ASH-LOU FARM 522 Acres +/-
One of the area’s largest and most spectacular farms nestled in the heart of the historic Sweet Springs Valley
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674
- One of the area’s largest farms at 522+/- acres
- Shares over one half mile of boundary with the Jefferson National Forest
- ½ miles road frontage on Zenith Road
- 370 +/- acres of mature forestland – high quality Appalachian hardwoods (veneer potential)
- 150+/- acres of rich agricultural land presently in corn, hay and pasture
- A proven natural mountain spring originating on the mountain
- Public water at the Farm house
- Miles of forest trails for hiking, horseback riding and ATV adventure
- Exceptional songbird population including neo-tropicals, woodpeckers, owls, and hawks
- Resident wildlife population density is unrivaled with rabbit, squirrel, deer, bear & turkey
- Stocked ½ acre pond with bass, bluegill and catfish
- Barn, large shop building and farm house
- Elevation Range: 2570 ft. to 3410 ft.
- Located in the lightly populated Monroe County, the largest sheep producing county in WV
- Dark Skies for star gazing and planet observation
- Nice 3 bedroom farm house recently updated with a great hay barn and machine shed
The charming village of Union, which is the Monroe County seat, is less than a 20 minute drive. Banking, healthcare facilities, drugstore, grocery shopping, farm center, auto parts store and a great family restaurant are readily available. Some of the friendliest people in West Virginia can be found in Monroe County. Monroe County has a population of about 13,000 residents and does not have a stoplight and has more cattle and sheep than people. There are no fast food restaurants but there is the local restaurant, “Kalico Kitchen”, in downtown Union that is packed each morning for breakfast and then again for lunch.
Lewisburg, which is the Greenbrier County seat, was voted the Coolest Small Town in American in 2011 and is just a 45 minute drive to the thriving downtown historic district. The downtown boasts a year round live theatre, Carnegie Hall, several fabulous restaurants, antique shops and boutiques. There is also a modern hospital and all attendant medical facilities along with all the big box stores.
The Greenbrier County Airport, which has WV’s longest runway, is located just 30 minutes away and has daily flights to Atlanta and Washington DC. The world famous Greenbrier Resort is less than an hour’s drive and Snowshoe Ski Resort is about 2 hours’ drive. Covington, Virginia is about 50 minutes awan, Roanoke, Virginia, is 90 minutes, DC is 4 hours and Charlotte, North Carolina is 3 hours away.
The Greenbrier resort features an ever-expanding schedule of public events, including the Greenbrier Classic, a nationally televised PGA tournament held in early July, with the extra bonus of evening concerts with headliners like Jimmy Buffett, Brad Paisley, Aerosmith, Jon Bon Jovi, Carrie Underwood and Maroon Five. In 2014, the resort recently opened a new $30 million training facility for the New Orleans Saints, and the football team’s practice sessions in late July and early August are open to the public. A 2500-seat tennis stadium to host professional matches was opened in 2015.
Peters Mountain is well known for its richness in water production forms the backdrop of the farm, generating year-round water sources. Several large hollows as well as many ephemeral streams flow during rain events and snow melt in the spring and create interesting topographic relief throughout the property.
There is a nice pond stocked with bass, bluegill and catfish and kids of all ages have fun fishing and skipping stones across the pond. Several large bullfrogs enjoy the pond as well and their nightly singing is a welcome sound. There are two other smaller farm ponds as well.
***** FREE WATER****** A huge natural mountain spring flows year round. The flow rate in gallons per minute is not readily known.
There is city water available to the Farm house.
There are approximately 150 acres of open land composed of rich cropland, hay and pasture. The cropland is presently in corn. The pastures are composed of native bluegrass, timothy and clover.
Fencing is good in most places and is adequate to turn cattle.
FARM HOUSE, BARN, WORKSHOP
The two story farm house is 1500+/- SF and dates to the 1940’s. It has 3 bedrooms, one bath, living room and kitchen. A covered back porch serves as a good mudroom. The roof is tin and the floors are hardwood and linoleum.
There is an detached 4 bay car garage that serves as a workshop.
The barn, located beside the stocked pond, is in good condition and serves the present needs of the farm.
Ash Lou Farm’s 370+/- timber resource acreage is composed of unusually high quality Appalachian hardwoods. This well managed timber resource can provide a great deal of flexibility to the next ownership in terms of potential harvest revenue and can be managed to provide cash flow opportunities to offset holding cost and long-term asset appreciation.
Capital Timber Value of the timber and pulpwood has not been determined.
