I was born and raised in East Texas (have you ever noticed that Texas is the only state that capitalizes the various regions of the state?...East Texas, West Texas, North Texas, South Texas and Central Texas? What's up with that?) Anyway East Texas is blessed with a great abundance and variety of pine trees. If you have ever smelled the ozone in a pine forest then you know what fresh air really smells like. But when you leave East Texas, you leave the piney woods behind. It's all about the soil. East Texas has acidic soil and pine trees love acid; Central and West Texas have basic soil and therefore you do not expect to find pine forests in Central Texas However, there is a hugh forest of pine trees in Central Texas that we protect with a State Park designation - Bastrop State Park. We refer to Bastrop State Park as the Lost Forest of East Texas Pines. But that is not all! Bastrop State Park is also home to some great architectural buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corp (i.e. the CCC) during the Great Depression. These buildings are still in use and some can be rented for a holiday in the pines. One other little know fact about Bastrop State Park is that it is home to a very rare and very stupid frog. When the Texas Department of Transportation was improving SH 21 through the Park, they constructed a very nice, underground highway for the male frogs, who reside on the south side of the park to visit the female frogs who hang out on the north side. Prior to this underground travel way, a large percentage of the male frogs never made it across the road. Ask a Ranger to show you this unique lovers lane.
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