Park/Trail Name: 7IL Ranch
Location: 5389 Mill Creek Rd., Cat Spring, TX 78933
Contact: (979) 236-5552 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions: From I-10 Exit 704 (FM 949) Go (north) on FM 949 about 11.7 miles to 1094. Cross 1094 and go 0.2 miles. Turn left on Mill Creek Road. After the bridge stay to the right at the Y. Go another 2.5 miles and 7IL entrance is on the left.
Overnight Horse Camping: Allowed
- Women’s/Men’s bathrooms with large stalls and showers
- 27 electric hookups (20, 30 & 50amp) with water
- Tent camping and day use areas
- 15 uncovered pens and 2 covered pens (pens are not located by RV hookups)
- Round pen
- Rental party pavilion with electricity, heat, ac, and patio
- Unusual non equestrian obstacles for human trail runners/races
- Extensive equine obstacle course
Reservations: Reservations through Reserve America are required to reserve and pay for horse pens and camping sites.
Fees: Fees are subject to change, check with the 7IL Ranch for the most up to date rates. Once you arrive, check in at the red barn where you will pay your riding and/or non riding daily ranch use fees. Payment drop box, maps, and liability release forms are located inside the red barn on the right.
- $20 per day for each person riding
- $30 Riding Weekend Special Friday – Sunday
- $5 Non-rider daily fee per person
- Half price for children under age 12
- $12 for a 12×12 pen
- $22 a day for RV hookup
Dogs: Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash.
Cell Phone Service: Excellent!
Wagons / Carts: Some of the trails are wide enough for wagons.
Trail Map: 7IL Trail Maps
Mileage: If you ride all the trails going one direction and then ride them all again the opposite direction, there are approximately 35.5 miles of trails. If you ride the trails going one direction only, then it is almost 20 miles of trail. There are a total of six well marked color coded trails.
White Trail is 4.8 miles and it’s reverse is the Red Trail at 4.8 miles
Blue Trail is 6.5 miles and it’s reverse is the Orange Trail at 7.3 miles with a minor deviation
Green Trail is 6 miles and it’s reverse is the Yellow Trail at 6.1 miles
Terrain: The ground is all sandy with some pretty deep sand in spots. It is not rocky and very barefoot friendly. There are no steep grades or difficult terrain. 7IL Ranch is mostly flat with gently rolling hills, ponds, and some to several creek crossings depending how how much rain they have received. Many of the trails are in the open with no shade, but a few zig-zag through forest, gullies, and creeks. The White/Red trail has a section that weaves through trees and a few creeks with some short drop downs and easy climbs.
Description: 7IL Ranch in Cat Spring is a family run cattle, hay, boarding, and yes trail riding operation. 7IL has everything, except lots of rocks — so no horseshoes or boots are needed here! The ranch is family owned by Faye Huber Reznicek and her son David Reznicek. The 2,100 acre ranch has been in their family since 1863. They kindly opened up 7IL to trail riders in 1999.
There are cows out and about, as it is a working cattle ranch. Be sure you and your horse are proficient at opening/closing gates while mounted or ride with someone who is, otherwise there will be several spots you will have to dismount for gates. Most of the gate latches (not all) are fairly easy to open and close from horseback.
7IL is a popular venue for pleasure trail riders, endurance riders, fox hunts, organized group trail rides and equine competitions. The reasons for its popularity is obvious, the ranch offers many miles of well-marked color coded trails, numerous RV hookups, several pens, a small round pen, nicely kept arena, an awesome equine obstacle course, a large enclosed pavilion, and spacious restroom/shower facilities. The ranch has become popular also with non-equestrian trail runners some who compete in what is called a Savage Race. I had to google “Savage Race” which is runners going through crazy human obstacle courses. You can see some of these big blue obstacles from the trail. Do check the calendar on the 7IL website before you book your dates to camp; sometimes the trails are closed due to foot races or buzzing with activity due to other events.
Rules and Safety:
- Before you ride please sign a waiver (download from7IL website or get from the barn), have proof of negative Coggins and pay.
- Minors are required to wear a helmet and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
- All dogs must be on a leash in camp area.
- Please do not run or trot your horse in the camp area.
- Please spread manure, pick up all trash and hay twine/wire. (please do not throw over fence).
