BACK CREEK WILDERNESS

Agent Contact:
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674

The 5771 acre Back Creek Wilderness property shares a common boundary with the George Washington – Jefferson National Forest and the Moncove Lake Wildlife Management Area. The forest has a long history of quality timberland management influenced by investment parameters designed to maximize timber production, while maintaining the highest and best use of the land.

The property has been managed under West Virginia Best Management Practices and is currently FSC third-party certified.   At present, there are no county zoning restrictions, allowing for the expansion of property use.  The mineral rights in title will transfer with the surface rights allowing for the development of available minerals, oil and gas.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 5771 uninterrupted forested acres – FSC third-party certified
  • Adjoins the 896 acre Moncove Lake Wildlife Management Area
  • Adjoins Jefferson National Forest with about 1 mile of common boundary
  • 22 miles of blue line streams, intermittent and ephemeral creeks
  • 100 + miles of forest trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and ATV riding
  • 20 miles of permanent interior roads for superior access
  • Valuable timber – 11 MM board feet estimated timber volume; estimated 60,000 tons pulpwood
  • Diverse wildlife habitat and exceptional wildlife population density
  • All mineral rights in title will convey
  • No county zoning that would restrict development of the property
  • Low population density
  • Low taxes
  • Little to no light pollution for spectacular stargazing and astrophotography
  • Several home sites with stunning long views of distant mountains
  • Near to Roanoke, Blacksburg & Lewisburg with jet airports, interstates, hospitals, shopping, city amenities
  • Dark skies offer excellent opportunities for star gazing and astrophotography
  • 25 minutes to the world-renowned Greenbrier Resort
  • Dynamic forest with some old growth trees estimated to be 200-300 years old
  • Wildlife program enhances habitat, increases diversity, and promotes health
  • A rewarding permaculture lifestyle can be easily developed
  • Surrounded by National Forest, Wildlife Manangement Area, farms and timber tracts in a nice rural neighborhood
  • Superior access by state maintained paved roads – FedEx, UPS and USPS delivery
  • Cell phone coverage is excellent on the ridges and spotty deep in the valley
  • Creekside: Frogs, turtles, crawdads, fish, ducks, salamanders, butterflies, dragonflies
  • Fur bearing – deer, black bear, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox, chipmunk, opossum
  • Winged wildlife – eagles, hawks, owls, grouse, ravens, turkey, woodpeckers, songbirds
  • The forest produces Oxygen and is a sequester of carbon dioxide
  • Trees species include oaks, black walnut, poplar, sycamore, maple, hickories, white pine
  • Perfect for recreational activities including water sports, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, camping, hunting and nature viewing
  • Nature, scenic, and historic attributes provide exceptional quality of life values

LOCATION

Google Coordinates: 37.669013°(N), -80.304324°(W)
Address: Cove Creek Road Rt 8/1, Gap Mills, WV 24941; No 911 address is assigned to property without structures
Elevation Range: 1989 ft. to 3355 ft. +/-

CARBON SEQUESTRATION

Back Creek Wilderness is a tremendous producer of Oxygen and Carbon Sequester. Carbon Sequestration is the act of processing carbon dioxide through sinks and stores and releasing them into the atmosphere as oxygen. With 5771 acres, the vigorously growing forest is sequestering approximately 1 million tons of Carbon Dioxide each per year.

On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. There could be over 1,000,000 tons of Oxygen being produced each year.

WATER

Back Creek Forest is richly blessed with an abundance of water. Back Creek is a free-flowing blue-line stream running year-round on the property for about 6 miles. There are 22 smaller blue-line and dashed blue-line intermittent streams on the property that are tributaries to Back Creek, totaling to about 13 miles of additional periodic water flow. A portion of Cove Creek and 2 of its tributaries are also on Back Creek Forest that add about 3 more miles of water flow.

These distances total to about 22 miles of drains and creeks on the Back Creek Forest.

MINERAL RESOURCES

The current owner’s deed indicates 5434.10 acres of Fee ownership, 337.38 acres of Surface, totaling 5771.48 acres of Forestland. All rights the owner has will convey with the property.

BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY

Over the years, the property lines have been surveyed and painted. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.

ACCESS/FRONTAGE

The property has a section of direct frontage on Cove Creek Road RT 8/1 with additional deeded rights-of-way. Back Creek Forest has many, many miles of interior roads and trails that provide access to most areas of the property.

ZONING

There is currently no county zoning in Monroe County.

PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY

This property has been devoted to managed forestland for many years.

