FARLEY BRANCH FIELD AND FOREST

Agent Contact:
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674

This outstanding 94 +/- acre multi-use farming, residential development, and recreational opportunity is located just 30 minutes to the 70,000 acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 94 acres +/- parcel surrounded by large farm and woodland tracts offers complete privacy
  • Adjoins the 2,500 acre Flat Top Lake development for about one half mile
  • 10 minutes to Winterplace Ski Resort
  • 30 minutes to the 70,000 acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
  • 17 acres +/- of crop and pastureland
  • 77 acres +/- of mature timber, emerging forest and younger regeneration
  • Onsite are electric, telephone, public water, with excellent cell phone and 5G coverage
  • Recent survey is on file
  • Easy access to I-77, I-64, US Route 19 and US 460
  • Daily jet flights from the 3 nearby airports including Charleston, Beckley and Lewisburg
  • ½ hour to the mighty New River, the East Coast’s whitewater rafting and fishing mecca
  • Land legacy of wildlife management and forest stewardship
  • Two intermittent seasonal branches flow in the interior for about 1/10ths mile
  • Nearby are the Greenbrier River, Little Bluestone River, New River, and 2000 acre Bluestone Lake – perfect for anglers and water recreation enthusiasts
  • Spectacular 360-degree long range views approaching 40 miles
  • High percentage of commercially – operable ground supporting farming, forestry and recreation * Potential for numerous residential homes or cabin sites
  • Elevations range from 3015’ to nearly 3101’
  • Excellent year-round paved state maintained access
  • Potential conservation value
  • Low taxes, low population density
  • Little or no light pollution offers unparalleled star gazing and planet observation opportunities
  • There are several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and mosses
  • The Hatfield-McCoy Trail is nearby
  • Exceptional regional wildlife populations of white tail deer, wild turkey, black bear, eagles, beaver, otter, mink, heron, duck raccoon, butterflies, muskie, bass & pike
  • Interior hiking trails and many established wildlife trails

OVERVIEW

The 94-acre +/- Farley Branch Field and Forest represents an opportunity to create a classic family ownership legacy for the next tenure, or to carefully craft a rural residential project for future home sites. Terrain is typical of the region and considered rolling to mountainous, with upland hardwood flats and ridges separated by narrow hollows that flank the lower lying drainage of the beautiful stream.

Farley Branch Field and Forest is near the heart of the recreation mecca of the Greenbrier River and New River Gorge, the property offers rural estate qualities with the upside potential for future residential development.

Mountain wildflowers can be enjoyed every spring and summer including the spectrum of mountain irises to daffodils. Spectacular 40 mile long views from the upper reaches rival any in WV.  There is little light pollution and the night sky is filled with millions of stars for hours of serenity in your personal mountain retreat.

The ridges and high knobs tower above the valley floor with elevations approaching 3200’. Spectacular distant views from the upper reaches are reminiscent of the vistas in West Virginia’s northeastern highest mountains.

Not surprising, the trees, shrubs and pasture grasses are highly productive in producing tons and tons of oxygen while at the same time eliminating huge amounts of Carbon Dioxide; Nature’s way of reducing our Carbon Footprint.

LOCATION

The 94 +/- acres is located in the scenic, mountainous region of south-central West Virginia. The surrounding Summers County landscape is part of the southeastern Ridge and Valley Region, a scenic tapestry of elongated hardwood Allegheny & Appalachian mountain ranges. Much of Summers County remains undeveloped and is characterized by its scenic farm valleys, small communities and large expanses of hardwood forest.

Charleston is West Virginia’s state capitol and is an easy 90 minute drive from the Farley Branch Field and Forest. Charleston is WV’s largest city with a population of some 50,000 and a metro area of 225,000. It is the center of government, commerce, culture and industry. There is a commercial airport with daily flights to most major hubs.

Beckley is a 35 minute drive, has a population of 34,000, and is the county seat of Raleigh County. All amenities are available in Beckley. Beckley is located at the intersection of I-77, I-64 and US 19, so easy access to Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Charleston and Cincinnati is just around the corner.

Princeton, the Mercer County seat, is 35 minutes’ drive. All amenities are available in Princeton including banking, excellent healthcare facilities, pharmacies, big box stores, grocery shopping and great restaurants.

The quaint village of Athens, home to Concord University, is just 30 minutes away.

