James River Ranch – $15,950,000 – Hood Real Estate Inc.

James River Ranch – $15,950,000 – Hood Real Estate Inc.

Sponsored by Hood Real Estate Inc.


Published On: May 28, 20243.7 min read
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Property Type: Ranchland
Price: $15,950,000
Location: Texas
Acreage: 1,960 Acres

Located on 1,959.63 acres in eastern Kimble County, the James River Ranch provides a secluded haven of peace, quiet and rugged Hill Country beauty that inspires a deep connection with nature. The expansive property was part of the pioneering Whitworth family’s original holding. The current iteration, which is about 30 minutes from Harper, was created by combining three separate parcels.

Within the high-fenced boundaries, the topography ranges from jagged limestone cliffs to rolling hills and a fertile river bottom. From the ridge tops, the views encompass the James River valley and stretch far into the distance. Using the plentiful gravel found in the streambeds, the owners have constructed all-weather roads that make every corner of the ranch accessible.

The Water

Both banks of the James River run through about 800 acres of the property, flowing from south to north. In the summer, the year-round river disappears beneath the gravel bottom but never stops flowing. Two dams create two impoundments, one of which is 1± acre while the other is 2± acres.

Jim Little Creek enters the property on the far southwest corner through the center of the property before exiting on the north. Like the river, it disappears beneath the creek bed in the summer but continues to flow.

Water in dry country has always meant life. Arrowheads and other artifacts of the region’s earliest nomadic residents can be found along the waterways.

An 8-acre lake, which is fed by groundwater, enhances surface water options. The lake, outfitted with five docks including one that accommodates drive-up boating, is stocked with Florida largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass as well as bluegills and hybrid perch. Anglers can test their skills while non-anglers can enjoy swimming, paddling and relaxing in the sun.

The Land and The Wildlife

For more than 25 years, the current owners have stewarded the land and wildlife with the goal of restoring ecological health and productivity. Cedar has been strategically cleared and managed. Now, it only remains in a 30 – 40-yard-wide swath around the perimeter ensuring privacy and on the steep slopes where it controls erosion and provides nesting habitat for rare songbirds.

In the cleared areas, native grasses reappeared. Even some of the ridgetops have been cleared and replanted in native grasses and Kleingrass to establish stands of rangeland at higher elevation. Well-managed rotational grazing has invigorated the grasses and helped enrich the once-thin soil. Several hay fields, watered by sub-surface irrigation, deliver winter feed for the cattle herd and under good conditions grow an excess that can be sold.

Desirable trees such as live oaks anchor the uplands while native pecan trees shade the James River and Jim Little Creek. Nutritious brush and forbs sustain the wildlife. Eighteen protein feeders supplement nature’s bounty.

The native white-tailed deer population, which has been enhanced by transplanting a small number of South Texas whitetails on two occasions, has been managed under an MLDP-3 permit. Hunting has been limited to family and invited guests. The quality of the herd reflects the intentional management.

Wild turkeys abound. Quail, dove and migrating waterfowl are present. Feral hogs, coyotes, bobcats, ringtails, raccoons, porcupines, foxes and the occasional mountain lion call the ranch home. Every spring bald eagles return to the ranch.

The Living

The main house, which is about 2,100 square feet, contains two bedrooms, 2.5 baths and two “his and her” studies that could be used as bedrooms. The “bones” were built in the 1960s and remodeled for the current owners’ use. Updates included adding an expansive, modern kitchen and an inviting wraparound porch, creating an open billiard room above the great room and installing large windows that illuminate the interior.

A large, covered patio connects the bunkhouse to the main house. Designed to give guests privacy, but easy access to the main house, the bunkhouse features two bedrooms each with a private bath.

Additional lodging is available in the main barn. It features a second-story loft with two private bedrooms and two private baths.

The Opportunity

James River Ranch showcases the Hill Country the way it used to be, offering a peaceful, private retreat where even the sounds of modern living don’t intrude. For those seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of 21st century living, the James River Ranch is a rare place where souls can be restored, and memories made.

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