“Moss Rock” has over 2 miles of river frontage on the Mayo River and 247 acres of majestic forest nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

Agent Contact:
Richard Grist, 304.646.8837 or 304.645.7674

“Moss Rock” has over 2 miles of river frontage on the Mayo River and 247 acres of majestic forest nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Located in an area of free-flowing rivers, quiet lakes and sweeping mountains vistas, this exceptional recreational property has a rich history, and is blessed with a variety of noteworthy recreational, cultural and historical resources.

Moss Rock is located 8 miles southwest of the city of Martinsville in the southwestern corner of Henry County near the Virginia-North Carolina Line. The foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains combined with the Piedmont region create a beautiful backdrop. Formally a strong tobacco-based economy, the community evolved early in the 1900’s into a manufacturing center known as a major producer of fine furniture, wood products, and textiles.

The area’s location within a ninety-minute commute to Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and Greensboro NC is also significant.


Moss Rock has an abundance of water resources, anchored by the 13,000 feet (2.5 miles) of direct frontage on the North Fork of the upper Mayo River. The Mayo provides the excitement of life on one of Virginia’s popular wild rivers. The focus of a vast outdoor-recreation destination, it flows undammed out of the lofty Alleghenies, attracting anglers, paddlers, and naturalists from across the globe.

Additional ephemeral streams flow during rain events and snow melt. The streams drain directly into the Mayo River, which then flows into the Dan River and then into the Roanoke which travels through the Piedmont some 400 miles and empties into the Albemarle Sound in NC.

A spring serves the residential needs of the cabin.


Moss Rock offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the 2.5 miles of direct frontage on the Mayo River. The easy going 247 acres consist of field and forest which provides the foundation for all that is Moss Rock.

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 Mayo river ideal for: Swimming, boating, 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
  • Plain ole’ plinking: Grandpa’s old 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day

All Terrain Motorsports
Moss Rock has miles of internal roads and forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. These exciting machines handle the wide variety of Moss Rock terrain.  The riders can go from down along the river, wind through the pine and hardwood forest, across the fields and up to the highest ridge.

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 (hopefully).

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 at Moss Rock is a first-class experience. The 2.5 miles of river frontage provides 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.


The area is a haven for fishermen and water sports enthusiasts. The 3,000-acre Philpott Lake boasts an undeveloped shoreline. Smith Mountain Lake has 500 miles of shoreline and offers water activities, lodging, fishing and big boating sports. The Smith River offers some of the best native brown trout fishing in the state. And Fairy Stone State Park offers 4,750 acres of hiking, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing, tent sites, RV hookups, cabins and camping lodges. The area has four private golf clubs and two public courses. Other sporting opportunities include the Martinsville Speedway, which hosts two Winston Cup races each year, and the Martinsville Astros, a rookie league affiliate of the Houston Astros. Forty-five minutes west of Martinsville is the Blue Ridge Parkway, ranked “America’s most scenic drive” by leading travel writers, offering 469 toll-free miles of awesome natural beauty and pioneer history.


The area’s location within a ninety-minute commute to Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and Greensboro NC is significant. The area is realizing an influx of young families, commuting professionals, early retirees and baby boomers, who have discovered the countryside and the uncrowded lifestyle of Henry County and the Martinsville area along the lakes and rivers. Entrepreneurs and “gentleperson farmers” are looking for farms either for development purposes or for private use.

The area is popular with individuals coming from Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and North Carolina, citing Virginia’s mild four-season climate and access to the areas surrounding rivers and lakes as attractive features drawing them to this region. The region’s recreational features represent a significant and relatively untapped draw for the future, particularly in regard to tourism and property value appreciation.

Henry County is part of the lower Valley and Ridge area of Virginia, characterized by a belt of folded and faulted sedimentary rocks that have formed a northeast-southwest trend of linear ridges and valleys, creating the picturesque views for which the region is known. Because of the dramatic change in elevation across the County, there are numerous  scenic views of distant mountains, rivers, lakes and pastoral valleys.

As with most rural area of Virginia in recent history, relatively inexpensive land, as compared with more northern and densely populated regions of the state, has fueled development. The County’s workforce can easily commute to several surrounding counties both in Virginia and North Carolina, while still enjoying the rural and scenic nature of their home area. Moss Rock is located only a 20 to 40-minute drive to larger metropolitan services areas including the cities of Martinsville, Danville, and Roanoke.


Mindful of the public benefit flowing from the conservation values of their land and the threats posed to those values in a climate of increasing development pressure, the sellers donated to The Virginia Outdoors Foundation, a non-profit, an open space easement restricting the use and development of their land in perpetuity. The intent of the perpetual easement is to forever preserve the existing rural landscape and to preserve the scenic environment and the watershed.

