River Ridge Ranch
Bath County, VA
River Ridge Ranch covers 370 acres of ideal Bath County land. Bordered by the Cowpasture River to the east and the George Washington National Forest to the west and south, this well-rounded property showcases much of what makes western Virginia special – rugged scenery; clear, cold rivers; endless outdoor recreation; and an agreeable four-season mountain climate.
The main house sits high on a bluff 250’ above the river. A dramatic observation deck has been built out over the edge of the bluff, capturing views of the river and the mountains to the east. Additional improvements include a pair of one-bedroom guest cabins, a guest cottage, a manager’s house, several barns, and a stable. The ranch is almost evenly divided between open and wooded acreage, and the primary land use on the open acreage is hay pasture. A well-developed trail system traverses the land and further adds to the recreational aspects of the ranch. Convenient access to the town of Hot Springs and the amenities of the Homestead Resort balance the ranch’s privacy and rural character, making it an accessible retreat with broad appeal.
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Overview & Facts
- ½ mile of frontage on the Cowpasture River.
- Elevation 1,600 ft.
- 5-bedroom main house, 3 guest cottages, a manager’s house, ranch buildings and stable.
- Bordered by the George Washington National Forest on two sides.
- Excellent recreational opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and fly fishing.
- 25 minutes to the renowned Homestead Resort, it’s championship golf courses, and the town of Hot Springs.
- Property is not under conservation easement.
River Ridge Ranch lies in the mountains of Virginia, approximately 15 miles from the West Virginia border. The ranch is conveniently located 25 minutes outside of the towns of Hot Springs and Warms Springs, which together feature a wide range of amenities, including restaurants, shops, groceries, and the Homestead Resort. The nearest commercial airport, Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, is a one-hour and fifteen-minute drive and has daily flights to Chicago and Washington-Dulles International. The nearest FBO is Ingalls Field, which has a 5,600’ runway suitable for private jet access.
Approximate driving times to nearby towns and metropolitan areas are:
|· Hot Springs, VA||~||25 minutes|
|· Staunton, VA||~||1 hour|
|· Lexington, VA||~||55 minutes|
|· Charlottesville, VA||~||1 hour 30 minutes|
|· Richmond, VA||~||2 hours 30 minutes|
|· Washington D.C.||~||3 hours 15 minutes|
In the early days of Virginia, Bath County was considered the frontier and its mountainous terrain and rural character still give the area the feeling of being wonderfully removed. Public lands cover more than half of the county, and Bath County has a well-deserved reputation as a destination playground for outdoorsmen. The rugged Allegheny Mountains serve as the area’s backdrop and provide endless hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, while the surrounding rivers and streams are known for some the best fly fishing in Virginia. The cold, clear waters of the endless mountain streams and the Jackson River hold excellent populations of Rainbow, Brown, and native Brook trout, and warmer water rivers such as the Cowpasture hold trout seasonally, as well as smallmouth bass and other warm water species.
25 minutes from River Ridge is the renowned Homestead Resort and the charming town of Hot Springs. The Homestead traces its roots to 1766, and the modern resort dates from 1888. Today the resort features two championship golf courses, a ski slope, skeet range and sporting clays, and many other amenities. For those looking to relax there is the Homestead Spa, as well as a number of great restaurants and shops in Hot Springs and Warm Springs. The reliably agreeable summer weather, unrivaled scenery, access to public lands, and year-round activities make Bath County a perpetually popular destination for people throughout the Commonwealth and Mid-Atlantic.
River Ridge Ranch experiences an enjoyable 4-season climate that is favorably influenced by its elevation and the surrounding mountains. Summers are noticeably cooler than areas to the east, with relatively low humidity and average high temperatures in the low 80’s. During the winter high temperatures reach the 30’s and 40’s, with low’s in the 20’s. Spring and Fall generally feature spectacular weather that highlights the brilliant colors of the changing seasons, and temperatures average in the 60’s and 70’s. Annual rainfall is approximately 44.5 inches, while annual snowfall is approximately 30 inches.
