Williamson County celebrated the start of construction of River Ranch County Park, the county’s fifth county park, with a groundbreaking ceremony on December 10, 2018. River Ranch County Park Is located in western Williamson County between Liberty Hill and Leander. The park is comprised of more than 1,000 acres of meadowlands, woodlands, hills and escarpments providing hill country vista’s between Leander and Liberty Hill. The South Fork of the San Gabriel River meanders through the northeastern portion of the park.
“The goal of River Ranch Park is to have more of a state park feel: one where you can be in parts of it and feel alone in nature. We want people to see, touch and explore nature as it is,” said Williamson County Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long. “This is truly an exciting day. We’ve been working a long time to get to this point.”
The land for River Ranch County Park was purchased in 2008 for $10,625,779 with voter approved park bonds. Phase I construction elements were designed by Design Workshop Landscape Architects and is being constructed by Ritter, Botkin Prime Construction Company, Inc. for a total of $11,040,192.26. Phase 1 includes an area for day use activities, picnics, playgrounds, pavilions, and restrooms. Development also includes hike-in primitive campsites, walk-in/group campsites, and RV camping (improved camping with electrical and water connections), and an associated wastewater dump station. A Park Headquarters, 10-12 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, trailhead parking areas, and a maintenance compound with park residence are also included in Phase I development. It is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2020.
Phase 1 also includes a Park Manager residence being constructed by Glazier Homes LLC. The entrance to River Ranch Park will be on Bagdad Road/CR 279 at CR278. Protected left and right turns into the park will be constructed as well as an acceleration lane. The design for this portion of the River Ranch project was completed by LAN and is being constructed by Champion Site Preparation for an amount of $2,959,000.00. The road is anticipated to be completed in 16 months. An Interpretive Center is under design and slated for construction soon. The Interpretive Center is partially funded with a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and park bonds.