Marluc Bella Vita Ranch on Lake Godstone Activities
Relaxing. There are hundreds of areas around the campus to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet…alone or with family and friends. There are awesome valley views on the east side of the property but sunset and sunrise views are great everywhere.
Fishing. With six partially covered docks around the lake, shorelines and forest openings around 40 foot deep Lake Godstone there is plentiful private fishing areas. The best fishing is right off the porch or private dock at the Lodge. In addition we have a stocked crappie pond below the lake (with fish feeder) and a stocked pond above the lake and numerous watering hole ponds around our 188 acre retreat ranch. A private minnow tank is provided at the lodge and two of the lake docks have tanks for guest use. Tackle and bait are available at our store.
Boating. Each dock is partially covered with fish feeder, has a swim ladder, two moorings, a fish cleaning shelf, night lighting, and rental of the lodge includes a canoe and two kayaks. We also have a number of canoes, kayaks, pedal boats and a rowboat available for rent and guests are free to bring their own (non-motorized) watercraft. Guests of the lodge can rent our eight-person pontoon boat with life jackets, bimini and trolling motor for evening lake cruises.
Mountain Biking/Hiking. Tranquil Trail is a four mile, six foot wide marked trail that winds around the forested lake and upper wooded meadow and it has lots of places to stop and relax and enjoy nature. Porta-potties are available as well as a comfort station with showers and toilets.
Swimming. Motorized watercraft are not permitted on our lake and so experienced swimming and snorkeling is safe for all ages. Each of our five docks on Lake Godstone has a swim ladder and the shoreline is never far away due to the narrow shape of the lake. We also provide two 12’x20’ floating lily pads, one at each end of the lake for diving and suntanning. Diving from our docks is not permitted due to shallowness. Tubing, kayaks, canoes, rowboats and pedal boats are strongly encouraged and guests are invited to bring their own. A private water slide is provided for lodge guests (with removable ladder). No lifeguards are provided anywhere on Lake Godstone so groups will need to supervise their group closely.
Sports. The sports field complex has a soccer/baseball practice field, a lit basketball court, a sand volleyball court, picnic area and porta-potty. You can also access the hiking/biking trail from there. The Guest Home has a private horse stall and small, fenced pasture for guest use.
Night Sky Viewing. The upper deck of the lodge has a terrific view of the milky way and has seating for 12 people. For the experienced, there is an observatory with telescope at the sports field. We are located many miles away from cities and towns and so the light pollution is minimal.
Fire-pits. Every venue has a large rock fire-pit (19 fire pits throughout the campus) and firewood, smores and much more can be purchased at our store or by contacting our resident ranch managers. The lodge has a six foot steel fire-pit with rock seating for 30-40 people.
Photography. Every season has its flowers but spring time is amazing at our ranch. Night photography is particularly appealing to photographers as is wildlife and scenery. Sunrise and sunsets are almost always extraordinary and our bird population is excellent.
Wildlife. There are a number of elevated wildlife viewing stations around the campus and many have wildlife feed and water stations with green lights (animals can’t see green) where you can almost always see deer, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits and birds, and fox, bobcat, coyote, armadillo, skunk, road runners, turkey and possum if you are patient and stay awake very late. Each feed station has timed feeding and that includes a fish feeder at the lodge porch. The upper pond has a beaver that can often be seen after sunset. The watering holes are a great place to see different animal tracks. There is a small bird view house located beside our bird feed station at the Beaver Pond. We have plentiful songbirds of all kinds and many blackbirds and cardinals.
Exploring. There are endless opportunities to explore in our forest, woods and meadows. Our landscape has ample limestone rock, prickly pear cactus etc and recently we discovered a large fossil at our tent-site 12 fire-pit. We have a bee hive and observing their activity is always fun for kids. Insect life is abundant with many species living under rocks and crawling through the trees. The Refuge Group campground features a Treehouse Shelter with seating and a great panoramic view. Our Monarch Butterly Way-station is a great way to see butterflies and bees depending on the time of year.
Classroom. Our 500 sf classroom features a screened in (curtained) room with AC, heat, ceiling fans and a giant screen TV with Roku and Apple TV and HDMI cabling. It includes couches, chairs and tables for a variety of uses such as training and family movie night.
Garden. The lodge has a private aquaponics garden where fish are raised in tanks to support vegetable grow tanks. It is operable in all seasons except summer. There is also a large square foot garden private to the guest house that is operable all seasons except winter.
Worship. The one mile trail from the lodge to the camping area (and back) feature Beatitude Stones and a small seating area at each one. Large lit crosses are located at the Top of the Dam Group Campground and at the Refuge Group Campground.
Media. Wifi is campus-wide and is free and it permits wifi calling to supplement spotty cell service. In addition to the large screen TV in the Classroom there is a large screen TV with Roku and Apple TV in the den and TV’s with Roku TV in each bedroom. Roku streaming TV’s are provided in all cabins including inside the Guest Home and on the large covered porch.
Food. The lodge is provided with a large propane grill, propane bbq and a charcoal bbq. The fire-pit has a large bbq top ansd two charcoal grills as well. Inside there are two four-burner stoves both with ovens and a small hot food appliance. The lodge kitchen and all cabins come fully equipped with appliances, coffee machines, cookware, dishes and cutlery. There are a number of restaurants in Jacksboro, Graham, Graford, Possum Kingdom and Mineral Wells. Every cabin has a fully equipped kitchen.
Playground. The lodge has a private fenced sand playground with an adjacent outdoor shower/toilet building for lodge guests only. The Guest Home has a large private, fenced, grass playground with swing-set and slide. There is a sandy beach area with a swing a the Dam spillway and another swing and slide set at the Office.
Transportation. The six miles of all-weather road connect all of our housing venues making private vehicle use easy to access our 188 acre ranch retreat. In addition, we offer UTV and golf cart rentals to our guests to help to fully explore the forested lake and upper wooded meadows of the property.
Sleeping. Bedding, pillows and towels are provided in the lodge and cabins. The lodge has 29 twin beds and 6 queen beds. The guest home has a king, two full beds, a twin bed and two twin bunkbeds (sleeps 11). The roost has two full size and two twin beds. Inspiration has a king and two twin beds. The field house has two queen beds and a pull out queen couch/bed. Serenity has a full bed. Note that some beds in the above venues are bunk beds. Campgrounds and tent-site beds are dependent on guest-provided RV and tent accommodations.