We’ll be adding the telescope this week and our observatory will be up and running and exploring Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon, just to name a few.
Six new tent/small RV sites are available now along the trail above the crappie pond along with a new comfort station with 2 toilets and 2 showers. Each tent/RV site is equipped with water, 20/30 amp power, a large cedar picnic table, fire pit and charcoal grill. All are located in the trees on the heavily wooded forest of the property with ten miles of hiking and biking trails through the forests and woods on the 188 ranch property. Lodge guests are invited to invite additional guests who may prefer our campgrounds or these individual tent sites. We also have available for rent a 16 foot RV and 29 foot Class A Motor home at two other treed campsites and they are connected permanently to water, sewer and power with tent sites equipped in the same manner.
Mission: Welcome to Marluc Bella Vita Ranch. the Ranch serves our guests by providing a resort environment and a place for learning, tranquility, relaxation, sport, and entertainment while participating in the care of our facilities, wildlife, vegetation, ponds and other natural resources.
- Trail walking and exploring is highly encouraged. There are 1/2 mile and one mile loop trails around the lake and 5 miles of all-weather rock trails through the forest and on the meadow. All of the flat road meadow trails are automobile friendly but extreme caution is recommended. Beatitude stones are placed on the lake trail and there are a number of openings to the lake for fishing and picnics.
- Boating, swimming, and fishing are encouraged. Both the upper pond and the lake are available for fishing. A canoe and three kayaks are available.
- A large minnow tank and a large live well are provided at the lodge porch for fishing.
- There are three campgrounds on the ranch with fire-pits and picnic tables. The Top-of-The Dam campground and Refuge Campgrounds are not rented during any lodge booking and are available for use.
- There are three RV concrete pads with water, sewer and power connections available on a rental basis.
- The Upper deck on the second floor of the lodge faces the Milky Way and is great for astronomy lovers. There is comfortable seating for 12 people.
- There is seating at the large Firepit adjacent to the lodge for about 15 and lots more seating on the rock seating above the fire-pit.
- The Lake porch deck has two restaurant booths that hold 12 people, a 4 person card table, two couches and bar stools at the 60 foot long counter at the lake side. It’s a great place to eat meals and visit and fish. A full size fridge with freezer is located on the porch.
- The classroom has seating for about 30 and is equipped with a large screen TV, Apple TV and HDMI cable. The room is screened in and has two ceiling fans and air conditioning.
- There are two large refrigerators with ice makers and water and freezer in the den.
- There is a three compartment hot food server in the kitchen as well as a Kuerig, coffee urn and a large selection of kitchen food prep devices.
- There is a large television in the den with Apple TV and Direct TV service. There are also televisions in each upper dormitory and one in each lower bedroom equipped with HDMI cables (no broadcast tv).
- The den has two couches to hold 6 people, bar stools and two kitchen tables that will seat 16 total and a large serving counter and food prep counter with two double sinks.
- There are chiggers and poison ivy in some areas and I suggest that everyone that explores the campus spray insect repellent on their shoes and lower legs. There are also a variety of snakes so caution is recommended.
- Bedding and bath towels are provided but swim towels are to be provided by guests.
- There are two showers and a restroom on the trail adjacent to the lodge and above the water slide.
- A hard copper line phone is in the den. The closest hospital is in Jacksboro, a 20 minute drive. There is a first aid kit beside the washer/dryers in the den.
- Please remove all garbage upon departure and place in the dumpster at the entrance gate. Do not leave any perishable food behind.
- The lodge has a solar panel (with batteries) system that will automatically operate the fridges, internet, water pump, lighting and some electrical plugs in the event of a power outage.
- There is a hydroponics garden adjacent to the lodge that grows fish and vegetables from October through May.
- The water slide adjacent to the lodge has a removable stairway as a safety feature.
- There is a gated sand playground adjacent to the lodge.
- A small ice maker is located on the porch of the lodge.
- The lodge features two 120 gallon hot water heaters to ensure guests will always have an ample supply.
