When snowy, cold weather threatened our weekend trip to Palo Duro Canyon to go mountain bike riding with a friend and his bike group, he suggested we change directions and head south to Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda, just southeast of Austin, for a fun weekend! We expected fun bike trails, but we found so much more at this family owned ranch! Built from a love of bike riding, the ranch offers visitors the chance to get out and ride on twisty trails under the pine trees and hardwoods. They also offer great campsites around a small lake, and plenty of space!
It was overcast all of Saturday, which made for great riding, but I needed as much light as possible for pictures. While this small stretch is open, most of the park is heavily wooded, with plenty of shade letting you ride later in the day during the summer months.
When you arrive at the ranch, you must sign a waiver. Check their website for current prices, but during our visit it was $10/day to ride, $15/ride and camp. Kids 6-12 half price. Kids 5 and under are free.
They also have a bunkhouse with cots. $20/night.
There are real restrooms and showers, too!
While our friends we were traveling with are avid riders, we are much more casual. We had a great time on the trails! I think I will always retain my “beginner” status, and the first 4 miles of the 8 mile trail were fun and challenging for me! At the end of 4 miles, I was able to bail out and head back to camp for a nap, while my son and the other boys finished the trail!
Once everyone was back, the boys cooled off with a swim in Turkey Tank!
I love the campsites here, which were all large and spaced far apart to allow for plenty of privacy! We camped right on Turkey Tank in campsite 3.
After a wet night, with several thunderstorms rolling in and plenty of cricket frogs and the occasional bullfrog to sing us to sleep, we woke up ready to ride again! While there were a couple of wet places on the trail, it was still open and I was able to finish the 2nd 4 miles, although I have no shame saying I did walk my bike a few places, and skipped over the more technical places! They have a big banked wall, a BMX area and a rolling area aptly named, “the rollercoaster”!
We took a break along the trail to pick some ripe wild blackberries.
While I didn’t get a good picture of her, I LOVED that we were able to bring our new puppy, 14 weeks old at the time. She did great, and kept up with the kids on the trails the entire time! The ranch allows well behaved dogs, who are under voice control at all times, which meant she was able to stay off-leash while we road and at the campsite! During race weekends, they do require all dogs to be on leashes.
A working cattle ranch, they also sell their longhorn beef, as hamburger meat and steaks. We cooked up 4 lbs of it for dinner Saturday night.
I was so excited to see that there was a troop of Boy Scouts camping there when we arrived! The boys were doing a service project on the ranch, and the ranch offers scout troops who want to do a service project their 2nd night free!
After our ride, a bike wash was a necessity before we headed home!
Know Before You Go
Bring cash or check, no credit cards.
They allow you to collect fallen firewood from around the campsites. Check for burn bans before coming.
Bring plenty of water.
Giddings is about 15 minutes away, and has a Walmart and Brookshires Grocery Store.
Things To Do Near Warda
Hike the trails at Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery, and tour the remains of Texas’ first brewery! Click HERE to read more.
The Texas Wendish Museum gives you the history of the Wends that came to settle in the area in the 1850’s from Eastern Europe. It’s a unique museum with a Wendish dog-trot home, and displays of their black wedding dresses (worn to represent the “grief and hardship of marriage”) and their exquisite painted Easter eggs! It is also home to one of the Painted Churches of Texas. Click HERE to read more.
Head out to the Jersey Barnyard for a tour of their family farm, and the chance to bottle-feed a calf. Click HERE to read more.
Check out the Back Porch BBQ in La Grange for tasty BBQ. Click HERE to visit their website.
Oak Thicket Park outside La Grange is a LCRA park, with campsites and furnished cabins. Click HERE to read more.
Bluff Creek Mountain Bike Ranch
537 Owl Creek Rd. Box 110, Warda
Click HERE to visit their website.
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