Historic Lewisburg is located just 90 minutes away with all the charm of a small town and all the amenities of a larger city. Voted “Coolest Small Town in America”; fine dining, arts and entertainment flourish in the Lewisburg area while “big box” stores like Walmart and Lowes are also available along with the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center and other medical services. The Greenbrier Valley Airport has direct flights to O’Hare and Dulles.

Within an hour to two hour drive are located some of the finest recreational facilities in West Virginia. Winterplace Ski Resort (10 minutes), Snowshoe Ski Resort, whitewater rafting / fishing on the Greenbrier, New River and Gauley River, 2000 acre Bluestone Lake, 3000 acre Summersville Lake, 919,000 acre Monongahela National Forest and the 80,000 acre New River National Gorge National Park & Preserve. Five other area state parks and state forests offer unlimited hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding and rock climbing opportunities.

Located just 10 minutes from I-77, year round access to the property is excellent. The property fronts  the paved – state maintained Daisy Trail Road RT 25 for about 2/10ths of a mile.

Internal access is considered excellent. Several forest trails provide access to nearly all corners providing for recreational opportunities including nature viewing, hiking, horseback riding and ATV riding. They also provide access to valuable stands of timber.

Google Coordinates: 37.609153°(N), -81.068860°(W)
Address: Daisy Trail, Cool Ridge, WV 25825. No 911 address is assigned to a property without structures.
Elevation Range: 3005 ft. to 3101 ft. +/-

  • 10 minutes to I-77
  • 30 minutes to Beckley
  • 30 minutes to Raleigh County Memorial Airport
  • 55 minutes to Princeton
  • 40 minutes to Concord University at Athens
  • 1 hour 30 minutes to Virginia Tech at Blacksburg
  • 2 hours to Roanoke, VA
  • 10 minutes to Winterplace Ski Resort
  • 20 minutes to Camp Creek State Park & Forest
  • 35 minutes to Bluestone Lake
  • 40 minutes to Lake Stephens
  • 45 minutes to Pipestem Resort State Park

AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES

There are about 17 acres of cleared land consisting of pasture, meadows and cropland.  The fields lay well and would be perfect for raising vegetables, pumpkins, grapes, fruit and a host of other agricultural crops.

FOREST/TIMBER RESOURCES

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 White Oak/Chestnut Oak, Red Oak Group, Poplar/Cucumber/Basswood, Sugar Maple/Soft Maple and a host of associate species.

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 amount of  vigorously growing trees.

The timber component consists of two age classes. One timber stand contains 40-80 year old stems ranging in size of 10”-28” dbh. This stand was thinned a few years ago.  This stand will eventually grow into higher-value sawtimber diameter classes over the coming decades.

The second distinct stand was totally regenerated recently (clearcut) to improve wildlife habitat and is regenerating naturally. This stand represent a quality hardwood resource with a small pine component and will be reaching economic maturity in the next 60 years.

The Red Oak group, White Oak group, Yellow Poplar/Basswood and the Maples, dominate the species composition. The remaining species are spread across a diverse range of species including Hickory, Beech, White Ash, Black Walnut, Hemlock and other associates.

The recently harvested forest contains abundant pole size timber and growing stock.

A few trees are well over 100 years old and classify as “Heritage Trees”. These amazing trees have withstood the test of time and lend an air of grace and permanency to the property.

The forest is healthy and there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The forest pests called the Emerald Ash Borer and the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid are present. The majority of the Ash and Hemlock trees are severely stressed and will die out 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.

WATER

Two branches of the headwaters of Farley Creek are on the property.  The eastern branch is about 2/10 mile in length, while the western branch is about 4/10 mile in length, making a total of about 6/10 mile. The branches are intermittent streams that should have water flow during rain events and periods of snow melt. There is also a small pond at the edge of the western field.

MINERAL RESOURCES

West Virginia is one of the states in the US that has two ownership titles, those being SURFACE RIGHTS and MINERAL RIGHTS. A title search for mineral rights ownership has not been conducted. All rights the owner has will convey with the property. A mineral title search could be conducted by a title attorney at the same time when the surface title search is being conducted.

BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY

The property was recently surveyed, and a plat was prepared from that survey. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.

UTILITIES

  • Electric – On property
  • Propane – can be delivered
  • Landline Phone – Nearby
  • Internet – May be available through land line
  • Cable TV & Internet – DirectTV or Dish Network
  • Sewer – No public sewer available at this time. Septic system commonly used
  • Water – Public water is available. Drilled water wells commonly used or develop springs
  • Trash Pickup – at curbside
  • Cell phone coverage is fair to excellent in this area
  • USPS and Overnight Couriers deliver to the area

ACCESS/FRONTAGE

The property has two small sections of frontage on Rt. 25. The property road connects directly to Rt. 25 within that frontage.  There are about 2 miles of internal trails reaching most of the property.

