Friday, November 1, 2013

Campground Review: Buescher State Park, Smithville, TX

Created in 1933 from a land donation from the estate of Emil and Elizabeth Buescher, Buescher State Park is made up of 1014 acres of land and water a few miles north of Smithville, TX.  After dropping the kayak off at my storage locker in West Houston my camping buddy Becky and I drove up Texas Highway 71 to the park.

We stayed in the heavily wooded Oak Haven section of the park.
Compared to most of the other Texas parks Buescher SP is on the smaller side.  Of more importance was the fact that, unlike Bastrop State Park 11 miles up the road towards Austin, Buescher dodged the huge forest fire that swept the area a couple years ago.  There's a nice little stocked fishing lake that the campsites surround, due to being walk-ins with no reservation ours was not one of those campsites but it was still very satisfactory.

I was unable to learn if this lake had a name or not.
The weather upon our arrival was threatening rain so we put the tarp shelter over the picnic table and grilling area.

The spacious paved sites were all heavily wooded.
Buescher and Bastrop SP's are somewhat associated with each other and there's a 12 mile scenic camp trail (bikeable or walkable) that links them together.

22 miles round trip sounds better via bike than foot.
Verizon barely came in at our campsite and Millenicom wireless data only registered 1 bar although our site was in a sort of gully type area so reception might be better at higher elevations.  Being only about 25 miles southeast of Austin this marginal reception was surprising.

Past readers of this blog know I grade parks down when they contain navigable bodies of water but don't offer canoe rentals but this wasn't a problem at Buescher.

Buescher has canoe and kayak rentals. 

If you are looking for non-fire damaged campgrounds in the Austin area that is reasonably priced ($17/night) Buescher SP is a very decent candidate.  During my stay the weather consisted of rain and then more rain so I didn't get around to all the things to do (these photos were all taken in a 1 hour weather "window") but I'd definitely go back.

Thanks for reading!