About

Get to know us

Cypress Valley first started as our family ranch where land stewardship meant learning from the plants and animals who lived here before we came, as much as it meant "doing". Then Cypress Valley became a place of sharing our beautiful piece of the Texas Hill Country with you, our new friends. We have grown and changed over the years, but we are still opening our home to new friends like you so we can share our love of nature.

Team

Focused on making your time here amazing!

Our team is full of fun-loving, nature enthusiasts who are inspired to share with you our beautiful piece of the Texas Hill Country! Whether biologists, law students, or first responders they bring a depth of love for adventure, land stewardship, and service that you rarely find in one place.  When you don’t find them at Cypress Valley you will find our team on the greenbelt and generally exploring Austin's great outdoors.

General Happiness Manager

Shelby Semon

Shelby Semon is our General Happiness Manager.  From employees to guests, Shelby has a way of making sure everyone’s needs are met. Shelby loves people and since joining Cypress Valley in 2013 continuously finds ways to make every person’s experience at Cypress Valley special, whether here for the day or Cypress Valley is the location of that “special day”—someone’s wedding. Shelby is trained in high ropes course management, is an avid rock climber, and recently joined a local organization that assists in search and rescue missions around Austin.

Our office manager extraordinaire

Beau Wadley

Beau Wadley has been with Cypress Valley since 2015, committing both his time and devotion to making sure things run well, making countless adjustments so customers feel at ease and the hard work behind the scenes is rarely obvious. From adjusting the lighting to be just so for a bride to zipping treehouse guests around on a golf cart to show them the property, Beau always goes above and beyond.

Plant whisperer and office manager

Alicia Miranda

Alicia Miranda lends a bit of magic to Cypress Valley from her attention to details in the office—following up with each customer inquiry, to caring for all the beautiful fauna across our 103-acre ranch. Alicia loves native Texas plants and her love of nature is evident in the little details around each treehouse, our Ranch House, and Event Center. Cypress Valley is a richer experience because of Alicia’s attention and when she isn’t tending to our plants she is often found making life a little better for the horses that call Cypress Valley home.

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2005 to present

Decades of Amazing Employees

We at Cypress Valley and our tens of thousands of customers over the years have been blessed by a cadre of amazing employees. Since 2005, we have hired upperclassman or graduates of local colleges who have brought an array of skills, interests, and dedication to our location. They have left to become park rangers, lawyers, outfitters, biologists and parents. CypressValley has been a place that teaches leadership skills, land stewardship, and service. But more importantly, Cypress Valley has learned and grown from the contribution of each individual that has called Cypress Valley their second home atone time or another. To all of you we say, “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

The CAD queen

Mandy Chenevert

Born and raised in Louisiana, Mandy Chenevert has worked on a variety of commercial projects for over ten years. She graduated from LSU with a degree in Architecture and a minor in Construction Management. For three years, Mandy specialized in medical offices in Phoenix, Arizona. Her software skills include AutoCAD, Revit, Photoshop, and Auto-Plant. With a focus on 3D-modeling, Mandy has enjoyed teaching AutoCAD for architectural, civil, structural, and engineering drafting at Technical and Community Colleges. Mandy has now expanded her portfolio to include multi and single-family homes and treehouses. When not at the office, she enjoys travel, dancing, music festivals, skating, and the outdoors.

Philosophy

Harmony with nature & each other.

Long before green was a corporate buzzword, the Beilharz family dedicated their efforts to develop their ranch with s small environmental footprint and respect for nature. Land stewardship is the driving force behind Cypress Valley.

Early investments in solar energy and rainwater collection proved a family of 6 could easily live without tapping into mainstream resources. They learned to conserve water and energy as a lifestyle. Later, the Beilharz's added wind and hydro power and when PEC was willing to buy their excess energy, they connected to the grid allowing better power resources during rainy weather and reduction of power costs during hot sunny summer days.

The changes to Cypress Valley's natural landscape have been done to help manage the natural resources not just provide for human comforts. There are numerous ponds and berms throughout the ranch to slow down the 5 - 6 heavy rainstorms that make up 85% of this areas annual rainfall. These both decrease soil erosion and help replenish the ground water so critical to Central Texas. The family collected food scraps from Whole Foods and Central Market in the early days as well as coffee grounds to enrich the soil as the planted a peach orchard and began their organic farm.

When the Beilharz family opened their ranch to the public in 2005, it was with the mission to share their land stewardship practices as well as the healing power of being in nature with others. Nature has a way of soothing our soul. When people enjoy nature they take better care of our world and each other--which is good for all of us.