The Moss Rock conservation easement allows the owners to permanently protect their land from future, more intensive uses, while still maintaining ownership. The owner may continue to utilize the property as before the easement except that certain rights in ownership are no longer available, the principal of which is the right to subdivide the property. The easement allows traditional uses of the property such as farming, forestry, hunting, hiking, fishing, and limited single-family home construction. Other permitted uses include agriculture, viticulture, aquaculture. silviculture, horticulture, and equine activities, temporary or seasonal outdoor activities.

The terms of the Conservation Easement can be furnished upon request.


Perched on a bluff overlooking the river’s rapids, and surrounded by a dense forest, is the owners weekend residence known simply as “The Cabin”. Some 40 years ago, the cabin was designed, and custom built to take full advantage of the sights and sounds of the river pouring over the moss-covered rocks directly below.

The rustic cabin was the creation of Moss Rock’s previous owner, Wilbur Doyle. Doyle was President of Doyle Lumber Co and he built the cabin to showcase the lumber his company manufactured. Doyle brought in 71-year-old master craftsman, Walker Diuguid of Irisburg, who’s handsome work is reflected throughout the cabin including the wide plank oak floors, custom built cabinets, wide wood beams and stair treads. Diuguid spent countless hours using heavy wire brushes to fashion the interior’s solid wood wall panels to resemble old barn wood.

The 1½ story cabin has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen, great room, reading/music room. The custom milled-wide plank- white oak flooring is spectacular. In the great room is a full bank of southerly facing windows stretching from first floor to second story ceiling. Upstairs are two bedrooms that open onto a balcony overlooking the living-dining area. The three large outdoor decks are popular with those visiting Moss Rock wanting to relax and enjoy life on the river and surrounding forest.

“The Cabin” Dimensions:

  • 884 total sq. ft. living area
  • Exterior dimensions: 34’ x 26’
  • Great Room: 16’ x 34’
  • Kitchen: 11’ x 12’
  • Sitting Room: 12’ x 14’
  • Bedroom: 12’ x 15’
  • Bedroom: 12’ x 13’
  • Bathroom downstairs: 5’ x 7’
  • Bathroom upstairs 6’ x 7’
  • Laundry: 4’ x 4’
  • Utility: 3’ x 4’
  • Basement: 6’ x 34’
  • Front Deck: 8’ x 34’
  • Side Deck: 11’ x 11’
  • Lower Deck: 12’ x 12’
  • Landing: 4’ x 22’
  • Propane wall heater and wood stove


Moss Rock’s 230-acre forest is a noted Tree Farm and Stewardship Forest registered with the Virginia Department of Forestry. Several long, broad ridges, and large wide bowls, funnel into steeper hollows that empty into the North Fork of the Mayo River.

Commercial Value
A 2018 forest wide inventory conducted by a registered, professional forester indicates there is an estimated $330,000 in merchantable timber and pulpwood. The inventory shows there to be over 1.8 Million Board Feet of standing timber and some 13,000 tons of pulpwood.

The forest’s predominately well-drained upland terrain has led to a resource dominated by natural hardwood species. Planted Loblolly & White pine plantations compliment the natural hardwood species. Overall, the species composition is highly desirable and favors Appalachian hardwood types, consisting primarily of yellow poplar, loblolly pine, hickory, red oak and white maples and white pine.

Yellow Poplar783,412$180.00$141,014.16
Loblolly Pine748623$90.00$67,376.07
White Pine76,677$90.00$6,900.93
Red Oak66,290$425.00$28,173.25
White Oak28,469$350.00$9,964.15
Black Oak10,095$325.00$3,280.88
White Ash5521$325.00$1,794.33
Red Maple4885$375.00$1,831.88
Black Cherry1099$625.00$686.88
Pulpwood12,962 Total Tons3.73/Ton$57,710.00
TOTAL VALUE  $332,993.21

The timber resource is comprised of 58% high quality eastern hardwoods and 42% Loblolly pine plantations. This well managed forest will 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 property is divided into seven primary stand types:

  1. Mature Pine: 22 acres of 40-50 year old excellent quality thinned loblolly pine
  2. Young Pine: 48 acres of 25 year old well stocked loblolly pine plantation planted 1993
  3. White Pine: 2 acres – 40+ year old overstocked planted white pine
  4. Young Cove Hardwoods: 20 acres – 25 year old over stocked naturally regenerated hardwoods
  5. Young Cove Hardwoods: 20 acres – 30 year old over stocked naturally regenerated hardwoods
  6. Mature Cove Hardwoods: 128 acres – 80-120 year excellent quality mixed hardwoods
  7. Wild life openings: 18 acres – open land planted in clovers, legumes & various wildlife mixes

Stocking, Stem Quality, and Forest Structure:
Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked to overstocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultual legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future sawlog source.

