BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) - Bastrop State Park visitors will soon find most facilities and all but a fraction of the Lost Pines parkland open to the public only seven months after a destructive wildfire burned 95 percent of the national landmark.
Reservations currently are being accepted for all four campgrounds and the 13 climate-controlled cabins, which are sporting new shingle roofs. In additio, 80 percent of the park trails have been reopened, according to Roger Dolle, Bastrop State Park site superintendent.
"Thanks to the extraordinary help of park staff, a host of volunteers and the Texas Department of Transportation road crews, most of the park shows promising signs of a remarkable renaissance," Dolle said. "We invite the public to come camp in the cool springtime temperatures, play some golf and enjoy a lakeside picnic."
Still closed are a small portion of Park Road 1C between Bastrop and Buescher state parks, the primitive campsites, the scout camping area and the refectory. The refectory, however, is expected to reopen when the reroofing project wraps up at the end of April.
The reopening of the almost 7,000-acre park comes just prior to Bastrop State Park's 75th anniversary, April 21. An official grand reopening and anniversary celebration will take place on Labor Day weekend, the one-year anniversary of the fire.
Tentative plans call for the state park's swimming pool, which is managed by the YMCA, to open in May.
Since the September wildfire, Bastrop State Park has been struggling to keep up with removal of hazardous trees, cope with hillside erosion caused by higher-than-normal rainfall, rehabilitate campgrounds and come up with funds to address recovery and restoration efforts. Donations from the public and private sectors are helping to address some of the financial shortfall.
At the recent Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting, it was announced that $134,600 in donations had been received recently to benefit the restoration of Bastrop State Park. Among other things, the money will be used to purchase a greenhouse and trail markers, and 20,000 pine seedlings for reforestation inside the park.
To reserve a cabin, refectory or a campsite in the Piney Hill (full hookups), Copperas Creek (full hookups and sites with water and electricity), Deer Run (water only) or Creekside (water only) campgrounds, call the Customer Service Center in Austin at 512-389-8900, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Bastrop State Park, call 512-321-1673.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.