Face of the Race: Rocky Hill Ranch

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You may know Rocky Hill Ranch (RHR) as the host venue for the Austin Rattler MTB and Austin Rattler Run events, but this mountain bike and run destination has been in operation long before we came to town. Read up on the history and features of the ranch, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

In 1993, ranch owners Grey and Pam Hill opened up Rocky Hill Ranch to mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts to fill a void in Texas trail access. A working cattle ranch at the time, RHR featured a few miles of singletrack, ranch/logging roads and cow trails. It also offered the best hamburgers, coldest beers and most beautiful sunsets at the Rocky Hill Ranch Saloon, which was later converted into the covered pavilion where we now hold our race-day packet pickups.

What’s now known as Fat Chuck (pictured) marked the first completed mile of trail and was virtually unrideable at the time. Over the years, Rocky Hill Ranch Manager Paul Uhl and his crew of dedicated, local volunteers crafted the amazing trails we use today. The last major extension to the trail system — Roland’s Golden Highway — came with the addition of the Austin Rattler MTB to the events lineup. We needed more mileage to complete the 33K loop, and the RHR team gladly went the distance.

Today, the ranch is host to several other events including Hells Hills, Rocky Hill Rampage, Rocky Hill Rooundup, Fat Chucks Revenge, Dirty Du, 24 Hours of Rocky Hill (the oldest 24-hour race in the world!) and more.

Key features
• 1,300 acres
• 26+ miles of singletrack and Jeep roads
• Almost 100% of trails built by local volunteers and ranch hands

Built to last
Texas weather is no joke, but Rocky Hill Ranch survived two floods, Hurricane Harvey and three close calls with nearby forest fires. Paul Uhl and his crew worked diligently to rebuild and reroute the trails as needed after each storm hit. Now the trails are better than ever and continue to be a staple in the Lone Star State mountain biking and running scenes.

Want to ride or run the Rocky Hill Ranch trails for yourself? Join us for the 2018 Austin Rattler Short Track on March 30, Austin Rattler MTB on March 31 and/or the Austin Rattler Run on April 1.

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