The 14,965± acre Rio Bonito Ranch, located in the rugged heart of the Texas Hill Country, sits squarely at the intersection of history and possibility. For the past 87 years, this property which sprawls over 25 square miles in Kerr and Kimble counties, has been owned by the Moody family, one of the Lone Star State’s founding families. For the first time ever, as part of an estate liquidation, it is for sale.
While the historic property offers all of the privacy afforded by a large ranch, it’s just 90 miles northwest of San Antonio. It is a quick, easy drive on I-10 for family, friends or hunters. In fact, the ranch’s main gate can be accessed directly from the Interstate between Kerrville and Junction.
Currently, the Rio Bonito, with its abundance of wildlife including a high concentration of native whitetails, Rio Grande turkeys and Russian boars as well as 17 species of exotic hoofstock, is a completely outfitted, commercial hunting ranch that also offers premier bass fishing. Moody Lake, the mile-long, spring fed waterbody, arguably the centerpiece of the ranch, boasts trophy bass fishing within majestic scenery.
Water is life. Water brings life. Other lakes dot the property as do many live springs. In places where the water doesn’t rise naturally, there are windmills, 11 total, to bring the sweet, cold and clear water from the underlying aquifer to the surface. Johnson Fork Creek, a primary tributary for the Llano River, burbles and bubbles over four-and-a-half miles across the western portion of the Rio Bonito.
The combination of water and diverse habitat makes the Rio Bonito an exceptional retreat for outdoor enthusiasts whether they are hunters, anglers or simply appreciators of grandeur. The expansive ranch is divided into several large pastures, each of which has its own character ranging from rolling hills with thick tree cover to open areas framed by limestone cliffs and cut by craggy valleys. Majestic live oaks provide shade and grace.
The vistas can be measured in miles and beauty. High points on the ranch provide coveted vantage points to savor the landscape rolling out before you. With an eye toward all things beautiful, the original owners situated the Spanish-style 28,000-square-foot lodge so it overlooks crystalline Moody Lake.
The Hacienda Complex built in the 1920s was designed by noted architect Carl Jules Weyl, in the height of Hollywood’s first golden era. Weyl, an Academy award-winning art director who worked on classics such as The Adventures of Robin Hood and Casablanca, was part of the Hollywood elite and architect to the stars. He also designed the Brown Derby Restaurant, an iconic architectural design in Hollywood, California.
The lodge has 19 bedrooms offering guests a combination of back country charm and Old World elegance. Life within its historic walls has to be experienced because it defies explanation.
While the phrase “once-in-a-lifetime” is often overused, in this case it’s true. This is the first time this property has been available in most people’s lifetime. It is likely that it won’t be available again because it becomes part of a family’s legacy that endures for generations.
To explore the intersection of history and possibility at Rio Bonito Ranch for yourself, contact Icon Global Real Estate at (214) 855-4000. The ranch is listed for $45 million.