Richard Grist, 304-645-7674
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The Highlands Farm is a well-rounded property that showcases much of what makes western Virginia special: rugged scenery, clear and cold rivers, endless outdoor recreation, and an agreeable four-season mountain climate. Convenient access to the town of Hot Springs and the amenities of the Homestead Resort balance the farm’s privacy and rural character, making it an accessible retreat with broad appeal.
- Convenient access to the town of Hot Springs and the amenities of the Homestead Resort
- The farm’s privacy and rural character make it an accessible retreat with broad appeal
- 72 deeded acres divided between farmland and woodland
- 2000 sq. ft. home with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, utility/mud room, open space design includes the kitchen, dining room, and family room. 50’ covered full length front porch.
- Located in the village of Bolar, which has the distinction of lying both in Bath and Highland Counties, VA
- Low density – 6,500 +/- residents live in an area covering 10,000 +/- square miles.
- Highland County is the least populated county in VA, population of 2,200 +/-
- Bath County is the second least populated in VA population of 4,400 +/-
- Two blueline stream flow through the property for a combined length of 6/10th mile
- Recently drilled water well serves newly installed livestock watering troughs
- New livestock exclusion fencing installed on both sides of Stony Run
- Mature timber – pine and hardwood mix
- A well-developed trail system adds to the recreational aspects of the farm.
- Little to no light pollution for observing the brilliant night sky filled with stars and planets
- 90 minutes to the year – round Snowshoe Resort, WV largest ski resort and events destination
- All mineral rights in title will convey
- Two drilled wells on property
- Land management increases carrying capacity and extends the grazing season
- Dynamic forest with some old growth trees estimated to be 150-300 years old
- Patches of forest intertwine with the farm fields creating an exciting recreational property
- Farm and forest roads wind through the property providing superior access
- Off – Grid and/or a rewarding permaculture lifestyle can be easily developed
- Superior access by state maintained paved roads – FedEx, UPS and USPS delivery
- Graveled private driveway through the property leads to the home
- Darkest of skies with little light pollution for star-planet gazing & astrophotography
- Sedges, rushes, ferns, songbirds, frogs, turtles, & crawdads populate the small wetlands
- Timber species include pine, oaks, poplar, maple and hickories
- Wildlife program enhances habitat, increases diversity, promotes health of the resident wildlife
- Fur bearing – deer, black bear, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox, chipmunk, opossum
- Winged wildlife – eagles, hawks, owls, ravens, turkeys and Neotropical songbirds
- Agricultural grasses coupled with the forest produce life-giving Oxygen and sequester Carbon dioxide
- Spectacular long-range views
- Perfect for recreational activities including shooting sports, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, camping, hunting and nature viewing
- Low taxes, low population density
- Scenic, cultural, and historic values of the Highlands Farm provide exceptional quality of life values
- Located within the United States National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area of limited radio activity.
Google Coordinates: 38.228269°(N), -79.701703°(W)
Address: 29 Bolar Lane, Monterey, VA 24465
Elevation Range: 2099 ft. to 2215 ft. +/-
Highlands Farm lies in the Allegheny mountains of western Virginia, approximately 12 miles from the West Virginia border. The farm is conveniently located 25 minutes outside of the towns of Hot Springs and Warm Springs, which together feature a wide range of amenities, including restaurants, shops, groceries, and the Homestead Resort. The nearest commercial airports are Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute drive) and Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, one-and-a-half hour drive), which offer daily flights to destinations throughout the eastern U.S. The nearest FBO is at Ingalls Field, which has a 5,600 foot runway suitable for private jet access.
Estimated driving times to nearby towns and metropolitan areas are:
- Warm Springs Va – 20 minutes
- Hot Springs, VA – 25 minutes
- Staunton, VA – 1 hour 20 minutes
- Lexington, VA – 1 hour
- Charlottesville, VA – 1 hour 30 minutes
- Richmond, VA – 2 hours 30 minutes
- Washington D.C. – 3 hours 15 minutes
- Covington, VA – 55 minutes
- Elkins, WV – 1 hour 45 minutes
- Snowshoe, WV – 1 hour 20 minutes
- 30 minutes – FBO Ingalls Field, private jet access – Warm Springs, VA
- 1 hour 30 minutes – Elkins-Randolph Co. Regional Airport, Elkins, WV
- 1 hour 30 minutes – Greenbrier Valley Airport, Lewisburg, WV
- 1 hour 30 minutes – Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, Staunton, VA
- 2 hours – Roanoke Valley Regional Airport
In the early days of Virginia, the area now comprised of the counties of Highland and Bath was considered the frontier and its mountainous terrain and rural character still give the area the feeling of being wonderfully removed. Public lands cover more than half of Bath County and about 30 percent of Highland County. The area has a well-deserved reputation as a destination playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The rugged Allegheny Mountains serve as the area’s backdrop and provide endless hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking, while the surrounding rivers and streams are known for some the best fly fishing in Virginia. The cold, clear waters of the endless mountain streams and the Jackson River hold excellent populations of rainbow, brown, and native brook trout, and warmer water rivers such as the Cowpasture hold trout seasonally, as well as smallmouth bass and other warm water species.