- Two washers and two dryers are in the kitchen area of the lodge and are available for guest use.
- Paper towels are provided at several dispensers in the kitchen and dining area. Guests should consider bringing additional rolls with them.
- The lodge undergoes a thorough cleaning and disinfection after each use and there are hand sanitizer stations available.
- A small supply of over the counter medicines and a first aid kit is provided in the kitchen area.
- A waterfall runs constantly over rocks from the upper pond to the lake and there is another piped waterfall area across from the lodge where water is piped up to our meadow and overflow returns to the lake. The lake also has subsurface aeration in two areas.
- Numerous water retainage and stock ponds (for wildlife) are located over the 188 acre ranch property.
- For larger vehicles there is a second commercial gated entrance to the property located about 300 feet west of the main entrance gate.
- There is a large wooden cross at the Top of the Dam Campground and at the Refuge Campground.
- Use of the Gun Range is available to experienced guests who are required to appoint a Marshall during use and to obey the posted gun range rules.
- Please do not make any changes to the air conditioning. It’s set for 68 degrees in the sleeping areas and 74 degrees in the den.
- Use of the dock is included and the lake depth at the dock is 12-14 feet deep. The pontoon boat is also available on a rental basis and life jackets are provided.
- A new sports field with a field house and basketball court ((1/2 court) is under construction and will be available for use in the fall of 2020.
- There is a commercial bee hive on the property. Please feel free to visit at anytime.
- There are three deer stand type wildlife viewing stations with deer corn feeders, chairs and heaters situated strategically around the retreat. Each accommodates two people.
- The Wilderness Roost is located at the far north end of the ranch property. It is available on a rental basis and has 4 beds plus an RV pad with full utilities. The second story view of a deer corn feeder and pistol range also has a covered porch with built-in bbq and a wonderful view of sunsets and sunrises. Included is a bathroom, shower, AC, heater, picnic table, fire-pit, kuerig, full size and mini-fridge, twin bunk and full size bunk with bedding.
- There are bird, duck and bat boxes strategically located around the property.
- The parking lot holds 20 vehicles and there is direct access to the upper and lower floors of the lodge from the parking lot. There is also a lower drop off driveway to the lodge.
- Graford is located South on Highway 4 about 15 minutes and has an excellent cafe, liquor store and Dollar General.
- Mineral Wells is South of Graford another 15 minutes and there are full services, shopping and restaurants and a hospital located there.
- Jacksboro is north on Highway 4 and there are full services, restaurants and a hospital there.
- Graham is northwest on hwy 16 about 30 minutes and there are full services, shopping, restaurants and a Walmart located there.
- Possum Kingdom is southeast on hwy 16 about 25 minutes and there are limited services, shopping and restaurants located there.
Have an enjoyable time and please be safe.
Featuring the live music of Jay Cominsky, and celebrating Labor Day and his birthday, Terry invited all his family for a weekend of fishing, dove hunting, swimming, boating, and exploring the five miles of trails around the forested lake and meadows. Here is the link to the video of the fun… https://youtu.be/bCx5foPI5gA
Following are just a few photos of our fabulous vegetation on our 188 acre property. A complete catalog of photos of the numerous species found can be seen at https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0vJ5ez4CGaWxl6
Many thanks to Duane and Janet Norvill and their terrific crews and subcontractors for a wonderful and very satisfactory construction project. If you are considering a new building project, make sure you call them first.
Fully fenced in and ready for the children to play.
We built the lake (40 feet deep) in 2016 and with the assistance of several North Texas fish experts we designed it for maximum northern wide-mouth bass growth and when the lake filled in April of 2017 we stocked it with 15,000 bass, channel catfish, redear, bluegill and fathead minnow. By Dec 2018, the original bass were approaching two pounds and the catfish were nearly three pounds. There are a number of openings cut down through the forest to the lake to provide access to 1,500 feet of shoreline in the trees. Pea gravel spawing beds are located around the lake as well as large rock piled to the depths of the lake.