DEED AND TAX INFORMATION

Deed Information: DB 241 Pg. 228; TRACTS TWO, THREE, and FOUR
Monroe County, West Virginia

Acreage: 5434.10 +/- acres Fee, 337.38 +/- acres Surface Only
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Monroe County (32), West Virginia
Sweet Springs District (6)

Tax Map 13 Parcel 2; MIDDLE MT E OF SEC RT 8 287 AC; Class 3; 2019 Real Estate Taxes $491.24
Tax Map 19 Parcel 1; COVE CREEK 5,370.476 AC; Class 3; 2019 Real Estate Taxes $6,402.44
Tax Map 61 Parcel 42; 68 ac; BACK CREEK; Class 3; 2019 Real Estate Taxes $1,296.44
Tax ID 9999-01000011; 150.5 ac COVE CREEK; Class 3; 2019 Real Estate Taxes $6.36

2019 Real Estate Taxes: $8,196.48

RECREATION AT BACK CREEK WILDERNESS

Back Creek Wilderness offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the 6 miles of Back Creek. The 5771 acres which provides the foundation for all that is the Back Creek Wilderness.

Nature viewing is first in line of recreational activities. Attentive wildlife management has been geared not to just game animals. Equal consideration has been extended to increasing the numbers and diversity of species including neo-tropical songbirds, butterflies, turtles, frogs, rabbits, chipmunks, dragonflies, owls, hawks.

Stargazing-Planet Observation
Complete darkness can be still be found on the majority of the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder.

Water-sports enthusiasts will find the steams ideal for: Swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and wind-surfing.

Shooting-sports devotees find all the land and privacy needed to enjoy:

  • Paintball-Airsoft-Laser tag-Archery tag
  • Shotgun sport shooting including Skeet, Trap, Double Trap and Sporting Clays
  • Rifle & Handgun shooting: bullseye, silhouette, western, bench rest, long-range, fast draw
  • Archery and Crossbow competition shooting
  • An old 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day

All Terrain Motorsports
Back Creek Wilderness has about 30 miles of internal roads and some 100 miles of forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. These exciting machines handle the wide variety of the property’s terrain. The riders can go from down along the streams, wind through the pine and hardwood forest and climb nearly 1400’ to the highest ridges.

Dirt bikes can also be a lot of fun and they come in all sizes and horsepower to fit anyone who enjoys being on two wheels.

Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Hiking
The same trails used for Motorsports can also be used for mountain biking or horseback riding. The trails are designed to be on gentle grades but some trails coming off the river offer a more challenging climb.

Hunting is a first-class experience. The 22 miles of creeks and intermittent streams provide habitat for wood duck, geese and mallards. White tail deer, black bear, red/gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey, grouse, squirrel, raccoon, fox and rabbit make up the resident wildlife population. It is hard to find a property that has a better mix of wildlife as there has been professional wildlife management for many years.

FOREST/TIMBER RESOURCES

The Back Creek Wilderness’ timber resource is composed of some high quality Appalachian hardwoods and white pine. 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.

A forest inventory estimated about 11 MMBF of standing timber and some 60,000 tons of pulpwood. Capital Timber Value of the timber and pulpwood has not been determined.

Species composition:

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/Cucumber/Basswood
  • Red Oak Group
  • White Oak/Chestnut Oak
  • Soft Maple
  • Hickory
  • Ash
  • Black walnut
  • As well as a host of other species (birch, beech, sassafras, wahoo, buckeye)

There is a substantial amount of white pine scattered throughout the property.

Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultural legacy. Many stands are currently ready for harvest which will generate considerable income.

The timber component has been well managed over the years and consists of several age classes Some of the stands have been selectively harvested and some stands were clearcut in order to start a completely new forest through natural regeneration.  The timber stands contain 2-120 year old stems ranging in size of 2”- 36” dbh. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future veneer source.  Diameters are well represented across the commercial spectrum with a notable mature size class, as well as abundant pole size timber and growing stock.

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 presently there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The Emerald Ash Borer and Hemlock Wooly adelgid are present and it is anticipated that the Ash component will come under attack by the borer in 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.

WILDLIFE

Years of progressive wildlife management practices have created the quintessential wildlife preserve. Early on, management goals promoted overall wildlife health, facilitated the harvest of game, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity.

Back Creek Wilderness is a major contributor to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. The 22 miles of streams/intermittent creeks and the surrounding aquatic plant life create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margin of the creeks are fringed by lowlands, and these lowlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the streams. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed and algae.

There are many animals, that at times, live in and around the edges of the creeks including, trout, beaver, otters, mink, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, stocked fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrat, bull frogs, eagles, hawks and redwing blackbirds.

There is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, pond skaters, water beetles, damselflies, tadpoles and various insect larve.

