This beautiful 185-acre private and gated estate is located in Magnolia, Texas, approximately 40 miles northwest of Houston. It is the largest tract of land inside the upscale 3,500-acre High Meadow Ranch (HMR) subdivision which is home to a large golfing and equestrian community. This uniquely developed estate includes the 25-acre Emerald Lake, a 9-acre Japanese garden, a 7-acre azalea (botanical) garden with over 5,000 azaleas, as well as the estate house, guest house, boat house, gazebos, 21 bridges in all shapes and sizes and miles of walking trails! The grounds are beautifully manicured which gives them a resort-like feel and appearance all year around.
- Emerald Lake, a 25-acre “world class” bass lake with 10 islands
- Picturesque limestone bridge, which crosses Emerald Lake
- Private tropical beach surrounded by beautiful palm trees
- Large lake gazebo (1,200 sq. ft.) with boat dock, bathroom, kitchen, etc.
- 9-acre Japanese garden that includes 5 ponds and a “walk under” waterfall
- 7-acre azalea garden trail with wooden bridges, gazebo and awesome views
- 1-acre pecan and citrus orchard
- 3-bedroom/ 3-bathroom estate house and nearby guest house
- Boat house that includes a bass boat, pontoon boat and jet ski elevator
- Maintenance facility area with tractor, fuel tanks and materials bins
- 1.5-mile granite walking path around the lake
- 1-mile private walking path along Walnut Creek
- Miles of walking trails through the pine & hardwood forest
- 3,300 ft. wrought iron fence frontage with 4 property entrances
- Beautiful hilltop house pad overlooking the lake for a future home site
- Private helipad access located on the lake
Built in 1999, with the idea of providing an optimum habitat for producing a state record bass, the lake bottom was sculpted into a veritable bass paradise! An elaborate channeling system designed to keep sedimentation from accumulating along the edges; large and small PVC structures strategically located; large anchored oak trees; over 100 cedar trees cemented in the lake bottom along specific corridors; pea gravel breeding areas, and other design features make this a “world class” bass lake facility that will provide fun and enjoyment for decades to come! With over 5,000 Louisiana Cypress trees planted in and around the lake, Emerald Lake will only increase in beauty and majesty as it matures.
The lake was stocked with genetically selected pure Florida largemouth bass that can reach 20 lbs. and crossed with native Texas and Oklahoma largemouth “Lunker bass” to provide a hybrid species that grows very large and capable of handling all types of temperature variations. The lake record is presently at 12.5 lbs., but we believe there are 15 pounders lurking in the deep! The fishery also includes blue gill and red-eared sunfish. Emerald Lake is managed by a Texas A&M-educated group of fisheries biologists who monitor the lake year around.
The beautiful 120-ft Limestone Bridge spans the narrowest part of the lake and connects the mainland with the lake dam. Architecturally unique, it is a centerpiece of beauty. Whether you’re bass fishing or taking a sunset cruise, this bridge is absolutely stunning! It has eight custom-designed large copper lights that provide beauty during the day or night. It is strong enough to handle a car or SUV crossing. It also has a gate in the railing that allows you to jump off the bridge into the lake below and swim to a ladder and steps. Great fun for kids and adults alike!
What lake would be complete without its own private tropical beach? Whether you want to play beach volleyball, build sand castles with your kids or grandkids or just enjoy the tropical resort ambiance, this palm-studded area provides it all. The tropical beach, located on the north side of the lake, is a special appointment to an already beautiful lake setting.
Nestled among 5 cypress islands, the 1,200-sq. ft. lake gazebo offers a unique venue for small events. Whether you’re catering a semi-formal party for 30 people or just relaxing with your family, the lake gazebo is extremely functional and versatile. There’s even a palm tree lined parking area and walkway for your guests. The mood turns magical the minute you walk across the 40-ft. wooden bridge onto the island.
The lake gazebo is octagon-shaped, with a high, well-lit ceiling and crescent moon accent lights all around the perimeter. There’s also a wooden walkway around the outside that serves as a boat dock. So, whether you’re boating on the lake or arriving by car, the lake gazebo is ready for you!
And, it’s loaded with everything you’ll need. The lake gazebo has it’s own small refrigerator, icemaker, propane stove, barbeque pit, stereo system, an awesome double-sided wooden swing, 2 double sinks, ample countertop space and much more. If the afternoon sun is in your eyes, simply press a button and an electric sunshade drops down to solve the problem. There’s also a separate bathroom with an outside shower. In addition, a limestone fire pit is ready for a bonfire or just simply to roast marshmallows. It’s an awesome setting for a memorable outing.
