Rustic beauty in the hills of southwest Hood County

Rustic beauty in the hills of southwest Hood County

Hood County News – January 27, 2000 

The Rock Church Cemetery in southwest Hood County is one of the oldest cemeteries in the county

Cabin fever setting in? I’ve got the cure-a road tour!

Southwest Hood County is beautiful during any time of year so you may want to take this tour often. Winding roads and gentle hills make this area a great change from the straight lines and flat terrain of urban life. Also, be sure to take this drive in the summer, so you can take a dip in the Paluxy.

The route we’re taking is too pretty not to share it, so be sure you take someone special along. Believe me, you’ll want someone with you to share a sighting of a beautiful red-tail hawk taking flight.

So, let’s load up!

Lake Granbury Medical Center – Hwy 51 S. (Paluxy Hwy.) – Bakers Crossing Rd. – Rock Church Hwy. – Hutchinson Rd. – Coleman Ranch Rd. – Paluxy Hwy. N. – Lake Granbury Medical Center. Approximately 41 miles.

We’ll start our tour at the hospital and travel south on Hwy 51 S., also known as the Paluxy Hwy. This is a pretty drive with lots of hills and turns.

The road splits after crossing the railroad tracks, about 8 miles from the hospital. The road to the left will take you to Comanche Peak Nuclear Plant and Glen Rose. We’re going right on Hwy 51 S./Paluxy Hwy.

The Hill City Hwy intersection is about a mile down the road. Continue straight on Paluxy Hwy, but notice the property to the right, just pass this intersection. This is the sight of the Gen. Granbury’s Civil War Reenactment, which will be held Oct. 7 – 8. Now that you know where it is, there’s no reason not to attend this year and help out Mission Granbury, sponsors of the event.

Continuing on the Paluxy Hwy approximately 3.6 miles, turn right on Bakers Crossing Rd. The road will split about a 1/2 mile down. Stay left on Bakers Crossing Road.

Now the road really gets good! Along this road, you’ll pass over a beautiful low water crossing and, if you take this trip in the next week or two, you’ll even see water! This is the Paluxy River-the last free-flowing river in Texas.

Also on this road is a very unique log cabin, which will be on your left. The cabin has two fireplaces-one in the main portion of the cabin, the other on a room to the back. Speculation has it that the man, who built the cabin, built the extra room to maintain marital bliss!

Bakers Crossing Rd. runs into Rock Church Hwy. Turn right. Up ahead to your right is the Rock Church Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Hood County.

The original Rock Church-a two-story native limestone structure-sits adjacent to the cemetery. The church served the Rock Church community as a church and school and the top floor was, at one time, used as a Masonic Lodge. It is now a private residence.

The land for the church and cemetery were donated by Jesse Caraway. The Caraway family came to the area in 1859 and created a 1,000-acre farm. Indian raids were frequent in the 1800s, but the citizens of the Rock Church community were true brave pioneers. In his story of Hood County, T.T. Ewell described the Rock Church pioneers’ spirit as “…through many years of faithful labor, watching and suffering during the period of and following the Civil War, when the Indian depredations were frequent and cruel.”

Back on Rock Church Hwy, we’re heading north to Hutchinson Road (your odometer should read approx. 20.6 miles).

Hutchinson Road will run into Coleman Ranch Road. Turn right on Coleman Ranch Road.

Now, talk about picturesque scenery. The hills are beautiful and the small valleys are peaceful and very serene. I found at least five places to build a rock house of my own.

Speaking of rock houses, the Lawrence family place (about 25.6 miles on your odometer) would do nicely. You’ll see it on your left. This is a great-looking two-story rock house with a front porch, an addition to the back and a back porch to boot, which overlooks the valley. I could spend the rest of my days, just sitting on that front porch.

Try, like I did, to tear yourself away from the house and get back on the road. Coleman Ranch Road will meet up with Bakers Crossing Road again and we’ll turn left and just a short distance down the road, we’ll turn left on to the Paluxy Hwy. This will take you back to the hospital.

Hope you enjoyed the trip.

© 2000 Hood County News and HCN Online Services