THE PERFECT DREAM RANCH
by Cassidy Mantor
Tucked away in Heber Valley, less than 30 minutes from Park City, sprawls a 42-acre dream ranch. The property has a par 3 golf course, a creek, five fully stocked ponds with 10-pound trout, a private island, and beaches for paddleboarding and kayaking. There are also two barns, farm animals and exotics ranging from sheep to peacocks, a racetrack, a greenhouse, a village of teepees that the local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts stay in for fishing trips, a modest 2,500-square-foot guest house, a separate man cave, and gated river access to blue-ribbon fishing on the Provo River, all at the base of Utah’s “Swiss Alps.”
Vern Dickman, the owner, grew up in the West. At the age of 12, his father bought a little farm that evolved into a ranch. “We were surrounded by national parks. I always loved the outdoors and ranch life,” Vern recalls. “I always dreamed that I would be a rancher and Legacy Ranch has become my dream ranch.”
To call Legacy Ranch a dream home is a bit of a misnomer, however, since the property has only a modest house on it, surrounded by all the amenities. Legacy Ranch is a destination where one man has brought everything he loves and that which his family loves together in one place for the ultimate retreat.
The Ultimate Outdoor Experience
“As my grandkids started growing up, there were certain things they would like so I put them in. I just tried to give an experience to them. We’ve had a couple of weddings with 400 people here too. There’s so much room and something for everyone,” says Vern.
Delight is a key theme throughout Legacy Ranch. Guests can enjoy fishing, golf, and horseback riding. They can observe yaks and longhorns grazing, and watch chickens hatch and grow. The man cave includes a workout area and a bar, as well as a separate garage. The bountiful greenhouse grows tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries throughout the year.
On a traditional ranch, getting into town could take hours and be 100 miles away. The fun part about Legacy Ranch is that it is conveniently located only several minutes from Heber and Midway. Movie theatres, grocery stores, and the airport are five minutes away; however, by the time you enter the property, you are transported to a secluded magical retreat that is the ultimate private playground.
The driveway gives the first indication of the property’s uniqueness. The gravel driveway is lined with concrete trim that communicates the property’s dichotomy as an extremely manicured ranch. The interior of the property has meticulously landscaped greenery. A full-time landscaping crew stores its equipment in one of the barns and maintains the verdant grounds.
“Legacy Ranch has more water access than any other property in the city. There’s a creek, the river, and five ponds.”
–Marcus Wood, Engel & Volkers
Features were created because they suited the pursuits of the owner and his family. A traditional horse barn has been converted into a family reunion gathering area. The barn now has a kitchen and a two-bedroom apartment above and is where extended family stays when they visit. A second barn stores tractors and go karts. While the children who grew up visiting Legacy Ranch have gotten older and no longer ride the go karts, the contours are still on the land and the track is ready to ride for a new generation.
Bunny Island is another destination within Legacy Ranch. It is an island in one of the ranch’s lakes that can only be reached by paddleboard or kayak. There are over 50 bunnies on the island, thus giving rise to the name. The only potential predators are flying eagles who happen upon this virtually untouched utopian island of bunnies.
Ready for Your Dream Home
The appeal of Legacy Ranch is that with all of its amenities and opportunities for recreation, it awaits a custom-designed home that preserves the original home as a guest house. The owner’s intent was to build his dream home, but his intricate planning and his family’s esoteric pursuits led to developing more diverse and eclectic spaces for recreation on the land.
“Legacy Ranch has more water access than any other property in the city,” says Marcus. “There’s a creek, the river, and five ponds.”
It is not, however, a property just for people who love water. The expansive meadows are as large as a football field and as manicured as well. They are lined with massive trees for a serene experience that juxtaposes the magnificence of a Kentucky bluegrass farm with the boldness of Utah’s rugged landscape.
“When you’re on the property at twilight, you really appreciate how secluded it is. As the natural rhythm of the day slows, you’re able to appreciate views of the mountains and the powerful river nearby, all the while knowing it is your own retreat,” says Marcus.
For as dreamy as the property is, it is grounded in the natural world. “In springtime, wild geese fly in,” explains Vern. “We watch them train their babies how to fly and watch them follow their parents when it’s time for them to leave.” Vern admits that he used to be an avid bird hunter, but since he put the ranch together, he’s become more of a bird watcher. “I’ve fallen in love with watching them land in one of the ponds right outside our kitchen window. I don’t even hunt them anymore,” he chuckles.
“You have to be here to see it,” he adds. “This property gives us the ability to experience and see a lot of things that others don’t get to witness.”
list price: $24,000,000
For information, contact Marcus Wood from Engel & Vokers Park City.