375 Riverside Drive, Bastrop, TX
The Lost Pines Nature Trails Project is a multi-phase project to develop recreational biking and walking trails on a 30 acre tract of land along the Lower Colorado River, adjoining and connecting 60 acres known as the Pines & Prairies Land Trust (PPLT) Colorado River Refuge. This project will initiate restoration of the wetland and riparian habitats, will restore the existing trails, and continue developing ADA accessible trails on the property. Once completed, the two projects will encompass nearly 90 acres of towering riparian forest land, wetlands, springs, majestic bald cypress, pecan trees, and unusual geological outcroppings along three miles of serene river frontage. Developing new recreational hike, bike and ADA trails will help reverse existing damage from flooding, erosion, and misuse. This segment of land will provide multiple opportunities for locals and the traveling public to enjoy nature, tourism, recreation, and education.
As of April 2009 more than $100,000 has been spent on the project installing signage, cable and bollard fencing, improving the entrance trail with road-base, and installing 0.5 miles of handicapped accessible hiking and biking trails that connect with the Colorado River Reserve. Local materials and labor have been used where possible. We are grateful to the BCWCID#2 maintenance crew for their great work spreading road-base and installing the cable and bollard fencing. Talon Trails of Austin installed the handicapped accessible trails with help from local laborers. We are also grateful for the many hours of volunteer service provided by Dale Morrison in laying out and clearing the trails, to Rising Phoenix Adventure’ crews who haul trash and mow, and to John Minnis for installing trash cans and making other improvements at the site. Eagle Scout Aidan Branch and Troop 88 did a great job installing a trail connecting the upper and lower trails on the site. Please come visit the site. Driving directions.
WETLANDS INSTALLATION GRANT AWARDED FOR HABITAT RESTORATION
A joint project with the US Fish & Wildlife Service
Environmental Stewardship and the Pines & Prairies Land Trust (PPLT) are working jointly with the Bastrop County Water Control and Improvement District No. 2 (BCWCID#2), US Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Lower Colorado River Authority to construct wetlands on the Lost Pines Nature Trails portion of the property. By diverting water from a storm culvert on the Colorado River Refuge, the project will result in about 3 acres of wetlands in an area that has been a gravel borrow pit and more recently a 4-wheeler muding area.
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) recently awarded a $25,000 Community Development Partnership Program grant to Pines & Prairies who will administer the grant for PPLT and BCWCID#2 (joint applicants). The US Fish & Wildlife Service is providing $10,000 for the project. Click here for a copy of the LCRA CDPP application.
The wetlands area will have the dual function of 1) improving the quality of water that discharges to the Colorado River by removing silt and other storm-water pollution from water running off Tahitian Village properties, and 2) providing wildlife habitat for migrating waterfowl and local wildlife populations in the area. Click to see the overall project.
Engineering provided by Mesa Engineering.
New Trail Map for Lost Pines Nature Trails and Colorado River Refuge
Honoring Master Trail Steward, Dale Morrison
New Trails Brochure – You may not even know that these trails exist at the Lost Pines Nature Trails and Colorado River Refuge. A new 4-fold, color brochure shows the location of seven trails that total 3.2 miles in length and extend over the 90 acres of property along the Colorado River near Tahitian Village (click the image for more information).
Dale Morrison came to Bastrop in 2007 and immediately got involved with the Visitors Center, Environmental Stewardship, Pines & Prairies Land Trust, and Texas Master Naturalists. He quickly earned the title “Master Trail Steward” for his work at the Lost Pines Nature Trails and Colorado River Refuge. With his many years of experience and knowledge building trails throughout the nation, Dale has helped layout and clear most of the trails on the site. Several are now named for him: “Morrison River Trail,” “Morrison Loop Trail,” “Dale’s Trail,” and “Dale’s Loop Trail”.
Through his love for the land and the trails, Dale has inspired and led those that have been involved in constructing these trails for the benefit of the community. Dale has endeared many wonderful people and says Bastrop is “the best place he has ever lived” because the people want the same thing he does for the environment.
EAGLE SCOUT PROJECT BENEFITS LOST PINES REGION
Candidate Aidan Branch built nature trails in Bastrop
On Saturday September 6, Eagle Scout candidate Aidan Branch lead a crew of fellow scouts and volunteers in building a new trail at the Lost Pines Nature Trails site in Bastrop, Texas. To earn the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America program, the scout organized and lead a community project. Life Scout Branch with Troop 88 from Austin has elected to build a trail in Bastrop. With guidance from his Scout Master Sam Brister and veteran trail builder Dale Morrison, Aidan wrote his project proposal which was accepted by his Eagle Committee, laid out the trail, determined the equipment needed, and organized volunteers to give him a hand building the trail this Saturday. Click here for link to his flyer announcing the project
The trail will accommodate bird watchers, morning joggers, and people that just want to get out more often. Aidan, with the help of his fellow Scouts and volunteers, cleared a three foot wide nature trail that connects trails being constructed on the up-river end of the property with trails in the down-river area. Since it is a nature trail, his crew used simple tools like rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, and hoes – with the exception of a skilled crew that came out before the scouts and cut down a couple trees that needed to be removed. The trail contains, two benches made out of bald-cypress, two trail signs also made out of bald-cypress, a trashcan, and erosion bars. Erosion bars were added to the trail to keep the trail from washing away. A cool designed sign was put at the beginning and end of the trail to mark the name. One of the benches was placed parallel to the river were a tree is hanging over it for shade and a nice view of the many birds that inhabit the region. The trail-head, an area with the width twice as large, and rocks embedded around the edges to was intended to make a good area to sit and chat. Unfortunately both bald-cypress benches have been stolen (click for story).
