Uvalde County, Texas

$15,350,000

2275+/- Acres

Location

Dripstone Ranch is an exclusive Texas Hill Country offering, creating a rare opportunity to own a legendary Frio River ranch with unique features of nature. Water, hills, trees, irrigated fields, wildlife, riverfront, caves, meadows, improvements, access, and economic development potential in this combination are found nowhere else in the State.

Dripstone is located within a huge block of permanently protected conservation ranches that have conservation easements held by a variety of entities, including the City of San Antonio and The Nature Conservancy. These permanent easements assure that this geographical area will be protected from unrestricted future development and will forever remain a treasured scenic part of the Hill Country legacy. The two conservation easements on Dripstone were carefully designed to protect the water recharging into the Edwards Aquifer and to allow development in designated building envelopes which include a guest ranch lodge and guest homes to take advantage of the growing recreation economy of nearby Concan.

Rising from the crossroads of three ecoregions of Texas, this extraordinary Hill Country ranch is conveniently located along Highway 127 and FM 2960. It is surrounded on three sides by the famous 15,000-acre century old Annandale Ranch, home of the Frio Bat cave, protected by permanent Conservation Easements.

Located 5 miles southeast of Concan, Dripstone Ranch encompasses more than 4.3 miles of frontage on both sides of the Frio River. This is the property’s central defining feature, winding through deep pools and cascading rapids. The ranch is all high-fenced, fronting for 2.5 miles along Highway 127 on the east and 3 miles along paved FM 2960 on the west. Dripstone is approximately 15 miles from Uvalde and its 5,500-foot airport and is a two-hour drive from Austin and a 90 minute drive from San Antonio.

Dripstone is the southern gateway to the Hill Country. Here is where the Hill Country rises out of the coastal plains in an abrupt, dramatic fashion. There is more than 350 vertical feet of elevation change within the property.

Description

Dripstone Ranch is uniquely located in the geographic transition area between the rugged Hill Country Balcones Fault, the Chihuahuan Desert, and the leveling topography of the South Texas Brush Country. Ranching and nature come together here, with areas of wildlife habitat and river, combined with agricultural areas designed into improved pastures, irrigated fields, and amazing ranch infrastructure. The ranch name comes from the famous karst limestone caves below it, where the historic owner’s rite of passage was swimming in the Edwards Aquifer.

Conservation

Dripstone has two conservation easements held by the City of San Antonio Aquifer Protection Program. Today that program protects over 150,000 acres in the recharge and contributing zone of the Edwards Aquifer. The ranch retained development rights were carefully designed to allow 12 large building envelopes along the Frio River in addition to including a new 30 room guest ranch Lodge and future subdivisions. A market study conducted by an independent hotel marketing consultant has shown conclusively that a Lodge supported by various homes or casitas all designed within the reserved rights of the conservation easement working in harmony with the incredible natural features is the highest and best economic use of this ranch. Guests at the Lodge will learn to appreciate the abounding wonders of nature and enjoy the fresh air and water as they explore the Dripstone’s many hiking trails.

In addition to the financial benefits from developing and operating a guest ranch Lodge, the Dripstone Ranch offers great potential for its use as a private corporate retreat or as a wonderful home and recreation spot for a family.

Frio River

Framed by high limestone bluffs, the clear cool waters of the Frio River wind through the ranch for more than 4 miles, providing for incredible private recreation. Whether swimming in deep pools, floating over gin-clear riffles, or fishing through long wide runs, multiple access points open the river for enjoyment by all. Huge century Live Oak trees line this river, creating a riparian habitat that is perfect for trails, hiking, and wildlife.

This stretch of the Frio is located within the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone and is vital to replenishment of the aquifer’s resources. A series of faults, the Karst cave complex, and the surface materials in the hills, make this ranch a major contributor to the recharge of the city of San Antonio’s sole source of drinking water, the Edwards Aquifer.

There is an area called the Blue Hole which runs for hundreds of yards in the upstream segment. In times of extreme drought, this pool acts as a refuge for fish. The Frio River has some of the highest water quality in the state and represents a tremendous recreation asset to Dripstone.

Ranch and Farm Headquarters

The headquarters of Dripstone Ranch is highly improved to provide for a variety of recreational and agricultural activities. The majority of the improvements are located on the west side of the river. Here, the flattening terrain consists of large stands of trees, breaking up improved fields of native grasses for grazing, and large irrigated fields for cultivation. The main house is perched high on a bluff overlooking the Frio River and its stands of old growth Live Oaks and Cedar Elms.

There are remarkable views of the central hills and the vast hill country beyond. Established jeep trails run throughout the outwash plains both east and west of the Frio River to serve windmills, water tanks and hunting stands. Improved Klein grass fields are scattered over the ranch, but at the headquarters there are large farming areas under two center pivot irrigation systems with 238 acre­feet of base irrigation water rights from the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

The Main House

  • Electric gate entrance on FM2960 with paved road to barn complex and main house.
  • 3,973 square foot 2br/2ba custom home with amazing large patios, gardens, and a walkway down to the river.
  • Windowed high ceiling living room with distant views.
  • Located on a high bluff over the river.
  • Bass-stocked fishing lake nearby.
  • Four-bay carport.
  • Three-bay finished garage.

Other Housing

  • Foreman’s house of 1,364 square feet at the entrance with large irrigation reservoir next door. This house was recently remodeled with new windows and AC.
  • Bunk house of 1,438 square feet with walk-in cooler, game processing facility, large kitchen, bath, dining room, living room, 8-bed bunk loft, and great BBQ entertainment area.

Blue Hole Cabin

  • Two rock cabins overlooking permanent Blue Hole on the Frio River
  • 238-acre feet of base irrigation rights. Several flood-irrigated fields.
  • Eight high-quality solar powered water wells in the 300 to 350 foot depth with storage and troughs strategically located around the ranch.

Barns and Ranch Operations

  • Four stall horse barn and tack room with outside pipe runs. Equipment barn- 2,200 square feet with concrete floors, tool room, work area.
  • Hay barn of cinder block construction. Various sheds and outbuildings.
  • Excellent working pipe pens and several improved pastures. Entire ranch is high-fenced into two large areas.
  • Excellent road system with many highway access points and three river crossings

Water and Irrigation

  • Two center pivot systems. Diesel pumps, buried pipelines.
  • 238-acre feet of base irrigation rights. Several flood-irrigated fields.
  • Eight high-quality solar powered water wells in the 300 to 350 foot depth with storage and troughs strategically located around the ranch.
  • All fuel tanks comply with Edwards Aquifer Authority regulations.

Habitat and Wildlife

Dripstone Ranch has an amazing diversity of habitats as a transition zone in the Hill Country from grassy meadows, forested hollows, and tree-lined riparian forest, to rolling limestone hills and wide open agricultural pastures. The diversity of habitats translates into a rich wildlife diversity. Huge Whitetail Deer with improved Texas genetics, Black Buck, Rio Grande turkey, and other game and non-game species abound. It is a hunter’s dream and a paradise for the outdoor enthusiast or birder. Plants and habitat from all three ecoregions are present. With excellent management over the years, native and improved grasses have flourished.