BUESCHER STATE PARK
Buescher State Park, a scenic area, is 1016.7 acres just north of Smithville in Bastrop County. Between the years 1933 and 1936, Mr. Emil and Mrs. Elizabeth Buescher originally deeded 318 acres of land to the state. After Emil Buescher's death, his heirs donated 318 more acres. The rest of the parkland was acquired from the city of Smithville. The original park totaled 1738 acres and opened in 1940. Approximately 700 of the acres were later deeded to MD Anderson and UT Cancer Center.
The beautiful wooded setting, that includes a tranquil lake, makes an excellent area from which to observe the seasonal distribution of some 250 species of birds. Mammals include white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, bobcats and armadillos along with rabbits, squirrels and small rodents. Enjoy fishing for catfish, bass, crappie, perch and also rainbow trout in the winter
El Camino Real (King's/Royal Highway) once ran near the park, connecting San Antonio de Bexar with Spanish missions in East Texas and generally followed present-day Texas State Highway 21 and Old San Antonio Road. This park land was part of Austin's colonial grant, and the original park improvements were made by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). A scenic park road connects Buescher State Park with Bastrop State Park and travels through a part of the lovely lost pines, a remnant of what is thought to have once been an extensive pine-oak forest covering much of Central Texas, during the time Ice Age glaciers reigned to the north.