The forest’s predominately well-drained upland terrain has led to a resource dominated by hardwood species. Overall, the species composition is highly desirable and favors Appalachian hardwood types, consisting primarily of: • Black Cherry• Sugar Maple• Poplar/Basswood • Red Oak Group • White Oak/Chestnut Oak • Soft Maple • Hickory • Ash • A host of associate species (black walnut, birch, beech)
Stocking, Stem Quality, and Forest Structure:
Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultual legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future veneer source.
The farm’s timber component has been well managed over the years and generally consists of two age classes that have been managed under even-aged silvicultural guidelines. The predominant timber stand contains 40-120 year old stems ranging in size of 10”-36” dbh. Portions of this stand have been thinned over the last several decades as prudent forest management called for. Many sections of this stand are ready for a selective thinning which will generate considerable income. More recently thinned areas are on the cusp of graduating into higher-value sawtimber diameter classes over the coming decade.
The second distinct stand was established over the past 50 years when some of the farm fields and pastures were abandoned and the forest began to naturally regenerate. These stands represent a quality hardwood resource and will be reaching economic maturity in the next 20-40 years.
Sawlog & Veneer Value: These species dominate the sawlog and veneer value, collectively representing nearly all the total sawlog value.
• The Red Oak group, • White Oak group, • Yellow Poplar/Basswood, • Maples, • Hickory
• Ash, • The remaining value is spread across a diverse range of species including, Beech, Black Walnut, Birch and other associates.
Diameters are well represented across the commercial spectrum with a notable mature size class, as well as abundant pole size timber and growing stock. Average diameter with all sawtimber products 12” dbh combined has not been determined.
Breakdown by diameter class measured 4.5 feet above the ground on the uphill side of the tree has not been determined.
Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and field edges. These ancient trees, some 200-300 years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.
The forest is healthy and there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The Emerald Ash Borer, which has inundated the entire Northeast US, is present and the Ash component will significantly decline over the next decade. There have been no forest fires in the recent memory.
The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses. One could spend a lifetime getting to know this inviting environ.
The farm has a mixture of hayfields/pasture, mature forest and abandoned farm fields, coupled with the abundant water supply from the pond, creeks and springs, which creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between field and forest is the perfect habitat for all the resident wildlife. The edges create a miles long wildlife food plot. White tail deer, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, fox and many species of songbirds, owls and raptors make up the resident wildlife population.
The hardwood forest provides the essential nutrient source and produces tons of hard mast including acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and black walnuts. Soft mast includes stag horn sumac, black cherry, tulip poplar seeds, maple seeds, autumn olive berries and blackberries.
The owner has chosen not to lease out any mineral-oil and gas rights and all rights the owner has will convey with the property.
Water: Spring and public
Cellphone Coverage: Good to fair
There is currently no county zoning in this area of Monroe County. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to contact the Monroe County Health Department for answers regarding installation of septic systems and water wells. Further information on county zoning may be answered by contacting the Monroe County Commission.
LOCATION, LEGAL INFORMATION, AND TAXES
Monroe County, West Virginia
Elevation Range: 2570 ft. to 3410 ft.
Coordinates (NAD83): 37.529128N, 80.431739W
522.32 acres more or less
Road Frontage: 1/2 mile +/- of frontage on Zenith Road, WV RT 15
Total 2015 Real Estate Taxes: $900.84
Deed Book 147, page 390
Sweet Springs District, Tax Map 34 parcels 23, 24, 33 and Tax Map 35, parcels 17 & 18
The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
From Union, West Virginia: 11.7 miles +/- By the Monroe County Courthouse in Union, turn onto WV Route 3 East toward Gap Mills; travel Route 3 for 8.9 miles to the community of Gap Mills; turn right onto Zenith Road, WV Route 15; travel Route 15 for 2.8 miles; the farm is on the left. From Lewisburg, West Virginia: 33.1 miles +/- Travel US 219 South 21.4 miles to Union, West Virginia; just before the Monroe County Courthouse in Union, turn left onto WV Route 3 East toward Gap Mills; travel Route 3 for 8.9 miles to the community of Gap Mills; turn right onto Zenith Road, WV Route 15; travel Route 15 for 2.8 miles; the farm is on the left. From Covington, Virginia: 36.7 miles +/- Travel from Covington, Virginia via VA Routes 159 and 311 and West Virginia Route 3 a total of approximately 33.9 miles to Gap Mills, West Virginia; at Gap Mills turn left onto Zenith Road, WV Route 15; travel Route 15 for 2.8 miles; the farm is on the left.
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