15 miles (est.)
doubletrack; dirt road
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• You must call ahead in order
to ensure access
• Camping is available
• It should be commonsense, but DO NOT leave any trace behind
Blue Mountain Peak Ranch
is a Hill Country mountain bike gold mine…well, it will be. Although
currently only consisting of doubletrack and dirt road, BMPR (yes, it’s
pronounced ‘bumper’) has all the right ingredients to become yet another
excellent mountain bike destination in the Texas Hill Country (think
Flat Rock Ranch and the sort). It has plenty of land (over 830 acres),
elevation changes (including hills of varying degree, which means potential
descents and climbs for different skill levels), rocky areas, not so
rocky areas, valleys, and more; and, most importantly, an owner who
is as mountain bike friendly as he is environmentally conscious (check
out the BMPR website to see just how friendly that is).
Although only doubletrack and dirt road currently interlace BMPR, the terrain lends itself well to mountain biking. Make a left along the perimeter road (doubletrack) behind the gate house and follow it along until it turns left, then get ready to squeeze those brakes, as the steepest descent of the ranch lies before you. The trail then curves to the left as you cross the opening to one of the ranch’s many little valleys/ravines, so make sure you control your speed; otherwise, the tree in front of you might make for a bad weekend. A moderate, yet steady climb quickly follows (think whoop-dee-do). You’ll start to have more choices at this point – follow the perimeter trail the whole way around the ranch and back to the gate house or take one of the ranch’s interconnecting trails, complete with street signs to help you stay oriented. From the interior trails you can reach Main Spring Way which leads to, what else, the largest active spring on BMPR (or anywhere else in the surrounding area for that matter). Considering that this spring was once nothing more than a trickle at best prior to the eco-restoration activities continuously being undertaken and now flows steadily is amazing. You just have to see it.
If you elect to take a right along the perimeter road from the gate house you also get to descend almost immediately, the only difference being that it’s not as wide open, is a bit rockier and off-camber in some sections, so you may not get to go as fast. What you lose in the form of speed, you make up for in terms of technical fun, however. For those not so thrilled about the idea of descending at over 25 mph on rocky trail or dodging tree stumps and loose rocks, the main road offers a smooth ride that still allows you to reach the other trails/roads along the interior of the ranch. In other words, even in its current status BPMR has something for everyone.
So, why should you drive all the way out to Blue Mountain Peak Ranch when it doesn’t [yet] offer the singletrack thrills of say Flat Rock Ranch or Rocky Hill Ranch? For starters, Richard and Susie will let you camp out anywhere you wish on the ranch (the actual peak even has electrical outlets!), the riding is fun, the hiking opportunities are countless, the wildlife is great (and not overly timid like most places), the views are beautiful, and to experience all of this on private, well-managed land is priceless. Once miles of singletrack have been added to the mix there won’t be any question as to why, just an issue of when. Oh, and speaking of well-managed, while you are there spare a few moments and let Richard tell you about BMPR and what they have done for the land, you'll be impressed. I was.
~ MountainBikeTx.com(Aug 2008)