View Full Version : Escondido Draw (EDRA) Work Weekends

07-09-2008, 07:45 PM
You do not need to be a member of the Texas Motorized Trails Coalition to participate/volunteer.

See the last post(s) in this thread for the latest dates and info.

EDRA is 21 miles west of Ozona and approx 250 miles west of San Antonio. See the next couple of posts for directions and pics.

Time on EDRA Work Days will not count as DBSA work hours (I wish I could say otherwise). This will be to the benefit of the Texas Motorized Trails Coalition (TMTC) and their effort to get the Escondido Draw Recreation Area ORV park up and running. Hours worked per person will count toward TMTC's account balance with the state at $10 per hour rate.

The work will initially be trail cutting but will evolve into facilities (water, electric, camp sites, rv sites, etc) sometime in the future.

08-05-2008, 09:40 AM
How do you get to EDRA? Take IH10 West till you get 21 miles past Ozona. You'll find this sign. Turn left on 290.


Then this is the first set of county roads that you will come to. Turn left on 406.


Start counting cattle grates. Right before the 4th cattle grate, turn left here. Eventually there will be a nice sign, but for now, you can barely read the word 'TMTC'.


08-05-2008, 09:52 AM
EDRA is 3600 acres. Mostly a large wide draw area surrounded by cap rock plateaus. Just before you make the descent down into the draw, these very faded signs warn you of the steep hill to come.


I didn't take any photos of the draw itself.

08-05-2008, 10:00 AM
The TMTC membership meeting was held in the town square. The 4wd group was well represented. I was the only 'peon' motorcycle member there.



Quite a few ATV'ers showed up to play on EDRA during the weekend but I don't think any of them did a lick of work. That will have to change if they want the ATV trail systems completed.

Can't throw too many rocks though since Tony Eeds (President of TMTC), Steve Thompson (TPWD), and myself were the only motorcyclists there. But we did work to get some trail marked and ready.

08-05-2008, 10:55 AM
Link to thread with some pics of 4WD rock crawl trail at EDRA on TMTC forums.


Link to thread with some pics of EDRA on TMTC forums.


I'm trying to drum up a bit of excitement within DBSA about this property/project. TMTC will need all the volunteer help they can get to make the trail systems happen. The motorcycle trail loops alone should be about 70 miles when complete. They will be having work weekends starting sometime this fall. Stay tuned to the Dirt News for dates. I will put them up as I find out about them.

08-05-2008, 08:57 PM
I really don't mean to complain, cause I know all the people are volunteers. I got my mailing the Wednesday before the event. Thanks for going JR.

08-06-2008, 09:54 AM
Yep, you nailed it. They have the same 'volunteer' problems we do, but on a state wide scale. My notice didn't arrive until a couple of days before the meeting either. Fortunately I had stumbled upon TMTC's website forums and was able to plan ahead. I also had that same info posted here a couple of weeks in advance. I'll do my best to keep track of what's going on with and at EDRA and post the info in the Dirt News. Hopefully, some DBSA'ers (and even non-DBSA'ers are welcome) will step up to help.

And I see 'Laura the Bum' has signed up as a member of our forums. One of the coolest gals you're likely ever to meet, a 4WD'er (Suz Samarai), and stays heavily involved in ORV volunteerism. Welcome to our forums.

09-08-2008, 07:47 PM
I spent 4-7 September at EDRA helping flag in the first set of trails. We had flagged 3 miles of trail prior to this and now have flagged an additional 10 miles of trail. The plan is to get ahead and stay ahead of the cutting crews that we hope will show up for the work weekends. You really don't get an appreciation for this place until you've spent time walking it and working a trail. I grow more impressed with it every time I work there. We've got trail sections that would make Steve McKinney proud.

Side note. I finally saw a rattlesnake in the wild. This puppy was about four foot long and I almost stepped on it. Fortunately you could tell it was still in the process of digesting a large meal (could see the fore and hind quarters bumps in it's body) and not interested in us. So we now have a feature named 'Rattlesnake curve'.