Twenty-five minutes from Highlands Farm is the renowned Homestead Resort and the charming town of Hot Springs. The Homestead traces its roots to 1766, and the modern resort dates from 1888. Today the resort features two championship golf courses, a ski slope, skeet range and sporting clays, and many other amenities. For relaxation, there is the Homestead Spa, as well as a number of great restaurants and shops in Hot Springs and Warm Springs.
The reliably agreeable summer weather, unrivaled scenery, access to public lands, and year-round activities make the area a continuously popular destination for people throughout the Commonwealth and Mid-Atlantic.
One of the standout aspects of the Highlands Farm is the on-site recreation. Roads and trails are present throughout the farm and a well-developed trail system overlays the wooded acreage. The trails are perfect for hiking, trail running, horseback riding, mountain biking, or ATV’s. Although there are no horses currently on the farm, the pasture area is fenced and stands ready to welcome equestrians, and the facilities could easily be expanded and improved if the next owner were so inclined.
Wildlife populations on the property are substantial and healthy; deer, black bear, turkey, squirrels, songbirds, raptors, amphibians, reptiles, and a wealth of insects, are all present and commonly seen. Nature viewing is currently a focus at the farm; there are ample opportunities to develop wildlife habitat, a hunting program and expand the opportunities to view nature in all seasons.
Beyond the farm, recreation opportunities continue and the vast amount of public land in Bath and Highland Counties beckons outdoor enthusiasts. Similarly convenient are the celebrated golf and sporting amenities of the Homestead Resort, offering an unusually balanced range of activities for a property in such a rural location. West Virginia’s largest Ski Resort and Events destination is an easy 90 minute’s drive from the farm.
The Highlands Farm experiences an enjoyable four-season climate that is favorably influenced by its elevation and the surrounding mountains. Summers are noticeably cooler than areas to the east, with relatively low humidity and average high temperatures in the low 80’s. During the winter, high temperatures reach the 30’s and 40’s, with lows in the 20’s. Spring and fall generally feature spectacular weather that highlights the brilliant colors of the changing seasons, and temperatures average in the 60’s and 70’s. Annual rainfall is approximately 44.5 inches, while annual snowfall is approximately 30 inches.
From Monterey, VA: 15.5 miles +/- (approximately 20 minutes)
From the intersection of US-250 and US-220 in Monterey, travel US-220 South for 15.4 miles; turn right onto Bolar Lane; property driveway will be just ahead on the left.
There are 2 blue line streams flowing through the property. Morris Run flows through the southern side of the property for about 3/10 mile, and Stony Run flows through the northern side of the property for about 3/10 mile. Those streams should have regular flow, especially during rain events and snow melt.
All rights the owner has will convey with the property.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
Field edges evidence boundaries in some areas. A major portion of the eastern boundary runs with US-220. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
Water: Two Water Wells
Cellphone Coverage: No coverage due to being in the Greenbank National Observatory Quite Zone
The property has about ¼ mile of frontage on US-220 and is directly accessed by Bolar Lane.
Highland County and Bath County are subject to some zoning and subdivision regulations. All prospective buyers should consult the County Government Offices for details regarding zoning, building codes and installation of septic systems.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
The property is comprised of homestead grounds, fields, and forestland. The fenced homestead grounds area contains about ½ acre. There are 4 Fields ranging in size from just under 4 acres to almost 8 acres, totaling nearly 20 acres. There is a small section of utility line open area containing about 2 acres. The forestland contains about 50 acres.
