Cross Bar Management Area, just North of Amarillo in Potter County
POTTER COUNTY, TX (KFDA) -
The Cross Bar Management Area, just north of Amarillo, continues to be a growing local hot spot for hiking, horseback riding, and camping -- but only if you're willing to jump through a few hoops.
It's been hard to access for years because of years of neglected mesquite and the fact it's surrounded by private landowners, but the Bureau of Land Management is working on a solution.
"It's just beautiful country out there," said Steve Butler, President of the Panhandle Trail Riders Association.
Butler and his group are dedicated to admiring the Panhandle's outdoors but when it comes to the Cross Bar, that's one area they wish they could admire a little more often.
"It's hard because you have to go through private land that ranchers have their cattle on and it's their land, we don't want to mess up their land," said Butler.
Its 12,000 acres are landlocked and the only way in is through a muddy riverbed. After much public support over the years, the Bureau of Land Management is working on a way to make it easier to access.
"We secured a donated easement through private property and we're here to inform the public of what our plans are to construct a road so people could come in off of Highway 87 into the property," said Adrian Escobar, Natural Resource Specialist with BLM.
Along with the more accessible roadway, Escobar is hoping to add more recreational activities like bike trails and camping grounds.
"I think most people will be happy about it," said Escobar. "We are expecting people to come from the off road communities, the horse community, from the hiking and mountain biking communities."
But now a new challenge stands, funding.
"We've got to work with federal, state and local agencies to secure money to build the actual road," said Escobar.
While it may be some time before the Cross Bar Ranch is fully accessible, Butler says Wednesday's discussion is a step in the right direction.
"That's what we were really trying to do. It's so everybody can work together on this," said Butler.