09-24-2008, 11:29 AM
And I see 'Laura the Bum' has signed up as a member of our forums. One of the coolest gals you're likely ever to meet, a 4WD'er (Suz Samarai), and stays heavily involved in ORV volunteerism. Welcome to our forums.

aww shucks
Now, I'm gonna have to visit more often.
here's pics from the first visit to EDRA....in July05

btw...JR forgot to mention....I'm the manager of a Motorcycle shop in Springtown, TX...if anyone's ever up this way stop in and say hi.

09-28-2008, 05:44 PM
We got another 6 miles of motorcycle trail flagged in this time (27-28 Sep). So were up to 20 miles flagged and about 3 miles cut in. The next couple of work weekends will be spent cutting and no more flagging will be done until we catch up. Oh, and so far no ATV'ers have showed up to do anything with their trail systems. Surprise, surprise. :rolleyes:

10-28-2008, 07:54 AM
I want to offer a special thank you to a special guy!

Ya'll have a very special member in J.R. Rhoades. In many ways, I am sure that I am preaching to the choir, but I want to add my voice.

We have walked many miles of EDRA together flagging and building trail and I can assure you that our design is richer for his knowledge and our progress far faster for his experience.

I know that J.R. has invited y'all out for the fun, but I want to personally extend an invitation to join us as well. EDRA is a volunteer driven park, we value both the commitment and knowledge of our members and volunteers that are on the ground working.

We are striving to make EDRA a model park for others to emulate. In that spirit, our entire motorcycle trail system will be singletrack and flagged one way only!

We have one loop almost completed that will be in the order of 12~14 miles in length now and over 20 when the last two sections are complete. There is another loop that has only 1.7 miles of trail cut. I'm guessing that that loop will approach 20 miles as well. There are also a couple of canyons that can be used for some A and AA stuff that will increase the challenge while allowing those mortals like myself to bypass them.

Now for the fun part ... we have only BARELY scratched the surface of the 4,300 acres that we have available to use. My goal is to have about 200~250 miles of single track trail eventually. This may be optimistic, but it is better to reach for the stars and fall a bit short than never reach to begin with.

I am planning on attending the January membership meeting, so write down your questions about the park and about TMTC. I will be glad to answer one and all.

Thanks again J.R. and please pass my thanks on to your wife as well for the wonderful food she sends when you come to see us. That meal is always one of the highlights of the work weekend.

10-28-2008, 08:57 AM
Teeds,You are right on.....JR is a special person.About 10-12 of us see how good he is,but the entire DBSA membership is better due to his work. I am not sure of how many miles he has driven to help a new member sign up,and get a tour of our place...and that is only the start.The guy really is a gem.Thanks for the note. orangeman:D

12-09-2008, 03:20 PM
Worked at EDRA from Thurs 4 Dec thru Mon 8 Dec. Took a few photos.

This is the current maintenance area. We have a 40' equipment trailer, bunkhouse with 4 beds, toilet and shower building, and open bay storage building. Power comes from portable generators and heat from portable propane heaters.



This open area is for parking RVs and tenting.


12-09-2008, 03:27 PM
We mark motorcycle trails, then go back and trim them in, and the final touch is added by running a small dozer over them. The dozer cuts a 4' swath. This might seem like a lot but when you ride the trail, it really doesn't seem that wide. We figure the trails will reduce and grow over with time to nice single track.

This is Tony Eeds (TMTC Prez and fellow motorcyclist) running a small walk behind dozer doing cleanup.


This is Richard (another volunteer like me) running the small riding dozer.


You'll notice that they are both smiling. Folks after my own heart who enjoy doing this kind of volunteer work. We believe the effort will be worth it in the end result.

This pic is of the hillside where they were working at the time. They were about half way up the side of it and cutting across it.


12-09-2008, 03:35 PM
Now, some pics of completed trail.



Hard to see in this pic but that's about a 45 degree incline drop into a 90 degree corner at the bottom. Good stuff.


12-09-2008, 03:37 PM
And finally, the views from the hillside trails are most excellent. :)


12-10-2008, 12:08 AM
JR....good work!! That place doesnt look like I imagined.You are winning and I will go in the spring,will take the big truck if we can fill it(also trailer) Orangeman:D

12-16-2008, 01:10 PM
JR, thanks for the pictures. I sure wish I could get back out there. That 6-7 hour drive is hard to make when you only have off on Sundays.