The property has a mixture of mature hardwood species, white pine forest, and hemlock. The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the creeks and springs, creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between the creeks, hollows, ridges, rock outcrops and forest is the textbook habitat benefiting all the resident wildlife. Bald eagles, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, 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.

FOREST FARMING

The most common crops are medicinal herbs and mushrooms. Other crops that can be produced include shade-loving native ornamentals, moss, fruit, nuts, other food crops, and decorative materials for crafts. These crops are often referred to as special forest products.

Here are some specific examples of crops in each category that are currently being cultivated:

  • Medicinal herbs: Ginseng, goldenseal, black cohosh, bloodroot, passionflower, and mayapple
  • Mushrooms: Shiitake and oyster mushrooms
  • Native ornamentals: Rhododendrons and dogwood
  • Moss: Log or sheet moss
  • Fruit: Pawpaws, currants, elderberries, and lowbush blueberries
  • Nuts: Black walnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, and beechnuts
  • Other food crops: Ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, and honey
  • Plants used for decorative purposes, dyes, and crafts: Galax, princess pine, white oak, pussy willow branches in the spring, holly, bittersweet, and bloodroot and ground pine (Lycopodium)

THE SURROUNDING AREA

The charming village of Union, which is the Monroe County seat, is a 30 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 (or stoplights),  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 50 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 away, 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.  In 2014, the resort recently opened a new $30 million training facility for the professional and collegiate football teams.  A 2500-seat tennis stadium to host professional matches was opened in 2015.

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON and JEFFERSON NATIONAL FOREST

Back Creek Wilderness adjoins the vast George Washington- Jefferson National Forest with over a mile of common boundary.

The George Washington & Jefferson National Forest contains over 1,061,000 acres.  In 1995, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests were administratively combined to form one of the largest areas of public land in the Eastern United States. They cover 1.8 million acres of land in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Approximately 1 million acres of the forest are remote and undeveloped, and 139,461 acres have been designated as wilderness areas, which eliminates future development.

The National Forests are traversed by the Blue Ridge Parkway and are located within eight major river basins: the Potomac, James, Roanoke, New, Big Sandy, Holston, Cumberland, and Clinch Rivers. Average discharge of surface water from National Forest lands is estimated to be 2.2 million acre feet.

The Forests contain 2,340 miles of perennial streams, of which over 1,000 miles are trout waters. There are 82 reservoirs within or immediately downstream from the National Forests, 16 of which are used for municipal water supply. Lake Moomaw is among the largest reservoir (2530 acres) providing flood control, water quality control, and recreation opportunities.

MONCOVE LAKE STATE PARK and WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

Moncove Lake State Park offers a peaceful setting for families to enjoy the outdoors. The park is a popular destination for outdoor social gatherings, quiet strolls, camping and water recreation. This 250-acre park is a part of the 896 acre Moncove Lake Wildlife Management Area. Located in the hills of the southeastern edge of the state, near Union in Monroe County, the park offers many opportunities for fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, birdwatching and hiking.

The Moncove Lake area was established in 1960, following the damming of Devil Creek in eastern Monroe County. The lake was built as part of the Moncove Lake Hunting and Fishing Area. In 1991, 250 acres were set aside as a state park. The remainder of the land continues to be managed as a wildlife management area. The park has since been expanded to 896 acres. The park sits on the shores of 144-acre Moncove Lake, and underneath the flyway of the Fall Hawk migration.

Moncove Lake State Park’s campground includes 48 tent and trailer sites, 25 of which have electric hookups. There are picnic tables and fire rings with grill surfaces, drinking water, a dump station and a central bathhouse with showers. Firewood is available for purchase upon your arrival. West Virginia State Park campground reservations are available from Memorial Day through Labor Day each year. Campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-serve basis through October 31.

Three picnic shelters are available to reserve, fully equipped with grills and tables. Playgrounds, restroom facilities, and a swimming pool open from Memorial Day to Labor Day will make your gathering complete!

More than 160 species of birds have been seen around Moncove Lake. The area is a birding hot spot due to nearby Peter’s Mountain and the ridge-and-valley section of the Appalachian Mountains. These ridges act as funnels for birds migrating in the fall and present excellent chances to glimpse birds that are considered rare or unusual for this region. On Peter’s Mountain during peak days in September, Broad Winged hawks are counted by the hundreds, and migrating hawks of nearly every eastern species and numerous songbirds can be seen throughout the month of September and into October. Witness the annual migration of birds of prey as they travel the eastern flyway passing through Monroe County, WV. Migration typically begins in early September through October, however, late September usually brings the most sightings.

 

REGIONAL INFORMATION