We are still learning. It is a work in progress.

History

From Family Ranch to Eco-Tourism

In 1998, after successful business careers, the Beilharz's moved from an upscale West Austin neighborhood to a beautiful, undeveloped plot in the Texas Hill Country. With nothing but a travel trailer and a portable generator, they decided to live close to nature, spend more time with their four children, and see what they could build on their own from scratch.

After buying this land west of Austin, we looked at many ways to share its beauty with others. But doing so on any large scale would have meant making trails, removing fallen trees and branches, and cutting down some vegetation. This would have disturbed the existing habitat of the ravine, and the trail traffic would have been trampled the complex bio-diverse life on the ravine floor, further disturbing the existing inhabitants. When David experienced a canopy tour in Costa Rica, he knew he had found the answer to sharing the beauty of Cypress Valley with minimal impact on the environment and a whole new angle of enjoying nature–from a bird’s eye view.

In 2004, we began searching for a way to supplement our farm and ranch activities with a business which would be exciting and honor our values of conservation and family. We were looking for something fun for our children and fun for our customers. Our personal interest in family outings, increasing environmental awareness, and encouraging people to spend more time in nature has prompted us to start a business which educates and inspires people to be more ecologically conscious while also providing a thrilling physical experience. Our hope is to provide an enlivening adventure while instilling knowledge and a desire to protect our natural resources.

Cypress Valley became the first zipline canopy tour in the Continental United States in 2005 and started an industry of adventure parks across the nation. Busy raising a family, David and Amy helped countless other businesses get started rather than expand from their home in Austin. Couples, families, and work teams flocked to Cypress Valley and told their friends about us. We have been blessed by happy customers who bring others to enjoy our adventures year after year.

A year after flying guests through this special cypress-lined creek ravine, David and Amy introduced their first treehouse in 2006 and quickly made it to the cover of the New York Times travel section. People loved sleeping in the trees even more than their two-hour zipline tour. Soon people were proposing on platforms, having honeymoons and anniversaries in the treehouse and Cypress Valley became a place of romance, not just adventure and fun. With the family grown and the ranch no longer their full-time home, in 2019 Cypress Valley opened up the Ranch House and new Event Center for fairy-tale weddings high in the cypress trees.

Ecology

We share the land with many critters!

There are many residents and visitors to Cypress Valley. The constant supply of water and numerous limestone crevices and outcroppings bring many different species here for food, water, and shelter. This track was once part of the much larger Paleface Ranch, which may send some of these animals further west as it gets divided into smaller pieces .

Here is just a sampling of animals:

  • Ringtail Cat
  • Grey Fox
  • Mountain Lion
  • Porcupine
  • Grey Squirrel
  • Armadillo
  • Virginia Opossum
  • Raccoon
  • Fence Lizard
  • Coachwhip
  • Central Texas Whip snake
  • Blotched Water Snake
  • Rock Squirrel
  • Mexican Free-tailed Bat
  • Coyote
  • Bobcat
  • Nutria
  • Striped Skunk
  • White Tailed Deer
  • Ribbon Snake
  • Diamondback Rattlesnake
  • Rough Green Snake
  • Water Moccasin
  • Coral Snake

And the amazing birds we have seen on the ranch:

  • Scrub Jay
  • Canyon Wren
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Chimney Swift
  • Blue-grey Gnatcatcher
  • Purple Martin
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Mourning Dove
  • House Finch
  • Black Vulture
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Eastern Screech Owl
  • Canyon Wren
  • Carolina Wren
  • Bewick’s Wren
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Summer Tanager
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Green Heron
  • Killdeer
  • House Sparrow
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Western Kingbird
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Western Scrub Jay
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Painted Bunting
  • Black-crested Titmouse
  • Scissor-tailed Swallow
  • Golden Cheeked Warbler
  • Lesser Gold Finch

Real people Love Us

We wanted to thank Richard and Bree. They did a great job. My parents and family loved the trip. Now we want bigger, higher and faster. We tough and brave now. Thanks again, it was truly the coolest Sunday we’ve ever had.

Mel Biggs

My mom and I had SUCH a FUN experiance on Wednesday! We just couldn’t get over it. Then the lunch at La Cabana was delicious. We just sat there and talked and talked about how delightful the Canopy Tour was, how professional the whole operation was, how sweet and perfect the guides were, how romantice the tree house bedroom was…etc! I am talking about it with everyone I know, so I hope you are ready for all the word-of-mouth business!

Jennifer

You guys were awesome and gave us an absolute unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

Jodi

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