CHESTNUT RIDGE FARM
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674
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Chestnut Ridge Farm is an approximately 182 +/- acre multiple use property located in Mercer County West Virginia. The farm offers gorgeous long-range views and multiple building sites. The mighty New River is just a 10-minute ridewalk from the property. The farm is well suited for raising horses, cattle and sheep. Mature timber and abundant wildlife make for an idyllic country setting.
The small town of Athens, which is home to Concord University, is just 20 minutes away. Princeton, the Mercer County seat, is 30 minutes’ drive. In Princeton, you will find banking, excellent healthcare facilities, pharmacies, big box stores galore, grocery shopping and great restaurants. Four-lane Route 460 at Glen Lyn, Virginia is a 15-minute drive and I-77 @ Princeton is just 30 minutes. The Charleston Airport is located just 90 miles away and is served by most major airlines. The world-famous Greenbrier Resort is about 1-hour drive and Winterplace Ski Resort is just 45 minutes’ drive.
- 182-acre classic multiple-use parcel located in Mercer County WV
- Valuable timber ready for harvest offers an immediate cash flow opportunity
- 20 +/- acres of meadows, hayfield and pasture
- Nearly 15 ephemeral streams and a larger ½ mile intermittent dashed blueline stream
- All mineral rights in title will convey
- Land legacy of careful wildlife management with long-term forest stewardship
- Accessed by paved county road
- Known for its abundant and diverse wildlife population
- Extraordinary rock outcrops, huge moss & lichen covered boulders
- Nice network of interior trails provide access to nearly every corner
- Near the Kairos Resort and Campground
- Nearby is the New River – perfect for anglers and water recreation enthusiasts
- Spectacular long-range views approaching 30 miles
- Commercially – operable ground supporting farming, forestry, recreation and future cabin sites
- Elevations range from 1863’ to over 2233’
- Electric and phone at the property line
- Low taxes, low population density, little or no light pollution
- Darkest of night skies
- Perfect area for watersports, hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding
- 30 minutes to Princeton with all big box stores, restaurants, historic district, hospital and more
- 90 minutes to jet airport with regular flights to Chicago and Washington DC
Chestnut Ridge Farm is located in Mercer County, West Virginia, about 25 minutes east of Athens, WV and 15 minutes northwest of Glen Lyn, VA and 30 minutes to Princeton.
Elevation of the farm ranges from 1863 +/- feet to 2233 +/- feet.
Google Coordinates for the property at road edge are: 37.430933°(N), -80.897943°(W)
AGRICULTURAL AND OPEN LAND
Chestnut Ridge Farm contains approximately 20 acres of gently rolling meadow, hay field, and pasture. Past farming history included cattle and sheep grazing in the pasture area and the production of hay in the upper hayfield. Much of the hay land would be suitable for growing corn or other grain crops. The soils and elevation would be well suited for establishing a vineyard or fruit orchard.
The fencing is spotty in most areas of the farm and would need to be improved before turning in livestock.
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:
- 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)
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.
An abundance of water is a major contributor to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. The nearby New River, creek, and ephemeral streams support the surrounding aquatic plant life and create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margins of the creek 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, including raccoons, opossums, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, native fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrat, bull frogs, eagles, hawks and redwing blackbirds associated with the creeks riparian area and the nearby New River.
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, Virginia pine forest, and hemlock. The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the nearby river and creeks, creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between area farm fields, powerline, creeks, hollows, ridges, and rock outcrops benefit 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.
The Farm’s timber resource, about 160 acres, is composed of some very large, high quality Appalachian hardwoods, hemlock and white pine. Much of this timber will contain veneer logs for export. 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.
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
- Red Oak Group
- White Oak/Chestnut Oak
- Soft Maple
- Hemlock/White Pine/Virginia Pine
- Black walnut
- As well as a host of other species (birch, beech, sassafras, wahoo, buckeye)
Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultural legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future veneer source.
The timber component has been well managed over the years and generally consists of 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.
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 decimated 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.
SELF-SUSTAINING LIFE OFF THE GRID
Just like 175 years ago, when the first mountaineers settled the area, the property would be self-sustaining in times of necessity – even without electricity.