- No smoking in barn, pavilion, gift shop or restrooms. Please put all cigarette butts in trash.
- If you ride through a gate that is closed, please make sure it is closed behind you.
- Please no unattended horses in arena or round pen.
- No loose horses allowed on trail.
- Please do not tie to fences or trees.
- Contained camp fires off the ground only. Upon leaving, please pick up unburned wood.
- Observe the posted county burn ban laws
- Please bring all trash back from riding on trails.
- Please do not chase or herd cattle.
- Horse Pens are by online reservations only and please clean after using with muck bucket and rake provided.
- RV Hookups are by online reservations only (they do not have a dump station).
- “Pack it in, Pack it out” Rule: what you bring in, please take it back with you: including unused hay, string, firewood, chucks and shavings / manure. Or put in dumpster or muck carts provided. Do no throw things over the fence behind the RV sites.
I have visited 7IL Ranch five times now over the past 10 years, three times on competitive trails rides and twice just for some good non-competitive trail riding fun. I expect to return soon because it is well worth the trip. Each time I have visited I have noticed additional improvements and new facilities. Most recently (September of 2020) I could not miss the extensive equine obstacle course. I know it has been there a while, but it has been a while since my last trip to 7IL. We all had a blast playing with our horses on the obstacles! It seems a lot of work and thought went into this course. My husband just had to photograph us playing around. Enjoy!
7IL Ranch Equine Obstacle Course Photo Gallery
My first “fun only” non-competitive ride at 7IL was over Valentine’s Day weekend in 2013 with my husband, Chris, two American Indian Horses (Angel and Midnight), and LB, our sweet puppy. I really enjoyed this trip as the ranch was quite peaceful with no organized event underway and only two other small groups camping with their horses. The first day we arrived we practically had the place to ourselves and we were the only campers, which was strange because the last few times I visited there must have been at least 50 or more trailers. The horses settled into their pens just fine. The pens are not located by the trailer hookups and depending on where you camp it could be a short walk away or a good stretch of distance. Water facets with long hoses and hitching posts are conveniently located by the pens. Rakes and manure containers are also located by the pens. You of course are expected to clean out your own pen, but the set up makes it an easy job. The camping area provides ample space for large rigs. The RV hookup area which is along the fence line and numbered has very few trees for shade. There are no trees in the primitive camping areas.
There is a communal water trough with resident gold fish across the gravel road from the red barn. My horses always love to drink out of this trough and Midnight would have climbed into to it if I had let her. I have always wondered if the horses loved it so due to the fish or some other unknown reason. Several dogs and a pot belly pig also live at the ranch. Midnight is a very green filly I brought along on this trip for training purposes. This is a great place to bring green horses due to having pens, a round pen, and a nice arena.. Midnight was not accustomed yet to being tied to a trailer or high tied all night, so she was able to stay in a pen. I made use of the arena for her third ride. She did great but mostly enjoyed being turned loose in the arena to play and roll in the sand.
We enjoyed two full days of trail riding along the sandy trails of 7IL which are so well marked that it would be difficult to get lost. In addition to the trail markers there are several humorous mileage marker signs such as “1,172 miles to Las Vegas.” I have often wondered if these mileage signs to popular cities are indeed accurate, so I’ll have to do some research on that. Be prepared to go through several gates along the trail. This is a working cattle ranch and the gates are to be left as they were found. Fortunately most of the gates are easy to maneuver via horseback. By the time we were done riding for the day Angel and I had mastered the gates! The terrain is all sandy with some pretty deep sand in spots; your horse will be getting a workout. If your horse is not used to deep sand please keep that in mind and slowly acclimate your mount to prevent injury. There are no steep grades as it is mostly flat with gently rolling hills with ponds and several creek crossings. Many of the trails are in the open, but some also zig-zag through forest, gullies, and creeks. Despite the current drought, green grass and foliage was sprouting up and bright red Possum-Haw Holly berries decorated the trails. On my second day a group of riders, Beth, Paula, and Stacy joined me for a half day trail ride, new friends were made! I was most smitten with Stacy’s cute one-eyed medicine cap Paint, Chance, who was raring to go. We headed back to camp at just the right time before a much needed rain shower came pouring down.