ZONING

Summers County currently has no known zoning or subdivision regulations. However, all prospective buyers should consult the County Government and also the Health Department for any changes and details regarding zoning, building codes, and installation of water wells and septic systems.

PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY

The property is comprised of about 18 acres in very young harvested area that is beginning to regenerate back to forest. There are two fields containing about 9.5 acres and 7.5 acres for a total of about 17 acres of pasture fields. The remaining of the property is about 59 acres of forestland.

(This summary is an estimation of current property use as determined from aerial photography. It is made subject to the estimation of property boundaries and any errors in the interpretation of land use type from the aerial photography utilized.)

DEED AND TAX INFORMATION

Deed Information: DB 250 Pg. 756
Summers County, West Virginia
Acreage: 93.97 acres +/- by recent survey

Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Summers County (45), West Virginia
Jumping Branch District (5)
Tax Map 17 Parcel 10.3; Class 3

2021 Total Real Estate Taxes: $1147.92

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Summers County School District

Public Elementary School:
Hinton Area Elementary School

Public Middle School:
Summers County Middle School

Public High School:
Summers County High School

Due to the location of the property, Raleigh County schools may be available.

RECREATION AT FARLEY BRANCH

Farley Branch Field and Forest offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by Winterplace Ski Resort, three area rivers and 2 lakes.

Snow skiing is just 15 minutes away at Winterplace Ski Resort in Flat Top WV. The Resort features 12 lifts, 27 trails, two terrain parks and WV’s largest snowtubing park, offering 16 lanes of fun, and much more.

Water-sports enthusiasts will find the three nearby rivers and the 2000-acre lake ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing. Great fishing is found in all the rivers and lake, with small mouth bass, crappie, catfish, muskie and bluegill present in good numbers. Ice skating is occasionally a fun activity during the winter months.

Nature viewing is first in line of recreational activities. Attentive wildlife management has been geared not to just larger 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, eagles and hawks. 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.

Stargazing-Planet Observation
Total or near total darkness can be still be found on the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder.

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 property is perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. Riders are welcome to ride all public roads that do not have a painted dividing line and there are miles and miles of open roads in the area. 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 gently laying land may be used for conventional and mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding and the area offers several state and national parks geared for these activities.

WILDLIFE

The three nearby rivers and a 2000-acre lake are major contributor to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals.
There are many animals that live year round and at other times in the water and around the edges of the rivers and lake, including beavers, otters, minks, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, king fishers, minnows, native fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrats, bull frogs, eagles, owls, hawks and redwing blackbirds.

The miles of “edge effect” created between the area’s rivers, lakes, ponds, forests, and fields benefit all the resident wildlife. In addition to those listed above, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, fox, chipmunk, and many species of songbirds make up the resident wildlife population.

Of equal importance, there is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, water skaters, water beetles, damselflies, hellgrammites, tadpoles and various insect larve.

Great fishing is found in the Greenbrier River, New River, Bluestone River, and 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, with small mouth bass, crappie, catfish, muskie and bluegill present in good numbers.

The creeks, and their surrounding aquatic plant life, create a water a water-supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of their margins are fringed by wetlands, and these wetlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize their shores. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed, bee balm and algae.

The hardwood forest of the surrounding mountains 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.

Wildlife management practices have created the ideal wildlife preserve. Early on, management goals promoted overall wildlife health, facilitated the observation of game, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity.

WINTERPLACE SKI RESORT

Winterplace Ski Resort is located in Ghent, West Virginia on Raleigh County’s Flat Top Mountain, just five minutes off of I-77 at Exit 28. The southernmost ski resort in West Virginia, Winterplace is a popular attraction to skiers from VA, NC, KY and OH, due to its proximity to Interstate 77. It operates in conjunction with The Resort at Glade Springs, a four-season golf resort and spa. Winterplace Ski Resort is the most accessible skiing area in West Virginia, even during heavy snowstorms. The Resort features 12 lifts, 27 trails, two terrain parks and WV’s largest snowtubing park, offering 16 lanes of fun, and much more.

