Located just off the Bastrop/Fayette County line near the tiny community of Cistern, the ±92-acre the Whitford Ranch offers the best of Texas. Fronting Highway 95, the property supplies plenty of elbow room within easy reach of small town hospitality and metropolitan amenities.
Built in the 1900s, the Cistern General Store, just two miles from the ranch, is the first stop on the hospitality trail. With its famed burgers and old-time jukebox, the store has been a natural gathering place for generations. Smithville, site of the classic movie "Hope Floats," is ±12 miles away. The once-sleepy town now offers a host of charming restaurants and boutiques. Historic Gonzales and "meaty" Lockhart, the barbecue capital of Texas, are also nearby neighbors.
If a dose of big city lights is in order—or if an easily commutable second home is on the planning board—Austin is ± 60 miles, San Antonio is ± 90 miles and Houston is ±120 miles.
With a ranch like this, though, it is tempting to just stay at home. The land, like most in Texas' "other Hill Country," rises and falls gently. An ideal home site sits near the center of the ranch, offering ultimate privacy. Electricity from Fayette Electric is readily available. In fact, the best positioned tie-in pole has already been identified. Preliminary arrangements have been made with a water well driller to site a well at the new owners' preferred location.
Coyote Creek Ranch is located near Flatonia in Fayette County positioned less than 90 minutes from Houston, Austin and San Antonio with easy access to I-10.
For the past 50 years, the owners have used the low-fenced ranch, which fronts on FM 2237 about 3.5 miles from the community of Cistern, as a natural haven for hunting and camping. To encourage and attract wildlife, the owners have maintained the land's native character. The land supports a mixture of post oaks, mature cedars, mesquite and yaupon—a buffet for game.
Through the years, the owners have carved out hidden clearings and cut trails through the woods by following the same paths over and over again. An all-weather caliche road provides access from the front of the property to the back.
Depending on the new owners' goals, the land could be cleared to create an open landscape, partially cleared to create a mosaic of grass and woody plants, or left in its natural state. The gently rolling terrain offers a variety of potential building sites for a dream home or an expansive family compound with guest houses.
An 800-square-foot, off-the-grid cabin provides a housing option for those who like to live close to the land or for people seeking a temporary camp as a larger home is being constructed. The 2-bedroom, 1 -bath cabin features a 20'x20' main room. Generators power the lights as well as the air-conditioning units, while propane fuels the heater. A rain catchment system provides water. For those looking for more convenience, county water and rural electricity are readily available.
An 8' x 8' shed housing the generators and tools rounds out the ranch infrastructure. Through the years, a livestock grazing lease has provided an additional income stream, maintained the agriculture tax valuation and ensured the fences have been maintained in order to hold cattle. The agriculture tax valuation could be converted to a wildlife tax valuation if the new owners so choose.
Recent selective brush clearing has heightened the land's natural beauty. The well-planned work created a mosaic of pastureland and brush that not only showcases legacy oaks and majestic cedar elms, but provides plenty of habitat for wildlife. As part of the brush management efforts, the perimeter has been completely cleared, making it easy to see the neighboring farms and ranches.
In addition, two ±10-acre tracts—one in the north part of the ranch and the other in the south—have been cleared to provide additional forage for cattle and wildlife. The areas surrounding the two ponds have also been "cleaned up" to create an oasis for angling, if the new owners choose to stock them with bass, catfish, perch or any other suitable freshwater species.
The ranch, which has been used primarily for livestock, maintains an agricultural tax valuation and is home to white-tailed deer and feral hogs. Turkeys, doves and waterfowl frequent the property as well. It could be easily transitioned to a wildlife tax valuation if the new owners are so inclined.
Clearly defined ranch roads deliver access throughout the perfectly sized getaway. The traditional barbed wire fences are in good condition. A vintage, but non-functional windmill serves as an eye-catching reminder of an earlier, simpler time.
For those seeking country living with easy access to the world beyond, the Whitford Ranch is a rare chance to have it all.