02-02-2009, 01:42 PM
I've been making it out to almost all the work weekends. Been slow going since not much in the way of helpers have been coming out. We finally had a father and young son ATV'ers come out for the last three weekends. I turned Tony loose to break them in and help them get to know the property and lay in an ATV trail. I've been working solo these past weekends and have marked in a new motorcycle trail. I did a couple of hours of chainsaw clearing on it and have just scratched the surface. I get to name this trail. Haven't decided on one yet.

04-21-2009, 06:41 PM
You folks are missing all the fun. Proof that you can get a 5 ton dozer back on it tracks with a jeep winch, some block and tackle, and a large cedar tree.




04-21-2009, 06:50 PM
Wife joined me for this 18-19 Apr work weekend. We've been married 25 years now and celebrated with a bit of camping, trail clearing, and hiking. We took Sunday morning off and hiked up one of the larger more interesting canyons/creeks to the top of the plateau. These would be small waterfalls when its raining.



View from the top.


04-21-2009, 06:52 PM
String cacti were in bloom.



05-31-2009, 07:26 PM
A 'thank you' to Bill Canion. He came out and worked with me this weekend helping to continue to clear a new trail on the north end of the property. Bill's a hard worker and it was a pleasure to have his assistance. He now knows a lot more about what this park is going to be.

01-21-2010, 04:02 PM
We are planning on being at EDRA from February 27th through March 7th to lay out and cut the Vireo Trail. It is 15~20 miles in length and will add almost 50% to the total available motorcycle singletrack.

Most of this system would not exist without the efforts of J R Rhoades. He and Richard Jacobs are the best volunteers a person could ask for.

Y'all need to come out and see the place! It is going to be beautiful this spring. We got 5+ inches of rain a week ago today.

01-28-2010, 09:29 AM
KTMTalk is planning a trip to the park the weekend of March 6th / 7th.

Y'all come join them.

01-28-2010, 05:31 PM
So there will be people there working on the trails say March 1st-5th through the week? Matt K and I are going to try to get down there for a couple of nights. We'll get more info and talk to JR when it gets closer.
Rodney B.

01-31-2010, 06:48 AM
So there will be people there working on the trails say March 1st-5th through the week? Matt K and I are going to try to get down there for a couple of nights. We'll get more info and talk to JR when it gets closer.
Rodney B.


Come on down ... to quote Monty Hall

There will be a number of people there, most of them on bikes.

I have an open invitation running on KTMTalk and DRN right now and groups from both boards are coming. How many, I do not know, but there will be some there.

Here is a copy of the map I have been working on. As soon as I get it tweaked a bit, you will hopefully start seeing it pop up in some of the local shops.


I have a spot saved for JR aka volunteer extraordinaire. He can tell you all about all of those squiggly lines. He and I flagged them and he cut most of them as well.

Directions ...

The park is SIX hours from either Dallas or Houston, and about 3~4 from Austin/San Antonio.

It is 385 miles from my house in East Dallas to the park. A similar amount from Houston.

The route from San Antonio/Houston is super simple ... I10 west to Exit 343.

Almost the same from South Austin ... US290 West to I10 and then west to Exist 343

A little more complex from North Austin ... TX29 west to Mason, US377 South to Junction, where you hit I10 and then west on I10 to Exit 343

It is a bit more complicated from DFW ...
West on I20 to Cisco
South on 206 to Coleman and just beyond to
West on US67 through San Angelo to Barnhart
South on 163 to Ozona and
West on I10 to Exit 343

then ...

Exit Texas 290 - Sheffield / Fort Lancaster - Exit 343
Left across the bridge over Texas 290
Follow Texas 290 to CR406
Left on CR406
Follow CR406 south crossing THREE cattleguards
50 feet BEFORE the FOURTH cattleguard, there will be a gate on your left with a sign on the right side that has TMTC spray painted on it. There is a no trespassing sign in the middle of the gate.
Enter that gate.
Follow the gravel road about one mile .. through a gate to a gate by an oil production platform ... that gate has our name on it.
Come through the gate ... BTW ... leave ALL gates like you found them
Follow the road to the left at the fork down the hill to a T
Turn right at the T and follow the road about a mile to a right turn that will take you to Deer Camp.

