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Buescher State Park - Smithville

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Buescher State Park

Trail Map

Took a spin out there to see how things are as I hadn't ridden it since the last fire went through. Most of the old trail has been restored with several new bridges in place. It is a fun, flowy ride with enough elevation change to keep the heart rate up. The surface is a lot like Rocky Hill (about a mile or so away) and was in good condition. There were a couple of fallen trees to portage over, but I'll bet they will be cleared soon enough. I met only one other rider on a rigid Surly who mentioned how he wished he'd brought a bike with suspension as the trail was rougher than he expected a state park trail to be.

After paying the $5 day fee I parked at the trail head on Park Road 1C that goes to Bastrop State park. On the map this is the "P" between marker 5 and 6. It has plenty of room and comes with a view as it overlooks the county to the Southwest.

To maximize the miles I began by riding out on Pine Gulch, staying on the same side of the road as the parking lot, on up to Roosevelt's Cutoff. Crossing the road there and taking the trail to the left which now dead ends at the park road for an out and back. (this used to cross the road and made a fun loop, and hopefully will eventually be restored). Heading back, I rode this trail all the way to the Winding Woodland Trail parking that terminates nearest the entrance of the park for another out and back. Then, returned to the trail head where I parked. This netted just shy of nine miles.

If that is not enough, you can add another 3 miles or so by riding a loop in the other direction, crossing the road first, paralleling it to Roosevelt's Cutoff, then return to the trail head parking on Pine Gulch the other direction, thus getting a respectable 12 miles of riding while only riding one 0.4 mile stretch in the same direction twice.

Note: When you want to get back to the trail head parking, the cutover trail across the road from the trail head isn't marked where it intersects the Winding Woodland Trail. It is quite well hidden behind a tree and other growth, and is easy to miss when riding toward the park entrance. This was not the first time I've missed it. Coming back from the other end I used the bike computer and mileage indicated on the map to know when to start looking for it. A little easier to spot when riding in that direction, but could easily be missed if carrying speed. The park trail map doesn't show paved driveways and a pipeline right of way the trail crosses, which would help locate this connector had they been included on the provided map.

It was a fun ride. There were a few hikers, so keep a lookout. Overall, the trail was in great shape. It might not be worth the trip as a sole destination for a ride, but if you find yourself in the area it is worth the stop and will deliver your $5 worth. With RHR just minutes up the road with many more miles to play on you can camp at Buescher with their nicer amenities, and ride both places over a weekend.

 

Edited by Ridenfool

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