The forest’s timber component has been well managed over the years. Portions of the forest were thinned as prudent forest management called for. The forest could benefit from immediate thinnings which would generate considerable income and improve forest health. The forest has matured into higher-value sawtimber diameter classes with an abundant growing stock already in place for the future.

Diameters are well represented across the commercial spectrum with a notable mature size class, as well as abundant pole size timber and growing stock.

A few “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest. These ancient trees, some 150+ years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.

The forest is healthy and there are no current signs of pest infestations.  The Emerald Ash Borer may be present and it is anticipated that the Ash component will be in decline over the next decade. There have been no forest fires in the recent memory.

The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants,  ferns and cool green mosses. One could spend a lifetime getting to know this inviting environ.

Some of the forest was in fields and piles of field stone are found along the old field edges. These stone piles are a lasting testament of the backbreaking work the early settlers put in to create a homestead.

Beechnuts, Hickory nuts, sweet White Oak and Red Oak Acorns provide a sustainable food source for the squirrels, chipmunks, whitetail deer and wild turkey that live in abundance in the forest.


Years of progressive wildlife management have created the quintessential wildlife preserve. Early on, management goals included establishing food plots intended to promote overall wildlife health, facilitate the harvest of game, develop wildlife viewing areas, increase carrying capacity, and increase species diversity.

Many ideal sites throughout the property have been designated as permanent food plots. These areas include small woodland openings, riverbank buffers, forest management trails, interior access roads, thinned pines, naturally regenerated hardwood areas, and field corners.

Nearly 20 acres of agricultural land is maintained as a supplemental food source for the resident wildlife. This is in addition to the natural fruit and nut trees, shrubs, hedges, vines and other plant materials already present. This overall habitat is more appealing to the species of wildlife. The fields are planted with clovers and cool season grasses. In late spring, strips are tilled in the fields and planted with legumes dominated by clovers.

The mixture of mature forest, emerging forest, wildlife food plots, farm fields, and old fruit trees, coupled with the abundant water supply from the Mayo River, create the perfect wildlife habitat. The “edge effect” created between, river, fields and forest is the textbook habitat for the resident wildlife. The edges create miles long wildlife food plot. The hardwood forest produces tons of acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and soft mast. White tail deer, black bear, red/gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey, grouse, squirrel, raccoon, fox and many species of songbirds, eagles, owls and raptors 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.

Mineral licks are also an important part of the overall food plot program. Mineral licks provide essential minerals not provided by the food plot or natural vegetation.


The Mayo River is a major contributor to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. Great fishing is found in the Mayo River with small mouth bass, crappie, catfish, and bluegill present in good numbers.

The river, ephemeral creeks and its surrounding aquatic plant life create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margin of the river is fringed by wetlands, and these wetlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the river. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed, bee balm and algae.

There are many animals that live in the water and around the edges of the river and creeks including beavers, otters, weasels, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, bald eagles, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrat, bull frogs, and redwing blackbirds.

Of course, and most importantly, is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, water skaters, water beetles, damselflies, hellgrammites, tadpoles and various insect larvae.


Google Coordinates: 36.568274°(N), -79.988264°(W)
Address: 2900 Moore’s Mill Road, Spencer, VA 24165
Elevation Range: 810 ft. to 970 ft. +/-

Moss Rock is located 8 miles southwest of the city of Martinsville in the southwestern corner of Henry County near the Virginia-North Carolina Line. The area’s location within a ninety-minute commute to Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and Greensboro NC is also significant.


The property is bounded by the Moore’s Mill Road, the Mayo River and some old livestock fencing. The property was surveyed as two parcels, a 124.6 acre tract in 1936, by D. W. Smith, and 132.3 acre tract by CW. Smith, Surveyor in 1942. A few small out sales have been made over the years.


Water:  Well
Sewer: Private septic
Electricity: on the property
Telephone: on the property
Internet: HughesNet
Cellphone Coverage: Good at most locations but spotty down on the river.


The property has about 600 feet of frontage on two lane VSR 629 – Moore’s Mill Road.  The primary access road is gated and graveled, and travels into the property for ½ mile, attaching to other access travel ways within the property. Miles of forest trails provide access to nearly every corner of the property. The property is accessible by water via the Mayo River.