Come on, bring some dead cow, brews, bike and fuel.

We have lots of flat area for camping, hot showers (bring a towel) and some glorious sun rises.

Here is a couple of shots of one a couple of weeks ago. The first was a single shot and by the time I ran out to the open area to make the panorama that I stitched together, it looks like a different morning entirely. Timing is everything. :)



02-02-2010, 09:18 PM
Bill Canion and I are planning on coming out on the 27-28 Feb weekend. I will probably leave right after work on Friday to head out there. Bill and I will need somewhere to toss down a sleeping bag (I could bring my large tent if worse comes to worse).

02-03-2010, 06:21 PM
Can y'all change it to the next weekend.

I just found out about an hour ago that I have to to attend a meeting in Roanoke on the evening of March 2nd with City Council, so now I will not be heading that way until the morning of the 3rd.

Richard is still planning on heading that way on the 26th, so y'all don't have to change dates unless you want to see my shining face. :rolleyes:

02-16-2010, 06:22 PM
I've decided to come out for both weekends (Feb 27-28 and Mar 6-7). My advice if you have to choose just one weekend, is to come out for the second one.

02-17-2010, 09:35 AM
Looks like Matt K and I will be arriving Monday afternoon March 1st for three nights.
Rodney B.

01-09-2012, 12:22 PM
As you can see, this subject has been dead for a while. I dropped out of the project for a bit more than a year. I needed a break and took time off for myself and did a lot of traveling. Plus TMTC was undergoing a change of leadership and so was the EDRA project. I figured it would give things a chance to settle down and get organized again.

Anyway, I went out to Ozona on Sat, 7 Jan 2012 to see where things stand now. TMTC is starting to host work days out there again and the motorcycle trails are complete (50+ miles). They have a 10 mile section bulldozed for a razor course. The ATV trails are still a work in progress (some complete, some in work, and some more planned). The 4WD folks have several established trails and climbs now.

The welcome center/shower/bathroom facilities are still in the planning stages. If I understood correctly, they do have the funding for them.

Anyway, they are planning another work weekend 17-19 Feb 2012. I told them I would see if I could get a crew (4 people) together to come out for that weekend.

Electric has not been run to the property yet but they have installed a propane powered generator down at the work camp.

They still need to drill a water well on the top of the property. It's a bit of a headache since all the drillers are busy drilling wells for the oil companies and the well has to meet Texas Commission on Environmental Quality standards.

So things are moving along but at a snails pace.

01-09-2012, 12:36 PM
I took a few photos while there.

The current map of EDRA as of January 2012. Black are the ranch roads, Blue is 4WD, Red is ATV, Orange is motorcycle, and yellow is Razor. Any dotted trails are planned/in work.


TMTC has purchased a lager dozer for road and other heavy duty work.


This is on the new 10 mile long Razor course. It's in a basically flat area but still fun to play flat track motorcycle on.


01-09-2012, 12:40 PM
This is upper part of the Verio trail. Bill Canion and I did trim work on some of this and he can attest to how rocky it is. This section is tough to ride with all of the loose rock.




01-11-2012, 07:32 AM
Any body doing work on the week days? Rodney and I did a good bit of work, the last time we went, and know the property well. I will see if I can con up a sitter for the weekend.

01-13-2012, 05:47 AM
Any body doing work on the week days? Rodney and I did a good bit of work, the last time we went, and know the property well. I will see if I can con up a sitter for the weekend.

I can help on weekends.

01-16-2012, 12:23 PM
I don't think anybody is doing anything during the weekdays. I need to contact the head of the project to verify the Feb work weekend. It was unofficial at the time I was told about it. Stand by and I'll see if I can get a firm commitment. Nice to see some folks are interested. It's a good opportunity to work a bit and then to ride some too.

01-26-2012, 09:16 PM
Any new news on this?

01-27-2012, 09:15 AM
I put a post in the TMTC Forums over a week ago and still no answer yet. :rolleyes:

O.K. Now it's been two weeks without a reply so I gave up and deleted my post.

I've decided not to go this time and probably will stay out of the project unless asked to lend a hand.

So go check it out if you want to, I'm just not sure about any of the details other than they are having a board meeting on Saturday and some riding to show the place to folks.