If you owned 1,300 acres of pristine Texas Hill Country, what would you do with it?
For Vol Montgomery, the answer doesn’t have to do with profit or development, but with preservation and passion. The owner of Reveille Peak Ranch is actively creating a unique community for his friends and family, and those who share his interests.
On most days, Reveille Peak Ranch is a specially-designed haven for a small subset of outdoor sports enthusiasts: mountain bikers, trail runners and scuba divers. But it also functions as happy host to nature studies, school and youth camp outs, community BBQ’s and one-of-a-kind weddings.
Austinots Visit Reveille Peak Ranch
We had planned our day trip weeks in advance, when triple-digit temperatures and cloudless skies were the norm. The Saturday of our trip dawned sunless and foreboding, but we set out on 183 North with a spirit of adventure that only city-dwellers can conjure.
As we made our way toward Burnet, TX, the rain hit. No, it pounded. We laughed at the cosmic timing and pulled onto Reveille Peak Ranch’s dirt road after an hour and fifteen minutes of driving.
As the relentless rain continued to fall, we sat down with Andrea Roach, director of Nature Education and Client Services, in a silo converted into an office. With a background in biomedical science and healthcare, Andrea is a warm and knowledgeable hostess.
As our conversation continued, we learned that Reveille Peak Ranch is a family affair. Andrea is owner Vol Montgomery’s sister. Along with a third sibling and their parents, who reside in nearby Burnet, the Montgomery Family is never too far apart. To a great extent, Reveille Peak Ranch is the legacy of Vol and Andrea’s parents, who instilled in them a love of the outdoors. And now, a third generation of their family is growing up to appreciate the beauty of the Texas Hill Country.
Unique Opportunities for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Having opened in July 2010, Reveille Peak Ranch is still in its infancy. Because of that, it’s not yet open to the general public. At this time, you can visit if you are mountain biking, trail running or scuba diving.
If you come for any of those purposes, other opportunities are available. You can primitive camp or enjoy electrical RV hookups, and there are unique and comfortable shower and bathroom facilities on site. You can also swim, paddle board, play sand volleyball and fish (catch and release).
In a short time, Reveille Peak Ranch has developed into a premiere location for scuba divers. The quarry is perfect for any skill level. A diving platform assists beginner divers, while advanced divers love the fact that the quarry is still being explored. To date, divers have discovered up to 100 ft. depths in the quarry.
With Aquarena Springs in San Marcos now closed to divers, and water levels at Lake Travis hazardously low, Reveille’s quarry is a great diving alternative with consistent clarity and depth.
On the day of our visit, the rain certainly didn’t keep the bikers away. Those who we spoke to said that the trails had good markings and good flow.
Many sports events have been held at Reveille Peak Ranch, including the Jailbreak mud race, the Tour de Ranch bike race, the Reveille Peak 100 and Spartan. During the Spartan, 6,000 racers descended upon the Ranch in two days. It’s a credit to the management, organization and facilities of Reveille Peak Ranch that the Spartan is planning to return in May 2013.
The Ranch’s calendar of upcoming events is packed. September 1st is Capt’n Karl’s Night Trail Race - 60k/30k/10k races held at night to avoid the summer heat. See if there’s an event for you on Reveille’s calendar.
Learning and Community
Though Reveille Peak Ranch has evolved into a respected athletic location, it was originally founded to encourage nature education. To that end, funds are currently being raised for a nature center. Educational events like hikes with a naturalist and hikes for photographers are also in the works.
In the meantime, Reveille regularly welcomes school groups and youth groups like the Boy Scouts. Because the Ranch is so large and contains so much natural diversity, it is the perfect place to expose students to what they see in textbooks. For example, all three kinds of rock (sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous) can be found at Reveille.
Our Special Tour
As we finished our informal interview with Andrea in the silo, the rain storm passed. We visited the two-story pavilion, with a full grill, swimming pool, volleyball court and fire pits below, and a star-gazing deck up top.
Andrea fired up the four wheel drive and took us on an exciting tour. We drove by the quarry, where a sizeable group of scuba divers were in the water.
From there, we made the slow but enjoyable trek up to Decision Point. During our travels, we saw a doe and her very young fawn, a bunny and a vulture spreading his wings to dry. We collected beautiful rocks, crossed a creek, and marveled at the mountain biking trails that real people actually brave!
At the end of it all, Decision Point was breath-taking. From there, we could see Lake Buchanan and the Buchanan Dam, Inks Lake and 360 degrees of beauty. The rain that had nearly “spoiled” our visit had cleaned the surroundings of dust and heat. The air was fresh and the colors were vibrant, a truly special treat in the middle of Texas’ summer.
Believe it or not, weddings take place on Decision Point. Vol Montgomery was married there himself. It’s definitely reserved for the most adventurous of brides!
Start Planning Your Visit
Between everything going on at Reveille Peak Ranch, and everything planned for the future, there’s really too much to fit in one article. One of the things that struck me most was how flexible Andrea seems to be when it comes to hosting events and making sure visitors’ needs are met. I guess that’s one of the benefits of having a young facility!
If you don’t mountain bike, trail run or scuba dive, you can still find a chance to visit the Ranch. It will absolutely be worth the trip. A good opportunity for you is the upcoming Burnet BBQ Cookoff on September 29th. The Cookoff is an annual community event, but this year it’s being hosted by the Ranch.
A huge thank you to Andrea and the team at Reveille Peak Ranch for giving us the opportunity to visit. We’ll be back!
Did you know about Reveille Peak Ranch?