The Resort at Glade Springs is located eight miles north of Winterplace in Daniels, West Virginia, near the intersection of I-77 and Interstate 64. It operates a spa and three golf courses. The Cobb Course and the Stonehaven Course have been rated among the top five courses in West Virginia by Golfweek Magazine; the Cobb Course, designed by George Cobb, was rated West Virginia’s best golf course in 1995. Glade Springs is also the home course for the WVU Tech men’s and women’s golf teams Glade Springs also offers horseback riding and whitewater rafting on the New River.

THE NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK and PRESERVE

The 70,000-acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a unit of the United States National Park Service (NPS) designed to protect and maintain the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1978 as a national river, the NPS-protected area stretches for 53 miles from just downstream of Hinton to Hawks Nest State Park near Ansted. The park was officially named America’s 63rd national park, the U.S. government’s highest form of protection, in December of 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a relief bill.

West Virginia is home to parts of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a foot path that stretches more than 2,100 miles between Maine and Georgia; the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, which cuts through 16 states for 4,900 miles; the Bluestone National Scenic River; and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Now, over 70,000 acres of land, bordering 53 miles of the gorge, has earned the government’s protection.

The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is rich in cultural and natural history and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities. New River Gorge is home to some of the country’s best whitewater rafting, mainly from the Cunard put-in to the Fayette Station take-out and is also one of the most popular climbing areas on the East Coast.

Home to the New River, which drops 750 feet over 66 miles, with its Class V rapids, has long drawn adventuresome rafters and kayakers to this whitewater area. The New River, which flows northward through low-cut canyons in the Appalachian Mountains, is actually one of the oldest rivers on the planet.

Rock climbing on the canyon walls, mountain biking and hiking on trails that flank the river, and wildlife viewing—bald eagles, osprey, kingfishers, great blue herons, beavers, river otters, wild turkeys, brown bats, snakes, and black bears—are all popular activities within the park.

The New River Gorge Bridge is a work of structural art. Construction of the bridge began in 1974, and was completed in 1977. The Bridge spans 3,030 feet in length and is the third highest bridge in the U.S., at 876 ft. During Bridge Day, an annual one-day festival celebrating the construction of the Bridge, BASE jumpers launch off the 876-foot bridge and parachute down to the New River. New River Gorge is the only national park in the U.S. that permits this extreme activity.

President Jimmy Carter signed legislation establishing New River Gorge National River on November 10, 1978 (Pub.L. 95–625). As stated in the legislation, the park was established as a unit of the national park system “for the purpose of conserving and interpreting outstanding natural, scenic, and historic values and objects in and around the New River Gorge, and preserving as a free-flowing stream an important segment of the New River in West Virginia for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.” The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Designation Act was incorporated into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, changing the designation to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Less than 10% of the original national river was re-designated as a national park, where hunting is no longer permitted, while the remainder is a national preserve with little change.

NEW RIVER REGION OVERVIEW

The New River is shared by boaters, fisherman, campers, park visitors and local neighbors. 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 320-mile New River rises in the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and flows northeastward through the Appalachian uplands to Radford, Va., where it turns northwestward and passes through a series of narrow valleys and gorges into southern West Virginia. It ends where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River. In WV, the New River is entrenched in a steep and narrow valley, the narrowest part of which is known as the “New River Gorge.”

In 1998, because of historical, economical, and cultural importance, President Clinton signed into law the New River as one of the very first American Heritage Rivers. Much of the river’s course through West Virginia was designated as the New River Gorge National River. In 2021, the area was designated as the United States’ newest National Park.

The New River is recognized as the “second oldest river in the world” and is estimated to be between 10 and 360 million years old. Its headwaters begin near Blowing Rock, NC, and is one of the few rivers in North America that flows northerly.

Class I, II, III, IV and V rapids dot the entire 320 miles of New River making it a great paddling, tubing, and white rafting adventure. Beautiful cliffs, bluffs, and mountain views make it one of the most scenic rivers on the east coast.

New River Gorge National Park includes 53 miles of free-flowing New River, beginning at Bluestone Dam and ending at Hawks Nest Lake. The New River typifies big West Virginia style whitewater. Within the park it has two very different characters. The upper (southern) part of the river consists primarily of long pools, and relatively easy rapids up to Class III. It is a big powerful river, but very beautiful, always runnable, and providing excellent fishing and camping. There are a number of different river access points, and trips can run from several hours to several days.

The lower (northern) section of river is often referred to as “the Lower Gorge.” In a state that is justifiably renowned for colossal rapids, the Lower Gorge has some of the biggest of the big with rapids ranging in difficulty from Class III to Class V. The rapids are imposing and forceful, many of them obstructed by large boulders which necessitate maneuvering in very powerful currents, crosscurrents, and hydraulics. Some rapids contain hazardous undercut rocks.

