The 342-acre Buck Hill Ranch has all-natural attributes that go into the making of a first-class wildlife and recreational playground. The Ranch rises up from the fir and hardwood forest intermingled with seasonal creeks to eventually break through to reveal a magnificent high oak-studded mountain plateau with vistas as far as the eyes can see. Playing backdrop to this view is a deep clear pond whose surrounding banks have been manicured to create an ambiance of control and serenity. A short walk down the gravel road brings you to the old Redwood Barn & Workshop. Openings its immense doors is as if opening the pages of an old manuscript - the smell and sounds lending background to the vision of its rich past. Interspersed throughout are the 100-year-old fruit trees from the original homesteaders. Completing this picture is the Craftsman Cabin perched on the periphery under ancient hardwood and playing sentry to all below it. There is a real sense of a Thoreau-inspired solace.
Although only a short 30 minutes to town, one feels completely removed from the madness of modern society. Accessed from two different points of entry, including an old stagecoach road, the Ranch sits about 14 miles northwest of Willits in central Mendocino’s Coastal Mountain Range. Renowned for its abundant rainfall, the region is laced with numerous natural springs and seasonal creeks that support what is arguably one of the most dynamic wildlife corridors in California. Here tule elk, blacktail deer, black bear, wild hog, wild turkey, as well as other animals thrive - feeding the open meadows in the early morning and evening while taking refuge in Ranch’s deep forested folds during the day.
Improvements include an understated 1-bedroom craftsman cabin with a loft that exhibits a level of workmanship that is reminiscent of a different era. Though not big, there is a sense of appropriateness to its surroundings, with its wood stove seeming to invite one to pull up a chair and reflect on the day’s adventures. The Cabin is served by the local utilities with a backup generator and gravity-fed spring water. In addition, though sufficiently apart, there is a beautiful functioning Redwood Barn & Workshop. As you descend to the lower reaches of the Ranch, one passes the Rock Quarry - an essential component to any working ranch, allowing one to source rock to maintain the integrity of the road network. Emerging through a series of winding bends, one finally comes to the Wood & Shingle Mill - if one did not know better, it was as if you were looking at some historical exhibition rather than a working mill. The sense of superior workmanship is again evident throughout.