Located near Bastrop in the Lost Pines area, Rocky Hill offers a complete change of scenery less than an hour from Austin. The ranch has something for every level of rider so it might be fun to take a group. It ranks its trails like ski runs: green for beginners, blue for intermediates, black for advanced.
The green trails are mostly scenic double-track roads with occasional single track meandering through meadows.
The blues are rollicking single tracks through the trees that make you feel like you've entered the free-play zone, and then there are the blacks. These "runs" are a blast. Tight, twisty, turny delight under a fragrant pine canopy with creek crossings and some good uphill grunts make these trails a bit of fat tire heaven. You really get your money's worth at Rocky Hill. Not only are the trails very well marked, but there are water stations along some of the trails.
Owner Grey Hill has two swimming holes dug that are just waiting for some rain, and has plans to stock them with perch and catfish. He has also built a double downhill slalom course for you and your buddies to determine who has bragging rights.
After the ride you can sit in bliss in the covered restaurant and enjoy a black bean burrito and some cold Shiner Bock. The restaurant, built completely from wood off the ranch, has such an inviting allure that you may want to hang out all evening and camp out at the Rocky Hill campsites or down the road at Buescher State Park.
Here are three of our favorite trails at Rocky Hill Ranch:
Location: Rocky Hill Ranch, Bastrop, Texas
When: Open Friday through Sunday, 8:30 a.m. till dark; during the week, call first for reservations.
Length: Variety of distances
Difficulty: All levels
Directions: From Austin, this trip is about 39 miles and takes less than an hour. Take First Street to I-35. Go North on the access road and take it to Seventh Street. Turn right on Seventh, veering left to Highway 71 East after you cross the Colorado River. Go through Bastrop and take the Smithville exit about 11 miles down the road. Go left on FM153 East 2.3 miles and you will see the old bike on the pine gate entrance on the left.
Cost: There is a per-rider fee; call for details.
More info: Contact Grey Hill at (512) 237-3112