Your heart is pounding. Sweat is dripping from every pore. Your legs ache. The beauty surrounding you is the only thing that keeps you moving. Are we describing a day shopping the fields during Round Top antiques week? Maybe, but if shopping isn’t your favorite sport, it could also describe a day spent mountain biking at Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda.

Founded in 1992, Bluff Creek Ranch is the oldest mountain bike facility in the state of Texas and is located just 30 minutes due east of Round Top. The land recently changed hands, and new owners Jeannine and Breck Powers have been hard at work, trying to make it one of the best mountain biking trails in the state. Set into the wooded, rolling hills of the ranch, this mountain biking retreat offers something for everyone.

“There are some technical sections, but beginners can navigate the trails also,” Jeannine Powers says. “We have two BMX sections with jumps. ‘Gas Pass’ is a rough steep downhill into a wooden turn. ‘The Pass’ is a tough climb. And ‘Pay Dirt Bridge’ crosses Pin Oak Creek.”

The trails at BCR are meticulously maintained and trail condition updates are provided daily

Daily passes to Bluff Creek cost $10 per rider ($5 for kids aged 6 to 12) — cash or check only.

Biking enthusiasts will enjoy the gently rolling terrain, with its continuous elevation changes and ‘The Bluff’, which is the highest point in Fayette County. The long, narrow trail provides opportunities for riders to drop in and out of sections. Woody canopies cover much of the trail, and the ranch’s herd of longhorn cattle can be found roaming freely nearby. A map of the entire trail can be found on the Strava and All Trails apps.

Jeannie Powers points out that Bluff Creek is a single-track trail, which means riders don’t have to worry about oncoming traffic on blind turns. Trails undergo daily maintenance to ensure the safety and enjoyment of riders. Mowing, trimming and dirt rebuilding after storms are just some of the constant work being done. The trails are also checked for overhanging growth from trees and given a fresh mow on either side before race events so that the long grass doesn’t ‘tickle the legs’ of riders. Pine needles, which can be slick, are frequently blown off the trails.

A BCR longhorn lounges near the trail

Riders, hikers and runners love the relaxing trails, catch and release ponds, on-site camping and fun race day events offered at Bluff Creek, but most of them comment on the super clean bathrooms and shower facilities, which have been compared to the gold standard in public bathroom cleanliness: Buc-ee’s.

“We take our bathrooms seriously! Nothing worse than being hot and sweaty after a long ride and having to drive home dirty,” Jeannine says.

In fact, riders don’t have to go home at all. Bluff Creek also offers a variety of lodging options. There are 10 primitive camp sites set up, but camping is allowed anywhere on the property. RV hook-ups and a barn apartment are also available for those who wish to make a weekend out of their visit. Firewood, water and electric can be purchased on site. As for those cattle roaming around, ground longhorn beef and steaks made from Bluff Creek’s herd can be had to take home, or grill at your campsite.

After all, mountain biking should be a complete adventure.