The region surrounding The Retreat was once a favorite hunting ground for many native American tribesmen. It is composed of dense woods surrounded by plains and includes several clear springs. The Comanches used this area as a trail from the north-west to raid homesteads south of here. Their concealed trail was last used for a raid on Kimbell (now known as Kimbell Bend), which was built in 1851 and was the first town in Johnson County, of which Cleburne is now the county seat. Kimbell was established on the Chisholm Trail at its crossing on the Brazos River. Vast herds of cattle from the southern ranches in Texas crossed at Kimbell Bend going north to the markets in Chicago.
Hamm Creek flows through The Retreat's Hamm Creek Nature Area and offers the only access to the Brazos River in Johnson County.