- Fresh water for drinking and cooking would come from springs or a drilled well
- The forest would provide fresh food (deer,squirrel and turkey)
- More land could be cleared, and the rich agricultural land would be used to raise livestock, vegetable gardens, berry patches, fruit orchards, and row crops of corn, oats and barley
- Beehives would provide honey and beeswax for candles
- The vast forest would provide firewood for heating and cooking, lumber for building, maple syrup and pounds of nuts (walnuts, beechnuts and hickory nuts)
RECREATION AT THE FARM
The Farm offers many recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the proximity to the New River. The 182 acres provides the foundation for all that is Chestnut Ridge Farm.
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.
Complete darkness can be still be found on most of the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder.
Water-sports enthusiasts will find the nearby New River ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing.
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
- Plain ole’ plinking: Grandpa’s old 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day
All Terrain Motorsports
The Farm has several forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. These exciting machines handle the wide variety of the forest’s terrain.
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 Farm’s excellent network of trails may be used for conventional and mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding.
Hunting is a first-class experience. White tail deer, black bear, red/gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey, grouse, duck, 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.
Public access to the River Road Scenic Area on the New River is just a 10- minute ride. This is a breathtaking section of the river at one of its widest points, with rapids creating the rushing sound so identifiable with the historic New River. This section of the river is also the tailwaters of the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake.
The waters of the New River system contain a mosaic of hydrologic features and aquatic habitats that support a highly productive aquatic ecosystem that includes distinct populations of native fish, mussels, crayfish, and a broad array of other aquatic life, including rare amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The New River is the second oldest river in the world, preceded only by the Nile; it is the oldest river in North America. The New River is unique because it begins in Blowing Rock, N.C. and flows north through Virginia into West Virginia. The Nile and Amazon are the only other major rivers that also flow north. Year after year, it produces more citation fish than any other warm water river in WV. Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish, hybrid striped bass, and muskie are all common species of fish found in the New River.
Currently the oil and gas rights are not leased. All mineral rights the seller owns will transfer to the purchaser at closing. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to have an attorney do a title search prior to purchasing. There are no known coal reserves underlying the property.
There is electric and phone service available to the property. Public water, sewer or cable are not available at this time.
Satellite providers such as Hughes Net provide high speed internet service. Television reception may be provided by either DIRECTV or Dish Network.
Cell phone coverage is adequate in most places on the property. Weekly trash pickup, daily newspaper and daily mail delivery is available at roadside. UPS and FedEx service this area also.
ACCESS, BOUNDARIES, AND SURVEY
Access to the property is excellent and is served by a year-round, state maintained paved highway. The property fronts the Green Springs Hilltop Road (Whitt Hill Road) for 1/4 mile. Public school buses run daily when school is in session.
There is not a current survey for the property. A boundary survey will have to be performed to separate this sale portion from the whole farm, which will determine the exact acreage being sold. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
There is currently no county zoning in this area of Mercer County. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to contact the Mercer County Health Department for answers regarding installation of septic systems and water wells. Further information on county zoning may be answered by contacting the Mercer County commissioner’s at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAXES AND DEED INFORMATION
Taxes for 2019 were assessed in the amount of $2,062 for all the whole large farm. Taxes for this parcel are estimated to be about $600/year if enrolled in the Managed Timberland Tax Program.
5480 Lovern Road (911 address for the whole large farm)
RR 3, Box 181
Princeton WV 24739
Deed Book 795, Page 60 in the County of Mercer (28) further described as being in the Plymouth District (9), and is comprised of portions of Tax Map 20 Parcels 34 & 35 and Tax Map 26 Parcel 17. The land for sale does not include the land on the side of the road where the Morton’s home is located.
Mercer County School District
Public Elementary Schools:
Mercer County Early Learning Center (PD-K)
Princeton Primary School (K-2)
Mercer Elementary School (3-5)
Public Middle Schools:
Princeton Middle School
Public High School:
Princeton High School
From Athens, travel Vermillion Street past Concord University and this will turn into Red Sulphur Turnpike. Continue on the Red Sulphur Turnpike for 4.7 miles (passing through Pettry at 1.5 miles). Take a right (still Red Sulphur Turnpike) and travel 1 mile to a “T” intersection. Take a left on Island Creek Road for 4 miles and make a right on Green Springs Hilltop Road (Whitt Hill Road) and travel 1.2 miles and property starts on the left.
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