Milton Reimers Ranch County Park, Dripping Springs, Hays County Texas

In 2005 Milton Reimers sold the bulk of his ranch to Travis County. This created the largest parkland ever purchased by the county at just under 2500 acres.

Milton Reimers Ranch has a Dripping Springs and Hays County address, but it does lie mostly in Travis County.

Milton’s great grandparents, Henry and Dora Reimers came to America in 1882. They settled in Burnet County, Texas at Shovel Mountain and began to build their lives in America. By 1893 Henry Reimers had enough money to buy a 160-acre ranch at Dripping Springs. This ranch also included the area now known as Hamilton Pool another Travis County Park adjacent to the ranch. Henry allowed his neighbors and other locals to swim in the pool for a dime a day. Keep in mind this is a natural pool, a swimming hole not literally a swimming pool. I will go there one day, it’s by reservation only, and write about that.

Henry began raising sheep and sold his wool in Johnson City and his twelve-year-old son B.J. would take a thirty-mile wagon trip to Austin, alone, and sell mutton in town. B. J. did most of the bartering for his father who spoke very little English.

When in 1942 his parents died, B. J took over the ranch and increased it to 10,000 acres. B. J gave half the land to his brother Gus. There are actually 4 tracts of land here owned by the county. Reimers Ranch and Reimers Parkland Preserve, and Pogue Springs Preserve and Hogge Parkland Preserve. Unfortunately, at this time only Reimers Ranch is accessible to the public.

B. J.’s son Willie was the next owner of the land he continued the family tradition of allowing people to use the property for recreation, swimming, fishing, hiking and cliff climbing.

Milton came into possession when his father Willie died. He too allowed the use of the ranch to the public. He raised sheep, cattle, and angora goats. Milton began to worry that the land would fall into the hands of a developer as he watched the Town of Dripping Springs inch ever closer. After much discussion with his wife and much thought he came to the agonizing decision to sell his ranch to the county so that it could be preserved for the people of the county.

How do I know all this? Well…. I read it on this sign……

Reimers Ranch has over 18 miles of trails for bikes, hiking, and horseback riding, and three miles of river frontage on the Pedernales River. Pedernales is Spanish meaning roughly flint stones (not Fred and Wilma but the rock) which is abundant in the river. Along the river and in the side canyons is a world class rock climbing venue. The bike trails are also top notch.

But hell, we came to hike so let’s do. I started out going down towards the climbing area.

trail to one clmbing area

Well,my old ass chickened out on that one. See the slanted shelf of slickrock? That’s the trail and then a pretty good drop off. I was afraid I’d not be able to get back out. So, I went back to the River Trail and viewed the canyon from the top.

Next, I continued on the baby trail (I call it that because it was half concrete and half crushed gravel and I was being a baby) to an overlook. Here I had sweeping views of the Pedernales.

The light-colored rock is the mouth of the canyon I was too big of a baby to go into.

After this I finally put on my big boy pants and went over the edge at the next chance.. Boy, am I glad I did! It was amazing down in the climbing area.

Yeah…no I can’t do that either. That was a good four foot step down!

I continued along the cliffs until the trail petered out and turned back.

I continued to follow the river trail to the beach area marveling at the scenery.

Cliffs on the far side of the Pedernales

I finally reached the beach which is the first point that I could actually go to the river.

Yes, look a real sand beach

The Pedernales through here is somewhat of a braided stream. That means it builds sandbars and crosses back and forth across them as seen below.

After hanging around the beach for a while I headed on up the Lower River Trail going to the overlook at the far end of the park’s river frontage. It was pretty but a little disappointing as the views were rather limited, with some houses on the cliffs….the development that caused Milton Reimers so much agony.

View from the overlook expertly shot to eliminate the houses just up the hill.

Here was a bench and a large tree so I figured it to be a great spot to take a break and have a snack. I had covered about five miles up to this point and had about three to go on my planned route.

After lunch I headed for Pogue Canyon the last stop on this hike. The hiking was now very easy as I was on the multi-use trail… just had to dodge the road apples from the horses.

I have arrived at Pogue Canyon….almost
View from the Kelly Prehn Overlook

I first went to the Kelly Prehn Overlook. Now we got to find out who Kelly Prehn is.

Kelly Prehn was a City of Austin Park employee who served from 1974 until 2000. Kelly Prehn graduated with a bachelor of Horticulture degree from Southwest Texas State (today’s Texas State University in San Marcos). Kelly was widely published for his work in the Hill Country most notable is his work, “Milking Water from the Hills”.

I then moved on to the Pogue Canyon Overlook. The Kelly Prehn was the better of the two.

Looking up Pogue Canyon towards the Kelly Prehn Overlook.

Now it’s about a mile across Two Cone Road back to the car. Two Cone Road gets its name because there are literally two traffic cones marking its beginning. I will be back to hike some more here this place was outstanding!

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