(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: Instrument Number CLR 210000047
Highland County, Virginia
Acreage: 71.819 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Highland County, Virginia
Tax Parcels 75-A-9C,9D, 9E, 9F,9H,9J
2023 Real Estate Taxes: $_TBD_
Highland County School District
Public Elementary School:
Highland Elementary School (PK-05)
Public High School:
Highland High School (06-12)
RECREATION AT HIGHLANDS FARM
Highlands Farm offers matchless recreational opportunities. The farm offers numerous soft recreational activities.
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 and hawks.
Complete, or near darkness, can still be found on areas of the property, thereby affording the opportunity to view the night sky in all its brilliant wonder.
Water-sports enthusiasts will find the nearby Jackson River, Cowpasture River, and Lake Moomaw, ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing.
Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding and Hiking
The gently laying land may be used for conventional and mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding.
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
Highlands Farm has internal roads and several forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. These exciting machines handle the wide variety of 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.
Hunting is a first-class experience. White tail deer, black bear, red/gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey, grouse, duck, squirrel, raccoon, and rabbit make up the resident wildlife population.
The abundant timber resource, consisting of about 50 acres, is well positioned for current timber income as well as value appreciation over the coming decades. With an attractive species mix, adequate stocking levels, and favorable diameter class distribution, the timber amenity represents a strong component of value to the investor.
The Highlands Farm forest resource is composed of quality hardwoods, native White Pine and a few Eastern Hemlock. This timber resource can provide a great deal of flexibility to the next ownership in terms of potential harvest revenue and could 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 at this time.
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 hardwood types, consisting primarily of, Sugar Maple, Poplar, Red Oak/Scarlet Oak, White Oak/Chestnut Oak, Soft Maple, Hickory, and a host of associated species (birch, sourwood, black gum, beech).
The hardwood forest is interspersed with some very large white pine. Thousands of white pine seedlings carpet the forest floor, just waiting for their chance for an opening in the canopy to provide sustained sunlight so they can take off and grow rapidly.
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 to poor, depending on the species.
The property’s timber component has been well managed over the years and consists of stands of differing age classes. The predominant timber stand contains 30-100-year-old stems ranging in size of 10”-30” dbh.
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 old field edges. These ancient trees, some estimated at between 150-200 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. The Eastern Hemlock species is under siege by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and the hemlock will significantly decline over the coming decade. There have been no forest fires in recent memory.
The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses.
There are a few fruit trees scattered about, some of which were part of the early homestead. Crops of acorns and hickory nuts are produced each year from the abundant oak and hickory trees scattered about.
Honeybees would do well here, and it would be possible to produce maple syrup from the sugar and red maple trees growing on the property.
The Highlands Farm has about 20 acres of open space that is being maintained as pasture.
- Past land use has been the raising of livestock (pasture) and for row crop farming.
- The perimeter fencing of the open space is in place.
- Newly drilled water well provides water via underground lines to concrete watering facilities for livestock as part of an ongoing NRCS conservation program.
- New livestock exclusion fencing has been installed on both sides of Stony Run as part of an ongoing NRCS conservation program.
- Although there are no horses currently on the farm, the pasture area is fenced and stands ready to welcome equestrians, and the facilities could easily be expanded and improved if the next owner were so inclined.
Years of progressive wildlife management practices have created the ideal wildlife reserve. Early on, management goals promoted overall wildlife health, facilitated the harvest of game, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity.
The Jackson River, Cowpasture River, and Lake Moomaw, are major contributors to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. The combined 6/10ths mile of Stony Run and Pack’s Run support the surrounding aquatic plant life and create a water sustained community with a wide variety of wildlife. The edges of the creek and small wetlands support the aquatic food web and provide shelter for wildlife. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed and algae.
There are many animals that live year-round and at other times in the water and around the edges of the blueline streams including raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, native fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrats, bull frogs, eagles, hawks and redwing blackbirds.
There is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, water beetles, damselflies, tadpoles and various insect larvae.
The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the streams, create the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between farm fields, 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 an essential nutrient source and produces tons of hard mast including acorns, hickory nuts and beech nuts. Soft mast includes stag horn sumac, black cherry, tulip poplar seeds, maple seeds, multiple rose berries and blackberries.
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: Acorns, 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, bloodroot and ground pine (Lycopodium)
SELF-SUSTAINING LIFE OFF THE GRID
Just like 250 years ago, when the first pioneers 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 and drilled water wells (hand drawing water from the wells using a cylinder well bucket).