Turning off of River Road, the entrance to River Ridge is marked by an attractively landscaped ranch entrance. The paved driveway passes through an allée of Maple Trees and winds up the hill towards the River House. The River House is the main home on the property and sits in the shade of mature hardwoods, high on a bluff above the Cowpasture River. Multiple outdoor seating areas and a swimming pool surround the house, including a stunning observation deck built out over the bluff. The deck is the perfect place to relax with family and friends while catching the cool breezes coming off the mountains and watching the river track its course hundreds of feet below. The river itself can be accessed from the house via a walking trail or by a convenient farm road that allows you to drive up to the riverbank.
A short walk from the house are a pair of guest cabins, while a slightly longer walk (or quick drive) brings you to the larger guest cottage. The ranch buildings and stable are conveniently located off of the main ranch road, which continues through the center of the property before reaching the managers house and the ‘Garage Mahal’, a ranch building that is part car shop and part gathering place, complete with a full bar.
Beyond these buildings the property transitions from open ground to woods, the bulk of which form a 170-acre block of hardwoods. The wooded topography slowly gains elevation before reaching the top of Mike’s Ridge. At 2,060 ft the ridge marks the high point on the property and forms the western boundary, beyond which lies the George Washington National Forest. Several miles of well-established ATV and hiking trails are spread throughout the woods and create ample opportunity for on-site recreation.
The River House:
The main home on the ranch is known as The River House and has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. There is also a one-bedroom / one-bathroom guest apartment with a full kitchen and separate entrance on the lower garage level. The River House is sited high above the Cowpasture River, and the floorplan is laid out to capitalize on the surroundings and views. A large screened-in porch provides outdoor seating and dining and features a gas grill built into a custom stone countertop. Just to the east of the house is a swimming pool, and completing the outdoor amenities is the observation deck, which captures stunning views of the Cowpasture and the surrounding scenery.
Guest Cottages and Manager’s House:
Near the River House are a pair of charming guest cabins, each with a bedroom and bathroom. Only a short walk from the main house, the cabins strike an ideal balance between privacy and inclusiveness. A little bit further away is an additional guest cottage, which has a bedroom, bathroom, and full kitchen. Next door to the cottage is a screened-in ‘summer bedroom’ perfect for enjoying cool mountain nights during the warmer months. The ranch also has a three-bedroom manager’s house, which like the other structures on the property is sited in a way that makes it accessible but private.
There are two large equipment barns on the property, one of which has an attached two-bay garage with a car lift. There is also a simple but efficient 15-stall stable adjacent to the barns.
River Ridge Ranch is comprised of 370 acres, an approximate breakdown of which is:
|155||±||Fields, paddocks, open ground|
|200||±||Wooded / timber|
|15||±||Other (buildings sites, roads, etc)|
One of the standout aspects of River Ridge Ranch is the on-site recreation. The limestone-rich waters of the Cowpasture River provide excellent fishing and hold healthy populations of bass and trout, the latter being most prevalent during the cooler months of the year. The river can be accessed via a walking path, or a farm road that allows you to drive down to the river where there is a perfect spot to hang-out, swim and BBQ, as well as launch canoes and kayaks.
Roads and trails are present throughout the ranch and a well-developed trail system overlays the wooded acreage, complete with trail markers and names. The trails are perfect for hiking, trail running, horseback riding, mountain biking, or ATV’s. The shared boundary with the George Washington National Forest further builds on these options and provides immediate access to thousands of acres of public land. Although there are no horses currently on the ranch the stable and nearby 10-acre paddock stand ready to welcome equestrians, and the facilities could easily be expanded and improved if the next owner were so inclined.
Wildlife populations on the property are substantial and healthy; and deer, black bears, turkey, otter, bald eagles, and dove are all present and commonly seen. Hunting is not currently a focus at River Ridge, however, between the ranch itself and the adjacent National Forest there are ample opportunities to develop wildlife habitat and a hunting program.
Beyond the ranch, recreation opportunities continue and the vast amount of public land in Bath County beckons outdoor enthusiasts. Similarly convenient are the celebrated golf and sporting amenities of the Homestead Resort, offering an unusually balanced range of activities for a property in such a rural location.
“River Ridge Ranch is an outstanding recreational property and checks many of the boxes often requested by our clients – live water, mountains, and proximity to a small but vibrant rural community.”