Location: Steele Ranch, the subject property, is located in a desirable area of Rains and Wood County, approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes east of Dallas. Road access is provided by paved FM 779 to the ranch’s entry gate which is located along the northern property boundary. From the ranch’s entry, a scenic all-weather ranch road meanders to the home and headquarters. The southern boundary of the ranch is nearly 2.5 miles of frontage along the northern bank of the Sabine River. Grand Saline, TX is ~5 miles south of the ranch and Mineola, TX is ~9 miles southeast of the ranch. Both towns have great restaurants, local hospitals and large stores for supplies and groceries.
From Dallas- At the intersection of I-30 and Loop 635, travel east ~12 miles to Hwy 276 in Rockwall, TX. Exit Hwy 276 east and drive ~41 miles to Emory, TX. From Emory, take Hwy 69 east for ~3 miles to FM 779. Travel south on FM 779 for ~12 miles to the ranch’s gated entry located on the south (right) side of FM 779. From the ranch’s entry gate, travel south ~.25 mile along the rock ranch road to the ranch’s headquarters.
Overview: The 1,115+/- acre ranch was assembled in 1978 by the Steele Family. Multipurpose in use, Steele Ranch features rolling Bahia and Bermuda grass pastures for dense cattle stocking and hay production in its northern pastures which are bisected by Simpkins Creek. The southern pastures lie within the game-rich Sabine Sanctuary. Sportsmen and wildlife collectively benefit from miles of undisturbed hardwood bottomland. A simple road system allows access to the woods and to Twin Lakes, a 25+/- acre natural lake with fantastic waterfowl hunting.
Soils: The soil in the bottomland portions of the ranch is primarily Gladewater Clay, which is typical for areas near the Sabine River. Gladewater Clay is darker in color, productive for food plot crops, moderately permeable; these soils drain into The Sabine River due to the land’s slope. The soils in the upland hay pastures are primarily Woodtell Loam varieties. These tighter Woodtell Loam soils are lighter in color, well drained and highly productive for hay pastures and crops.
Trees: Sweet gum, oak, elm and other hardwood varieties make up the primary tree canopy on the ranch. The ranch hasn’t had timber harvested since the 1950. The open hay pastures, feature well spaced oak trees that provide generous livestock shade and add strong visual appeal to the landscape.
Topography: An elevation change of approximately 45 feet occurs from north to south on Steele Ranch. At ~395’, the northern pasture near the ranch home is the highest elevation point of the property. From this highpoint, elevations gradually drop to the lowest elevation of ~345’ near the Sabine River. The home and most of the hay pastures are located at higher elevations, free of any flood hazards.
Grasses: Bahia and common Bermudagrass make up the ranch’s improved grasses. The ranch also has fescue, native rye and other native grasses which add color and contrast to the ranch’s natural beauty.
Grazing and Hay Production: Steele Ranch has historically supported ~125 pairs. The perimeter fencing is sufficient for turning livestock and there are 6 internal pastures with fencing in varying condition. Three stock tanks and Simpkins Creek are available for livestock watering in each area of the ranch. The owner reports an annual hay harvest of ~600 large round bales from the hay pastures.
Sabine River, Lakes and Creeks: The southern boundary of Steele Ranch is an ~2.5 mile stretch of the Sabine River. The river is accessible in several areas. The river views are impressive and the access points add a thrilling recreational dimension to the ranch.
Simpkins Creek and Leatherman Creek bisect the ranch from northwest to southeast and into the Sabine River. A number of shallow water sloughs and natural oxbows have been created over time. There are Palmetto Trees beneath hardwood trees near these natural riparian features. The shade filters the sunlight, creating a setting reminiscent of antebellum low country.
Near the center of the ranch’s bottomland sanctuary is a natural lake named Moore’s Lake (or Twin Lakes on some maps). This 25+/- acre shallow water natural lake is ancient. The banks are surrounded by mature button willows and the lake is ideal for waterfowl hunting. The lake has bass, catfish, bream and assorted rough fish. This lake features sandy banks and tannic water. In dry months, the lake will recede and could be planted with waterfowl crops to further enhance the hunting. There are several lakeside picnic areas with scenic oak trees and lake access for a boat or canoe.
Deer Hunting: Deer hunting southeast of Lake Tawakoni’s drainage has quietly become one of the premier free-ranging whitetail deer sanctuaries east of Dallas. Due to restocking efforts by The Texas Parks and Wildlife, larger tract sizes and favorable habitat, impressive trophy bucks are harvested every year in this area. The ranch’s dense cover, native browse and the landowner’s cautious management practices ensure the native herd’s best interests are met year-round.
Duck Hunting: Moore’s Lake is a waterfowler’s dream come true. The lake has a slough on the north end that is ideal for puddle ducks right now. The body of the lake is fairly shallow and surrounded with excellent cover for decoy spreads to take advantage of the migratory route along the Sabine River. Seasonal planting could enhance the hunting further.
Ranch Home / Structural Improvements: An 1800’s one-story ranch home with a large porch is located on a hillside ~.25 miles south of the ranch’s entry. The ranch-style home is simple and perfectly fitting for the ranch. The home features 3 bedroom and 1.5 baths, nice kitchen and a memorable view from the windows of the large living area. Near the home is a lockable 16×20’ storage building for equipment. The ranch also has several older barns and a set of working pens.
Utilities: Electricity is provided by Wood County Electrical Co-op, water is supplied by Golden Water Supply Company. The home has a conventional septic system.
Taxes: Steele Ranch is agriculturally exempt and the taxes are estimated to be ~$5,000 per year.
Steele Ranch is Co-Marketed with Trinity Land Team
Wright Monning – Agent
Chris Susilovich – Agent
Brandon Rutledge – Agent