The first of the two large estate gardens, the Japanese garden covers approximately 9 acres. In 2002, construction began in excavating and connecting 5 separate ponds, all with differing elevation levels, which connect and converge to form the unique waterfall complex that empties into Emerald Lake. The main feature of the Japanese garden is Mount Fuji, the highest point in the garden.
In 2003, under the direction of renowned Japanese landscape architect, Mr. Keiji Asakura, the Japanese garden was heavily planted with over 2,000 storage trees with the idea of letting them grow for 10-12 years before planting Phase II shrubs and flowerbeds. A short list of storage trees includes bald cypress, eucalyptus, bamboo, Japanese black pine, Japanese blueberry, olive, dogwood, 5 types of oak trees, tongue, loquat, gingko, plus many more. And, there is almost a mile of walking path throughout this area.
In 2011, a Japanese bonsai-pruning expert, Mr. M. Iwasa, spent several months trimming and pruning in the garden, specifically the Japanese black pine and Japanese blueberry trees, and preparing it for Phase II. It is truly a work of art and a project in progress.
Botanical (Azalea) Garden
The azalea garden and walking trail is the most beautiful and spectacular of the two estate gardens. Initial construction of the 7-acre botanical garden, which parallels the large, complex gulley system that brings rainwater into Emerald Lake, also began in 2002. It wasn’t until 2010 that the intricate construction of 15 wooden bridges, stone steps, waterfalls and gazebo area were finally completed.
Again, under the watchful eye of Mr. Keiji Asakura, over 5,000 red, purple and pink azaleas are planted along the trail. But, it’s the diversity of plant material and placement of other varieties that make this a truly amazing garden showcase.
The varieties of plants are too numerous to mention, but a subset would include Chinese fringe trees, Japanese red and green maples, timber bamboo, pygmy bamboo, junipers, sweet viburnum, multi-trunked redbuds, red cedar, red and white camellias, wood ferns, autumn ferns, bridal wreath, Japanese black pine, false chestnut oak, spike grass, yellow and purple Louisiana iris and many, many more.
Pecan and Citrus Orchard
After creating a large granite base area to park an additional 15-20 acars close to the estate house, over a dozen pecan trees and several fruit trees (peaches, plum and apple) were planted in this area in 2004. Since then, orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, mandarin and satsuma trees have been added, as well as fig, pomegranate and even a few pistachio trees. There’s space to add some of your own favorite trees!
Estate House / Guest House
The modest Mediterranean-styled estate house, located on the southern portion of the lake, is both elegant and functional. It has 3 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2.5 car garage, high ceilings, private office, wine cellar, summer kitchen and an enclosed dog kennel. The living room, kitchen and breakfast area is very open and a series of large glass windows along the back reveal a panoramic view of Emerald Lake.
There’s also a beautiful lagoon-style swimming pool/spa and waterfall in the back patio area, which leads to a private deck, boardwalk and covered gazebo. This area is great for parties and entertaining and flows very well. An outside fireplace also provides a warm setting for even the coolest of evenings.
The nearby guest house has 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a 1.5 car garage, a full kitchen and living room with a cozy fireplace. It also has 2 Murphy beds that pull out from the wall for extra guests. In addition, there’s a back patio area with an outdoor fireplace.
The boat house is but a stone’s throw away from the estate house and continues the Mediterranean stucco architecture of the estate house and guest house. It contains an 18-ft. Ranger Bass boat, a 22-ft. Bennington Pontoon boat (both on electric lifts) and a jet-ski elevator lift. It also has a bathroom, changing room, workbench, 2 double sinks, refrigerator, and 400 lb. icemaker! Whether you’re ready to fish, take a leisurely boat ride with friends or clean the day’s catch, the boat house is totally functional. There’s also a boat ramp and ample space for an easy in and out launch.
Maintenance Facility Area
The maintenance building is located on the northern part of the property and out of view to the casual visitor. It houses all the equipment needed to take care of the estate, including a large John Deere tractor, two 500-gallon fuel tanks, workbench, lawn mowers, irrigation-parts inventory storage and fertilizer storage. There are also a series of large materials bins for sand, topsoil, mulch, gravel, and granite to maintain the roads, trails, walking paths and beach.
Mr. Angel Ramirez and his 3-man crew have been taking care of the property for over 10 years and have a wealth of experience and knowledge. They work all year round because each season (spring, summer, fall and winter) has it’s own checklist of things that need to be done. Angel is indispensible and makes life on the estate enormously easier! And, he lives in HMR and is only minutes away!
Granite Lake Walking Path
A commercial grade, 4-ft. wide, decomposed granite walking path completely encircles Emerald Lake. Whether you’re walking, jogging or just headed to your favorite lake spot, the 1.5 mile lake walking path let’s you get there in comfort!
