Texas Hill Country: Roads Less Traveled

Recon Viper 1

New Member
The next time that you ride RR 337, between Medina and Vanderpool, see if you can see a well worn rut in the middle of the roadway. That’s from the countless motorcycles that use that road as it is the shortest route to Leaky and Camp Wood and most of the 2-wheeled traffic uses it.

Now the question that frequently runs through my mind is, what is the objective? Is it to reach Leakey in the shortest possible time or is it to have a really great ride? Medina and RR 337 provide the closest departure point and the shortest route into the 3 Sisters but I’m not really enthusiastic about a lot of traffic or the shortest route though I do enjoy a really great ride.

And, I’m not a big fan of RR337 to Vanderpool and much of the reason is too much traffic and that it is constantly monitored by law enforcement. I have mentioned this before and have been taken to account by others who admonished me regarding my speed on these roads and I should have heeded their warnings as I was ticketed for breaking the speed limit on 337 just 2 weeks ago. That’s my first traffic violation in 27 years. Now, there will be those amongst you that say that anyone so foolish as to be riding at 68 mph in a 65 mph zone deserves what they get but you should file that away for your own future personal reference. Anyway, I usually look for roads less traveled.

I am always looking for new and interesting roads and I found a new one to add to the roster today. FM 462 from Hondo to Tarpley. Using this road to access the 3 Sisters region will only be useful to folks coming from or going to San Antonio, Del Rio or the south but it’s a really good ride and worth noting.

Start from Business Highway 90 in Hondo and turn north at Avenue M - FM 462. It’s well marked and there is a sign reading “Tarpley”. The ride is about 26 miles of pleasantly winding country road to Tarpley with eye appealing views of the lush countryside and the mountains in the distance. Right now, it is very green and there is an abundance of wildflowers along the road and the road has a wide and extensive grassy verge before you get to the fencelines. Plenty of places to pull over, grab a bottle of water and just soak up the view.

The road is mostly gently winding with little elevation change but is a pleasant ride and the view is great. Most curves are posted at 55 and only a few at 45 but there are numerous bridges over water crossings and many of the waterways actually have water in them right now. You will see some exotic animals but most of what I saw appeared to be gazelle and antelope.

I had a great ride. Very little traffic of any kind and no other motorcycles. Just very rural and very peaceful country road and very pleasant scenery to occupy my attention. I just looked at Butler Motorcycle Maps - Texas Hill Country Edition and they rate FM 462 as T2 or “Only a notch below T1, these are great rides. Expect dramatic scenery and good road action”.

Here’s a way to integrate this road into your 3 Sisters ride if you come from San Antonio, Del Rio or the south. Take FM 462 from Hondo to Tarpley and turn left on RR 470 at Tarpley. Or, you can also stop at Mac & Ernie’s for breakfast. It’s about 15 miles back to Bandera if you turn right/east but it’s a better ride going west. Follow RR 470 west to the junction with RR 187 and take the left/right dogleg through Utopia and onto RR 1050 to Rio Frio. It’s a good and fairly twisty ride. Turn right on TX 83 at Rio Frio and it’s about 8 miles north to Leakey.

By the way, there is a new Chinese Buffet restaurant about 2 or 3 blocks north of the main intersection, on the west side of Hwy 83. It’s called the Red Dragon and it’s in a 2 storey building that used to be the bakery. I have no idea what the food is like, it’s only been open about 2 weeks, but somebody should try it and I probably will on the next trip.

You can exit the area on RR 337 but you will be taking the slow curves uphill and on the throttle and that is much more pleasant than being headed downhill and on the brakes.

Just a suggestion but, once in a while, try the road less traveled.

Farm to Market Rd 462/Ave M to Ranch Rd 470 - Google Maps
 

FZ1yb

New Member
Yah, I've gone that other route too. It's nice, but I still think 337 is better. I prefer it every time.

It is nice to have alternate routes, but I have too much fun on 337.
 

Recon Viper 1

New Member
Yah, I've gone that other route too. It's nice, but I still think 337 is better. I prefer it every time.

It is nice to have alternate routes, but I have too much fun on 337.
So what did you think of the ride on 462 from Hondo to Tarpley? Pretty nice!
 
Top