sections of the dry creek drops making it easier to get through. Additional trails have been added as part of the transition of the trails into hike and "bike" trails. Mountain bikes are now welcomed. Be mindful of falling limbs and trees since the area has a lot of dead trees from pine beetles and the drought.

We completed the full 7.7 miles. This hike does not provide any scenic views but does provide tranquility. Be aware - there is a lot of tree stumps from new reworking of the trails and also tree roots throughout.

This hike was a nice leisure hike for the hot Texas summer. The trees provided a nice canopy.

Simple Hike, nice and shady for this hot summer.

A fairly simple hike that includes a pine forest and greenway/prairie that follows a natural gas pipeline.

Another note: the trail is not 12 miles. As stated by the designated trailhead signage, the trail is 7.7 miles round trip. Well established, easy trail with a few small hills. Due to the drought, the park rangers appear to be taking an active role in removing hazards of dead falling or felled trees. There is a green belt at about .3 miles in that serves as a natural gas pipeline route. Great place for a jog.

Just a note. There are currently no trails in the park for mountain biking. The trails are hiking only. And i agree with the op, the trails are what i would consider easy to moderate. Very nive enjoyable trail system.

Fairly scenic, would be better in spring/fall. When I went it was 100+ degrees and dry so the vegetation was mostly dried out (there has been a serious drought in Texas). Not a difficult hike as far as elevation change. I thought it was easy to moderate at best. Trails are well defined.

The trails are clearly marked. No bikes allowed. Wonderful hike with nice ups and downs.

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