The Hill Country 500 is a three day, 500 mile(ish) adventure ride of some of the finest paved and dirt roads in the Texas hill country. It begins and ends in Johnson City, TX.
Friday, Nov 2: Social gathering in Johnson City
Saturday, Nov 3: 226 mile ride. Overnight in Junction, TX
Sunday, Nov 4: ride 259 miles, or ride the alternate 150 mile route, ending in Johnson City, TX.
Who is this ride for?
This ride is a tour of some of the best riding in the hill country and is suitable for any street-legal dual sport or adventure bike. We will be riding public paved and unpaved roads – there is no off-road or single track riding. This ride is beginner friendly. If you are new to Texas adventure riding, come on out. We are a friendly group and welcome newcomers.
Friday: Noon – Dark, social gathering
Beginning at Noon – Camping at Mike & Mary Morisoli’s property, 795 Old River Crossing, Johnson City, TX 78636
Mike and Mary have graciously opened their property in Johnson City for our use. There is plenty of space for camping and trailers (motorcycle or otherwise). It is safe to leave your vehicle and trailer at Mike’s property for the duration of the event. His property has grills, lights, potable water, and a porta-john.
Show up at Mike’s place anytime Friday from noon on. Hang out, visit, have a good time. Mike will be grilling, providing hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage and fixings for dinner for the group. Please bring any side dishes, chips, snacks or drinks you may want to consume. Mike will need some assistance with the grilling, so please volunteer to help.
Recreational opportunities at Mike’s place include horseshoes, pistol and/or skeet shooting range (Mike is not providing guns or ammo), and campfires. Bring your own lawn furniture if you want to sit somewhere other than on the ground.
If you don’t want to camp there are a couple of lodging options in Johnson City. If they are sold out, the next closest option is in Blanco. If you decide to stay at a hotel, hang out with us at Mike’s place until it’s time for you to go to the hotel to sleep.
Riding Groups: This is a self-guided ride. Riders will organize into small groups (I suggest groups not larger than 8 riders) and ride the designated course each day. At the riders meeting at 8 am on Saturday morning we will help riders without a group organize a riding group.
- Breakfast on your own
- 8:00 am Riders meeting, Mike’s place
- 8:30 am – Ride begins
- 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm tire kicking and story telling, parking lot of the Best Western Dos Rios Hotel, Junction
- 7:00 pm – Group dinner at Isaack’s Restaurant, downtown Junction
Breakfast is on your own. Mike is having breakfast at El Agave Mexican Restaurant in Johnson City and invites everyone to join him. There are a few other restaurant opportunities in town plus the nearby Stripes convenient store on Hwy 290 serves fresh breakfast tacos and other breakfast foods.
Saturday’s ride is 226 miles in length and is about 80% pavement and 20% unpaved county roads in the hill country. (One of the unfortunate realities is that there aren’t a lot of dirt road options in the eastern half of the hill country. There are, however, some superb twisty paved roads that are incredibly fun on dual sport and adventure bikes. We will be riding those roads.) This is an adventure ride, not a dual sport ride, so the route is big bike friendly. The route passes through Comfort and Fredericksburg, providing both food and fuel options.
The Best Western Hotel in Junction, TX is our host hotel for Saturday night. Rates are $77 for a single or a a double. Make your own reservation. Do it now before the hotel gets fully booked. For those wanting to camp, there are multiple campground options in Junction.
We are having a group dinner at Isaack’s Restaurant in downtown Junction for all who want to join in. Meet at the restaurant at 7 pm.
- Breakfast on your own. The Best Western has a pretty good breakfast buffet included with your room
- 8:00 am Ride begins. Select either the full 259 mile route or the alternate 150 mile route
- Arrive back at Mike’s place – end of ride
You have two choices for Sunday’s ride – a 259 mile route or a 150 mile route. The first choice is a 259 mile route that includes a lot more dirt than the shorter 150 mile route. The shorter course is for those who may need to get home a bit earlier on Sunday.
The 259 mile route passes through San Saba, Castell, and Llano. Fuel is available in San Saba and Llano. It is 115 miles from Junction to San Saba, so you need a minimum 115 mile range (and I suggest having a 150 mile range just in case). Carry extra fuel if the gas tank on your bike is small. Also, Sunday’s route has quite a bit more dirt than Saturday’s course.
Food is available in San Saba, Castell, and Llano.
Registration: There is no cost to attend but please register so Mike will know how much food (hamburgers, hot dogs, and sausage) to buy for Friday night. Click here to register. Feel free to make a donation to Mike to help pay for the burgers and sausages on Friday night and the porta-john or to volunteer with the cooking.
Reservations: If you are camping at Mike’s place on Friday night, just show up and grab a spot. Make your own hotel reservations if you aren’t camping Friday and/or Saturday. The host hotel for Saturday night is the Best Western Dos Rios in Junction, TX ($77 for a single or a double). Book your room now as the hotel will likely fill up. If you make a reservation and then can’t attend, you can always cancel your reservation. If the Best Western is full, the next closest property is the Rodeway Inn, next door to the Best Western.
GPS: Click here to download the routes. I created it using Mapsource running City Navigator North America NT 2019.