Pilot Knob Ranch
Size: 987+/- Acres
County: Freestone County , Texas
PROPERTY SUMMARY: Just a short 10 minute drive east of Fairfield, TX lies Pilot Knob Ranch. Named after Pilot Knob Hill that is located entirely on the ranch and which rises over 150’ above the surrounding landscape. This is a uniquely diverse ranch with exceptional topography providing unobstructed views for miles in all directions. This Fairfield Texas ranch for sale boasts a mixture of well-defined improved pastures, mature hardwoods and multiple lakes well placed throughout the ranch.
Freestone County, named after “Freestone Rock” found throughout the county and specifically on Pilot Knob Ranch where large outcroppings can be found just off the base of Pilot Knob Hill. In the mid 1800’s Pilot Knob Community was formed also named after Pilot Knob Hill. In 1893, a school was established originally consisting of 14 students that continued to grow until it was consolidated with Fairfield in 1938.
SURROUNDING AREA: Immediately W/NW of Pilot Knob Ranch is Fairfield Lake and Fairfield Lake State Park.
Fairfield Lake originally constructed in 1969 by Texas Utilities being ~2,400 acres in size and serves as a cooling lake for Big Brown Power Plant. The lake is open to the public and can be used for boating, water and jet skiing, fishing and swimming in a designated sandy bottom area.
Fairfield Lake State Park established in 1972, opened to the public in 1976, by a lease from Texas Utilities is 1,460+/- acres located on the south end of Fairfield Lake and adjoins Pilot Knob on the N & NW side of the ranch. The park is open to the public with activities that include: camping, backpacking, hiking, horseback riding on approx. 15 miles of trails, nature study, and bird watching.
LOCATION: Centrally located approximately 99+/- miles from Dallas, 120+/- miles from Ft Worth, 160+/- miles from Houston and 175+/- miles from Austin, TX. Pilot Knob Ranch is located east of Fairfield, TX adjacent to Fairfield Lake. There is deeded access lane located on the lightly traveled County Road 240 on the south end of the property. The majority of the ranch is completely private and secluded away from any road noise approximately a ~10 minute drive to downtown Fairfield, TX.
DIRECTIONS: From Dallas or Houston, take Interstate 45 to Fairfield, TX and exit Highway 27 and go east. Go east on Highway 27 which turns into Highway 84 (E Commerce St) in downtown Fairfield. From the intersection of Hwy 84 and Hwy 75 in downtown Fairfield continue through downtown Fairfield approximately 6.98+/- miles, then turn left (north) on County Road 1364. Stay on County Road 1364 for approximately 1.17 miles to four way intersection. Continue north (road bends to the left) on County Road 240 (County Road 1364 turns into County Road 240) for 2.32+/- miles to gate entry (For Sale sign on gate).
TERRAIN: The feature and namesake of the ranch is Pilot Knob. In 1935, two concrete markers labeled “Reference Mark” and one concrete marker marked “Triangulation Station” were placed at the peak of Pilot Knob set under the USGS by the U.S. Coast & Geodetic (now called the National Geodetic Survey) to mark key survey points on the Earth’s surface. These markers serve as a “benchmark” for other survey points. It is believed to be the highest elevation in Freestone County being 618’ above sea level.
Surrounding the base of Pilot Knob Hill are nine picturesque improved pastures separated by a diverse hardwood canopy backdrop. The pastures are comprised primarily of coastal bermuda and are approximately ~170+/- acres in total. The remainder of the property is heavily wooded with mature hardwoods to include oak, hickory, sporadic cedar, Oklahoma redbuds, dogwoods, and cedar elm. This area is known as a transition area between the piney woods of East Texas and the Post Oak Belt. The elevation changes range from a high of 618’ to a low of 340’ for 278’ of total elevation change.
SOILS: Primarily fertile sandy loam in the uplands and clay in the bottom areas with the exception of Pilot Knob being very stony to gravelly sandy loam.
WATER: Three main bodies of water are located on Pilot Knob Ranch being 11.75+/- Acres, 5+/- Acres and 3+/- Acres, all stocked with largemouth bass. Ball Branch originates immediately south of the ranch providing run-off to the largest lake located on the east side of Pilot Knob Ranch. The main lake is a hardwood lined lake measuring over ½ mile in length. The 3 & 5+/- Acre Lakes are located in the center/south side of the ranch tucked away in the middle of a hardwood forest. Multiple creek draws and ravines traverse the ranch which all flow into the south end of Fairfield Lake. Additionally there are 5 ponds scattered throughout the property for cattle, deer and other wildlife. There are two operating water wells located on the property, one being at the ranch headquarters and the other on the banks of the main lake intended for a future home site.
WILDLIFE: Pilot Knob Ranch is currently enrolled in the MLD Program and currently Level II & III. Deer, duck, hog and varmint hunting can be good to excellent.
CATTLE & HAY: The reported maximum carrying capacity is 150 pairs. On average the ranch has provided 750-1,000 round bales per year which receives an average of 38 inches of annual rainfall.
IMPROVEMENTS: Located at the center of the ranch lies a small rustic cabin, rock lined camp fire, overlooking a perfect “kids” fishing pond complete with a fishing pier among a hardwood canopy in a relaxed setting. With the right updates, the cabin, could make for a quaint guest cabin for those long weekends with family and friends. Located a short walk from the cabin is a 7,400+/- square foot multipurpose barn that has been partially converted for recreational activities and storage. The owner utilized the barn for larger family gatherings and local kids weekend “camps”. The barn is equipped with a commercial kitchen, full indoor basketball court, camp style bathrooms for men and women along with storage for ranch equipment.
LAND IMPROVEMENTS: A pipe entry gate greets you as you enter Pilot Knob Ranch. Five strand barbed wire fences are in place around the entire property and are in good to fair condition. Many of the pastures are cross fenced for rotational grazing. The majority of the roads throughout the ranch are all weather with caliche and/or iron ore based with culverts where needed.
EASEMENTS: A gas pipeline easement, operated by Mobile Pipe Line and Energy Transfer, traverses the property diagonally which also serves as an internal ranch road.
SURFACE LEASES: There is one gas well in operation on the south side of the ranch and one other pad site that is no longer operational.
MINERALS: The owner is believed to own all of the coal and lignite rights and no leases exist for this portion of the mineral estate. No oil and gas rights are believed to be owned but the owner will convey any mineral interest owned, if any.
UTILITIES: Navarro County Electric Cooperative, two water wells, propane for commercial kitchen, and an Aerobic Septic system.
SCHOOL DISTRICT: Fairfield Independent School District
TAXES: 2016 property taxes – $6,656.87 Ag Exempt
COMMENTS: Pilot Knob Ranch fits most parameters that ranch buyers seek. This Fairfield Texas ranch for sale is an offering with exceptional wildlife diversity, extremely private setting, great location between major metropolitan areas, varying hardwood covered topography with amazing views throughout the ranch and multiple stocked lakes making for a truly year round ranch that the savviest of ranch buyers would love to call home.