Prior to the rise of the Appalachian Mountains, the New River cut its bed at a time when the land sloped to the northwest. Amazingly so, as the Appalachians gradually rose around the river, the New River wore away the bedrock at the same rate the mountains formed, leaving behind towering cliffs and prominences that hover hundreds of feet about the water level.

Accounts claim that Indians referred to the New River as the “river of death,” however this origin story is likely legend. Native Americans and early European settlers regarded the New and Kanawha rivers as being one single waterway. The name “New” may have been derived when the river upstream was discovered by European explorers as the first “new” river found flowing westward.

Native American Indians used the New River as they traveled west years before the pioneers arrived. In the 1600s explorers navigating the New River thought they were close to the Pacific Ocean because of its westerly flow.

In 1671 the Batts-Fallam expedition, by way of the New River, came through to the Lurich area and ended there because the Indian guides refused to take them any farther. They carved their initials in a tree and claimed the territory for King Charles II of England. This was the first proclamation of English territory west of the Alleghenies making the New River the first gateway into the west.

Fast water, big rocks and lazy/slow stretches are features of the New River. Water sports enthusiasts will find the New River ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing. Great fishing is found in the New River with bass (largemouth, smallmouth and rock), flathead catfish, channel catfish, muskie, walleye and bluegill present in good numbers. Year after year, it produces more citation fish than any other warm water river in West Virginia.

The New River Gorge was a vast and largely unsettled wilderness until the C&O railroad was built on the eastern side of the river in the 1880’s. The railroad opened up the rich coalfields and virgin timber stands of the region. Early “mountaineers” settled the area and soon were carving out mountain farms and raising families.

The gorge was practically impassible before completion of the New River Gorge Bridge, near Fayetteville, WV, in 1978. The river within its gorge is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the eastern U.S. Much of the New between Hinton and Gauley Bridge is managed by the National Park Service as the New River Gorge National River.

Principal tributaries of the New in West Virginia include, from south to north, the East River, the Bluestone River, and the Greenbrier River.
Many former mining communities located on the New River in its gorge have since become ghost towns. These include Sewell, Nuttalburg, Kaymoor, Fayette, South Fayette, Hawks Nest, Cotton Hill, and Gauley, Beury and Claremont.

THE SURROUNDING AREA

Amidst the beautiful scenery of southern West Virginia lies the long, narrow 2,000-acre Bluestone Lake. This reservoir, the third largest lake in West Virginia, is popular for its fishing and other recreational activities. Bluestone Lake was formed by a concrete dam built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers across the New River to reduce flooding. Although the dam was started in 1941, its construction was delayed because of World War II, and it was not fully completed until 1952. The lake is nearly eleven miles long, with an area of 2,040 acres during summer pool, though the water level does change frequently. Water levels are drawn down four feet in winter to make room for melting snow and spring rain.

Bluestone Lake, Greenbrier River, Bluestone River, and the New River are great places for fishing, and it is said that New River is the best warm-water fishery in the state. Some of the species of fish available in the lake and river are bluegill, catfish, crappie, muskellunge, and various types of bass. New River bass have set some West Virginia state records.

In addition to fishing, Bluestone Lake is fantastic for enjoying all sorts of water activities, including boating, canoeing, water skiing, and wake boarding. The lake has several boat ramps and a commercial marina for the boater’s convenience, and there are no limits to the size of boats or motors that can be on the lake.

Bluestone Lake is part of the Bluestone Wildlife Management Area, which covers an area of 18,019 acres. The Wildlife Management Area is known for having some of the best hunting in the area, and hunters and trappers will be able to catch a variety of game including white-tail deer, turkey, fox, and other animals.

One great place to enjoy the lake is at Bluestone State Park. The park has ample accommodations for those who want to stay overnight. There are a variety of camp sites – or, if you prefer a more comfortable stay, there are 26 cabins with TV’s, showers, and other modern conveniences. Park visitors can take a walk on the hiking trails, play in the swimming pool, or rent game equipment to play croquet or horseshoes. The park also has weekly events with lots of fun activities.

In addition to all the fun activities on the lake, there’s plenty more to do in the surrounding area. There are several other parks nearby, where you can enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. You can experience some great whitewater on the New River. And the New River Gorge is well-known as a great place for rock climbing, with its many hard sandstone cliffs. If you want a break from outdoor activities, the nearby town of Hinton has many attractions. There are a variety of restaurants, shops and antique stores to browse, and museums to visit.

