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PRESIDENT'S RANCH TRAIL

PRESIDENT'S RANCH TRAIL. The President's Ranch Trail, which was dedicated on November 10, 1967, at Wimberley, is a ninety-mile route located in Hays, Blanco, and Gillespie counties. It extends from the LBJ Ranch, located on Ranch Road 1 near Stonewall, to San Marcos. From the ranch two approaches are possible to Blanco, from which the main route extends to San Marcos: one, referred to as the north branch, proceeds from Ranch Road 1 via U.S. Highway 290 through Hye to Johnson City, then to Blanco via U.S. Highway 281; the other approach, referred to as the south branch, leads from the ranch to Stonewall and reaches Blanco by means of Albert on Ranch Road 1623. The route from Blanco to San Marcos leads via Ranch roads 165 and 2325 through Wimberley, where Ranch Road 12 leads to San Marcos.

The idea for the trail honoring Lyndon Baines Johnson's presidency began with a group of interested landowners along the proposed route, as well as civic and business leaders in the Hill Country. The Texas Tourist Development Agency gave its official sanction to the project on September 12, 1967, a move that paved the way for the incorporation of the President's Ranch Trail Association in October 1967. The trail was initiated as a nonprofit public service for the promotion of historic, scenic, and recreational points of interest in Johnson's home vicinity, under the rules of the Texas Travels Trails Committee, whose policy required that the three counties involved in the project be made responsible for establishing, publicizing, and maintaining the entire trail. The total financing of the trail was also made a responsibility of the three-county group. A ten-member board of directors was established, and C. B. Smith, Sr., of Austin and Wimberley, was elected chairman of the association.

The trail, which closely follows the route taken by pioneers and Indians of the area, reflects the background of the people from whom Johnson descended, as well as places important to his early and later life: the Lyndon B. Johnson Birthplace, Boyhood Home, and Ranchqv; the Johnson family cemetery; Lyndon B. Johnson State Historical Park; the Pedernales Electric Cooperative in Johnson City, which was brought into being under Johnson's influence in the United States Senate; the First Christian Church in Johnson City, to which he belonged; the Hye Post office, where he mailed his first letter; the Albert post office, general store, and school building; and his alma mater, Southwest Texas State University, in San Marcos, where his student roominghouse is also located.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Joe B. Frantz

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Joe B. Frantz, "PRESIDENT'S RANCH TRAIL," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/erp01), accessed October 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.