Private ‘Walnut Creek’ Walking Trail
One of the unique features of the Emerald Lake Estate is the fact that it backs up to Walnut Creek. And, since the estate property line encompasses approximately 500 feet on the other side of the creek, you can enjoy a totally private creek experience!
This area is peaceful, quiet and puts you in a completely different habitat from that of the lake environment. A 20-ft. walking path has been cleared along one side of the creek and reinforced with a granite rock base. Over the years, the granite base has become covered with sand and leaves and looks very natural. But, you can take your 4-wheel drive vehicle on even the wettest of days and know you won’t get stuck in the mud. This path is just under a mile long.
And, if you’re quiet, you’re almost guaranteed to see any number of different wildlife animals including owls, wood ducks, red-tailed hawks, Great Blue Heron, or even a herd of deer. It’s a favorite place for nature lovers!
Wooded Walking Trails
Since over a third of the estate is still wooded, there are miles of nature trails that have been cut through the forest over the years. And, like all of the trails on the property, these paths have a granite rock base underneath them as well. It would take you the better part of a day to walk and explore all the nature trails that have been carved through the forest.
It’s reassuring to know that the Emerald Lake estate is completely fenced and secure. The front of the property (facing east) has a 6-ft. wrought iron fence that is 3,300-ft. long and has four entry gates. These gates include the main gate entrance on Diamond Oaks Dr., a secondary entrance on Emerald Oaks Dr., and two service entrances, one on each end of the wrought iron fence. Over 30 Live Oak trees were planted parallel to the wrought iron fence to further define the estate frontage.
Two 2,200-ft. three-railed wooden fences (north and south sides) attach to each end of the wrought iron fence and continue down the property line to Walnut Creek. Eucalyptus trees run the entire length of the wooden fence line. Across the creek, a four-stringed barbed wire fence continues all along the back property line (facing west) and butts up to the two wooden fences. There is a 6-ft. clearing easement along the entire fence line for maintenance and security.
Hilltop House Pad
This is absolutely the most optimum location on the entire property to build a new 10,000-sq. ft. (or much larger) estate home! Located at the top of a hill, surrounded by large post oaks and live oaks, looking down on Emerald Lake with views of the limestone bridge and tropical beach, this house pad location is just stunning! Already installed are a water well, electrical service, six phone lines and a granite base driveway that connects to the existing main driveway. It certainly has “unlimited” possibilities for any size and style home you’ve always dreamed about.
One of the more interesting features on Emerald Lake is the circular, bulk-headed helipad, which is located on the northern side of the lake and a short walk down a path from the hilltop house pad. It’s a very convenient feature for those of means.
The Emerald Lake estate is a unique piece of property. Whether your hobby is fishing, boating, golfing (there’s an 18 hole golf course in High Meadow Ranch), raising and riding horses, exotic gardening or just walking around in a forest setting, you are just seconds away from being there! You’ll see deer and wildlife walking around your property every day. Ducks and geese visit the lake during the winter as they migrate north and south. And, in the spring, when the azaleas are blooming you’ll feel like you’re in paradise! Each season is special and has it’s own unique characteristics.
The estate is basically a “subdivision within a subdivision” and almost totally self-sufficient. The property has 7 water wells and 9 electric meters strategically located around the property that will offer water and electricity close by to any new project. A 35-kW natural gas powered generator, located between the estate house and guest house, provides emergency electricity to both houses during power outages.
And, all the miles of electrical wire have been buried underground, so you’ll never see electrical wires overhead. There are also 8 security cameras around the property that allow you to see what’s going on without ever having to leave the estate house. You’ll always feel safe and secure in your own private compound.
From a tax planning perspective, the 53 wooded acres across Walnut Creek not only provide a natural buffer and wildlife habitat, but it’s also recognized and registered as a natural “floodway” which gives it a reduced tax status. In addition to this, the estate also holds a “timber exemption” tax status, which further reduces your overall tax burden. Because of this, annual property taxes are less than $25,000 per year! Those savings will add up year after year!
Most property brochures “oversell” their product, but until you visit and experience the ambience and beauty of the Emerald Lake estate words will only fall short. To see it is to believe it! It’s certainly not “over-the-top” but rather a unique and customized enhancement to what nature has already provided.
In closing, the owner designed this estate with the idea of it lasting for generations. He utilized the best materials and technology for every project so that it would handle the elements, minimize maintenance and withstand the test of time. For personal reasons, he and his family have decided it is time to downsize and begin a new chapter in their lives. Even though he leaves with a heavy heart, his passion still remains high and he will be happy to help the new owner make a seamless transition and continue the dream.
Emerald Lake Estate
37307 Diamond Oaks Dr.
Magnolia, Texas 77355