As the days grow longer and milder, Bastrop calls those who seek adventure to its area. From traditional getaways like Bastrop State Park and Lake Bastrop to the newest fun spots including Zip Lost Pines and Next Level Ride, one can relax and re-energize or test out extreme sporting skills.
Located at LCRA’s McKinney Roughs Nature Trails off Hwy 71 between Bastrop and Austin, Zip Lost Pines is a unique experience for those soaring over the loblolly pine canopy and steep canyons on dual zip lines, the first in Texas. Zip Lost Pines opened this fall and offers zip lines ranging from 146 feet spans to 1316 feet spans connected by various platforms and 3 suspension bridges.
While zip line partners get the bird's-eye view of wildlife and the Colorado River, the staff ensures safety providing guides who require adventure seekers to wear helmets and to be clipped into safety lines. The three-hour experience winds through the 1,100-acre LCRA-owned property of McKinney Roughs while the lines and platforms were built and owned by Zip Lost Pines. The zip line course is only one example of LCRA’s efforts to develop the property for recreational use. For details about this up-in-the-air experience, go to ziplostpines.com.
If flying high over the horizon isn’t for you, just down Hwy. 71 towards Del Valle, extremist can try their skill wakeboarding and knee boarding at the recently opened Next Level Ride. This water venue, with multiple ramps to enhance the thrill-seekers’ bag of wakeboarding tricks, is designed on a pulley-system operation whereby enthusiasts hold on to a tether while the system pulls them through the wet, exhilarating course.
Owned and staffed by extreme sports enthusiasts with specialties in kinesiology, sports therapy, yoga, and sports biomechanics, Next Level Ride addresses the needs of the novice through instruction. During Spring Break week March 13, the park will offer a camp to youth 7-17. To get more information see nextlevelrideaustin.com.
For those seeking adventure that is a little less extreme, Bastrop’s Fisherman’s Park provides easy access to the Colorado River for those who like to cruise along the waters in a Jon boat or paddle through with a kayak, paddle board, or tube. Locally owned and operated in Bastrop, Bastrop River Company or Rising Phoenix River Tours makes those excursions easy by providing kayak and paddle board rentals and by offering shuttle services to and from the river. Each outfitter promotes day trips from a 6-mile river trail lasting 2 to 3 hours to a 14-mile river trail running 5 to 8 hours. But for the more unique experience, Bastrop River Company launches three-hour, guided moonlight paddling tours periodically during the spring and summer. Those who want to combine the paddling and camping experience can check with Rising Phoenix about their 20-26 mile overnight tours.
To wind down for fun and relaxation, visitors can find a spot at Lake Bastrop South or North shores or Bastrop State Park. All locations have picnic and camping areas, hiking trails, and water areas. Part of the LCRA system, Lake Bastrop is a 900-acre lake where water enthusiasts fish, paddle, and ski. The lake is stocked with bass, carp, perch, and catfish. In addition to tradition camping sites, the South shore has 18 cabin rentals that sleep up to 5 and the Osprey Point Hall, featuring a fireplace, horseshoe and washer pits, which accommodates 80 to 120 people. This park also includes a designated swim area, playground, sand volleyball court and tether ball area. Reservations for either Lake park can be made at www.lcra.org/reserve.
Come to Bastrop and take in the beauty and sometimes the challenge the natural areas have to offer.