Environmental Stewardship is a nonprofit organization that conserves and restores earth’s natural resourses in environments. Environmental Stewardship and the public will benefit from this project. Environmental Stewardship is trying to open these trails of wildlife, as part of their recent project, Lost Pines Nature Trails Project, to provide multiple opportunities for locals and the traveling public to enjoy nature, tourism, recreation, and education. By making my nature trail along with beautiful rest benches and a trashcan, people will love this trail and might want to get involved to make their own. It will also speed up the Environmental Stewardship project, so they’ll have less to work on, and more time to plan other events, said Branch.
Getting cut by loppers, timbers or weed eaters, dehydration or heat exhaustion, ankle sprains, getting hurt by rocks or heavy objects, dangerous horseplay (climbing trees, throwing stuff at each other, or improper use of equipment).
THE LOST PINES NATURE TRAIL PROJECT
The LCRA Community Development Program grant and the TPWD Recreation Trails grant (both awarded) together will enable many facets of the overall project to move forward and include:
- Improve and rehabilitate 0.2 mile of existing natural surface entrance trails to gravel road base trail (Done)
- Construct 0.8 miles of natural surface bike trails (Done)
- Construct 0.5 mile of ADA trail connecting PPLT, two ADA picnic sites, and parking site (Done)
- Rehabilitate 0.25 miles of existing natural surface trails to connect ADA & hike and bike trails (Done)
- Establish one ADA accessible picnic sites that overlook the river (Done)
- Stabilize floodplain trail surfaces to prevent erosion and wash-out (Done)
- Bring electricity to site and install security lighting at entrance (Partially funded by In-kind)
- Designate areas for hike, bike, ADA, parking, and non-vehicular river access with bollard fencing (In Progress)
- Develop and install signage for proper usage of hike, bike, ADA trails, and parking areas (Done)
- Provide garbage/trash receptacles (In Progress)
- Natural and cultural resource evaluations (Done)
- Wetlands restoration & revegitation. (unfunded)
Phase I (Partially Funded)
Phase I – Lost Pines Nature Trails and River Access Point near Tahitian Village (Site plan provide by LCRA) Site Plan updated March 2008.
Phase II (Unfunded)
Phase II – Lost Pines Nature Trails and River Access Point near Tahitian Village (Site plan provided by LCRA) Larger View (PDF 678KB)
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) awarded a $25,000 Community Development Partnership Program (CDPP) grant to start site development at the Lost Pines Nature Trails river access point near Tahitian Village. Local partners listed below have committed and additional $20,000 of in-kind matching for fencing and trail development. Environmental Stewardship is administering the grant and providing project management. The LCRA – CDPP grant was successfully concluded in November 2008.
A $100,000 Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Recreational Trails grant with $50,000 local matching by the partners was awarded in August, 2007. Bastrop Economic Development Corporation granted an additional $5,000 seed money to get the project started. Environmental Stewardship is administering the grant and providing project management.
The initial $195,000 project ($70,000 local matching) will establish ADA trails, hike/bike trails, and picnic areas at this access point. Cable and bollard fencing and lighting will help establish the desired use of the site. Future developments envision a pavilion, restrooms, and nature viewing areas along the river.
The river access point also serves as the take-out point for the El Camino Real Paddling Trail launched on November 3, 2007 in conjunction with NatureFest 2007 and will be the put-in point for the Red Bluff Paddling Trail. On-the-ground work on the project started in early 2008. Environmental Stewardship prepared the grant application on behalf of the local partners and is providing project management during the implementation phase. Link to Bastrop Paddling Trails project.
Local Partners include:
- Bastrop County Water Conservation & Improvement District #2 (BCWICD#2)
- Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Texas Paddling Trails Program
- American Youth Works (Environmental Corps)
- City of Bastrop
- Bastrop Economic Development Corporation (BEDC)
- Bastrop Historical Society Old Town Visitor Center
- John Creamer
- Pines & Prairies Land Trust
- Rising Phoenix Adventures
- Environmental Stewardship
Please consider making a tax deductible donation to help us continue this work.