- The creeks and forest would provide fresh food (native fish, crayfish, deer, bear, and turkey).
- The agricultural land’s flat to rolling topography would be 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, lumber for building, basket splints, maple syrup and pounds of nuts (acorns, beechnuts and hickory nuts).
The 72 +/- acres of forest and farmland 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 72 acres, the vigorously growing forest and farmland grasses are sequestering thousands of tons of Carbon Dioxide each per year and producing tons and tons of Oxygen.
THE DYNAMIC WETLANDS
In earlier times, before the environmental and societal value of wetlands was discovered, the Highlands Farm’s small, but dynamic wetland, was commonly called a “swamp” or “bog”. This enchanting area is biologically rich and wildlife diverse, being akin to the world’s largest swamps found in the Florida Everglades and the Amazon River Basin. The small, but mighty wetland works to provide “ecosystem services”—non-monetary benefits like clean water, clean air, carbon sequestration, hunting, and yes—recreation for everyone young and old.
The wetlands are the best of both worlds. A visit begins to watch for deer, squirrels, raccoon, and turkey while exploring for butterflies, turtles, frogs, crawdads, songbirds, salamanders, ducks, herons, newts, and a host of other aquatic invertebrates, migratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Wetlands are a very productive part of our environment, more productive of vegetation, in fact, than some agricultural soils. This vegetation serves important purposes. It shelters and feeds many wildlife species that cannot survive elsewhere. Almost 35 percent of all rare and endangered species depend, in some way, on wetlands. More common wetland species provide enjoyment to many by serving educational, research and recreational needs. Waterfowl and many furbearers such as beaver, mink and muskrat provide both consumptive and non-consumptive recreation and are dependent on wetlands. Many fringe wetlands provide the food that young fish need to survive. By slowing the flow of water, wetlands help keep banks from eroding and they trap and settle suspended silt before it smothers fish eggs and covers the insects and other animals that fish eat.
Wetlands add visual diversity to everyone’s lives. The animal trails that skirt and cross the wetlands offer an opportunity to see many different plant and wildlife species seen nowhere else on the property. The wetlands habitat walk is a relaxing and rewarding experience.
THE QUIET ZONE & GREENBANK OBSERBVATORY
The Highlands Farm is located in the United States National Radio Quiet Zone which is a large area of land surrounding the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) at Green Bank, West Virginia, and especially the large Green Bank Telescope radio telescope. The Radio Quiet Zone is a rectangle of land approximately 13,000 square miles in size that straddles the border area of Virginia and West Virginia. This area was chosen because it has a hilly topography that screens out most incoming radio signals, allowing the Green Bank telescopes to receive signals that are otherwise too low in power to be heard over the normal radio background in North America.
Green Bank Observatory, is home to eight telescopes, including the world’s largest fully steerable telescope, the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). The observatory has been a pioneer in modern radio astronomy since its first telescope, the 85-foot (26 meters) Tatel radio telescope, was built in 1959.
The nearby town of Green Bank has been called the quietest town in America, where devices that emit radio waves, including cellphones, Wi-Fi routers and even microwave ovens are outlawed. The radio-free environment allows astronomers to observe sections of the electromagnetic spectrum otherwise drowned out by the constant radio noise we inadvertently create while using modern technology. Due to the restrictions, the area has attracted people who suffer from Electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
The nearby Snowshoe Mountain ski resort has been able to provide fast internet, WiFi, and cell phone coverage by having a custom system built which is specially designed so as not to interfere with radio telescopes.
SNOWSHOE SKI & RESORT
From the Highlands Farm, Snowshoe Mountain Resort is an hour and 20 minutes drive and is among the most popular ski resorts in the east-central U.S. The resort, at 4848’ elevation, includes two ski areas, two terrain parks, and 57 downhill slopes that uniquely descend from the ski villages at the top of the mountain. The resort is also among the chief destinations for mountain biking in the Virginias. The International Mountain Bicycling Association has designated the Snowshoe Highland Ride Center as a silver-level destination. The resort boasts 23 restaurants and pubs, 34 lodges and cabin villages, and supports many off-mountain lodging venues year-round.
From Monterey, VA: 15.5 miles +/- (approximately 20 minutes)
From the intersection of US-250 and US-220 in Monterey, travel US-220 South for 15.4 miles; turn right onto Bolar Lane; property driveway will be just ahead on the left.
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- Wonderful West Virginia Magazine
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