Historical and recreational interest located in the Bluestone – Flat Top area includes the outdoor musical dramas “Hatfields and McCoys” and others shows performed at Grandview Park, near Beckley. Pipestem Resort with its myriad recreational facilities is only nine miles to the south and the 70,000 acres New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, center of some of the state’s best whitewater rafting and canoeing plays an integral part of the area. Of special note are Sandstone Falls and the Visitor Center, just north of Hinton; and Bluestone National Wild and Scenic River, which flows into Bluestone Lake within the park boundaries.

THE NEW RIVER

The New River Gorge was a vast and largely unsettled wilderness until the C&O railroad was built on the eastern side of the river in the 1880’s. The railroad opened up the rich coalfields and virgin timber stands of the region. Early “mountaineers” settled the area and soon were carving out mountain farms and raising families.

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 West Virginia.

CARBON SEQUESTRATION

Farley Branch Field and Forest 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. The vigorously growing forest is sequestering thousands of tons of Carbon Dioxide each per year and producing thousands of tons of Oxygen as well. The grasses in the pastures offer the same benefits as the forest do.

SELF-SUSTAINING LIFE OFF THE GRID

Just like 200 years ago, when the first mountaineers settled the area, the property can be self-sustaining in times of necessity – even without on-grid electricity.

  • Fresh water for drinking and cooking could come from drilling a well (hand drawing water from the well using a cylinder well bucket) and developing mountain springs.
  • Solar or wind could also be a source of off grid electricity.
  • The nearby rivers, creeks and forest would provide fresh food (fish, deer, and turkey).
  • There is plenty of land that could be cleared up and used to raise livestock of all kinds (chickens, pigs, cows, sheep, goats, rabbits etc.) and could be farmed with horse drawn equipment. The land would support vegetable gardens, berry patches, fruit orchards, and row crops of corn, oats and barley.
  • Beehives would provide honey and beeswax for candles.
  • The forest would provide firewood for heating and cooking and pounds of walnuts.

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:

  • 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)

BLUESTONE LAKE

Bluestone Lake is the state’s third largest body of water and is a flood control reservoir located on the New River near Hinton, West Virginia. At its normal pool level, Bluestone Dam impounds a 10.7-mile stretch of the New and its tributary, the Bluestone River. Normally approximately 2,040 acres in size, the lake can grow to over 36 miles long at flood control pool. At higher water levels, the lake extends into Giles County, Virginia. The lake’s Catchment Area is 4,565 square miles.

The lake is nearly eleven miles long, with an area of 2,040 acres during summer pool, though the water level does change frequently. Water levels are drawn down four feet in winter to make room for melting snow and spring rain.

Bluestone Lake, New River and Greenbrier River are great places for fishing, and it is said that New River is the best warm-water fishery in the state. Some of the species of fish available in the lake and river are bluegill, catfish, crappie, muskellunge, and various types of bass. New River bass have set some West Virginia state records.

In addition to fishing, Bluestone Lake is fantastic for enjoying all sorts of water activities, including boating, canoeing, water skiing, and wake boarding. The lake has several boat ramps and a commercial marina for the boater’s convenience, and there are no limits to the size of boats or motors that can be on the lake.

HATFIELD-MCCOY TRAILS

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails System (HMTS) is made up of over 600+ miles of trails and located in the rich mountains of southern West Virginia. The 600+ mile HMTS is second only to the 2000 mile long Paiute ATV Trail in Central Utah.

As one of the largest off-highway vehicle trail systems in the world, HMTS is open 365 days a year and offers something for every skill level. The trail system caters to ATV, UATV, and motorbikes (dirt bikes), but hikers, mountain bikers, and horse riders can also use the trails. The trail system is a multi-county project, including West Virginia counties Logan, Kanawha, Wyoming, McDowell, Mercer, Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo, and Boone.

The name of the trail system is derived from the names of two families, the Hatfields and McCoys, who famously feuded near the West Virginia and Kentucky border after the Civil War.

Law enforcement officers patrol the trail to assure compliance with safety regulations. Motorized users of the trail system must wear a DOT-approved helmet and are prohibited from “doubling” (having a passenger), unless their vehicle is designed for two people. These rules, and a host of others, have allowed the trail system to enjoy a quality safety record, despite an increase in ATV-related injuries around the country.

REGIONAL INFORMATION