Henry County has adopted uniform zoning regulations that govern land usage in the county. The subject property is zoned Agriculture-1, general uses. This district covers the unincorporated portions of the County which contain the most productive agricultural and forest lands. This district was established to protect existing and future farming operations, to conserve water, protect the watershed, and prevent the encroachment of incompatible land uses while allowing development to occur at a reasonable density. The district is intended to minimize the demand for unanticipated public improvements and services, such as public water and sewer, by reducing development densities and discouraging large scale development. 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.

There is a conservation easement in place on the property and private deeded restrictions run with the property.


Recreation is the primary use of the property (fishing, hunting, boating, hiking, nature viewing, star gazing).
The property has 18 acres +/- in fields that are maintained as wildlife food plots. There are 229 acres +/- in forestland.
The 1½ story cabin is frequently occupied by the owner, family and their guests.


Deed Information: Instrument Number 060002698 (L0600/02698)
Henry County, Virginia
Acreage: 247.077 acres +/-

Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Henry County, Virginia
Horse Pasture District
Property ID: 055840014, Tax Map Number: 69.1(000)000/022, 125.077 Acres, 2017 Real Estate Taxes: $208.13
Property ID: 055840015, Tax Map Number 69.2(000)000/021, 122.00 Acres, 2017 Real Estate Taxes: $755.36

2017 Real Estate Taxes: $963.49


  • Roanoke 50 miles
  • Washington, D.C. 293 miles
  • Norfolk 232 miles
  • Greensboro NC 50 miles
  • Winston-Salem, NC 55 miles
  • Charlotte, NC 125 miles
  • Richmond, VA is 150 miles.

The region offers unique locational advantages, placed halfway between the Roanoke Valley and the Piedmont Triad, with direct connections via US Highways 220 and 58. US 58 is an efficient access route to the Port of Hampton Roads.

The future I-73 corridor is designed to run directly through Martinsville/Henry County which will drastically improve the drive times and access to the Midwest and southern Mid-Atlantic region.


  • I-40  30 miles
  • I-77 34 miles
  • I-85 35 miles
  • I-81 74 miles
  • I-73 36 miles
  • I-581 64 miles

Note: Measured from border of locality/region from Martinsville.

Highways 4-lane:

  • Highway 87
  • Highway 174
  • Highway 220
  • Highway 57
  • Highway 58


  • Piedmont Triad International Airport, Greensboro, NC 39 miles
  • Roanoke Regional Airport, Roanoke 67 miles
  • Lynchburg Regional Airport, Lynchburg 91 miles
  • Raleigh/Durham International Airport, Raleigh/Durham, NC 116 miles

Rail Service

Norfolk Southern Railway Company

Shipping Ports

  • Port of Richmond
  • Virginia Inland Port at Front Royal
  • Norfolk International Terminals


Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County is a 237-bed, full service, acute-care community hospital. Memorial Hospital continues to grow and improve its health care services to meet the changing needs of the community. Recent capital improvements include a new $2.7 million MRI, a $1.1 million 16-slice CT scanner and a $1.2 million ambulatory surgery center. The hospital recently completed an expansive renovation project designed to separate inpatient and outpatient services, improve the flow of people in the hospital, and provide more convenient and efficient services to patients. The state-of-the-art Ravenel Oncology Center, affiliated with Duke University, and the Julius Hermes Breast Care Center are recent additions, as well as a Hyperbaric/Wound Care Center and Sleep Lab. Physical Rehabilitation, the Cancer Center, Breast Care Center and ER each have dedicated entrances and the Elective Procedure Services, Laboratory, Radiology, and Cardiopulmonary/Neurophysiology have also been recently renovated.

More than 100 physicians, representing over twenty specialties and 35 dentists serve the medical needs of the community.

The Patrick Henry Mental Health Center and Saint Albans provide counseling services in the community.

Martinsville Convalescent Center, Harmony Hall Home for Adults, Hairston home for adults, Stanleytown Health Care Center, the Blue Ridge Nursing Center, and Kings Grant Retirement Community serve the needs of area’s more mature residents.


Martinsville offers ample public and private schools that provide sound educational support from primary through higher education. Local high school graduates attend such outstanding universities as the College of William and Mary, University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and University of North Carolina. Nearby Patrick Henry Community College is fully accredited and offers a two-year program for those seeking a bachelor’s degree or associate degree, an occupational/technical program for those seeking employment opportunities, and access to bachelor and master’s degrees from Old Dominion University through Teletechnet.


Henry County School District

Public Elementary Schools:

  • Carver Elementary

Public Middle School:

  • Laurel Park Middle

Public High School:

  • Magna Vista High (Warrior Tech is a program within the school)

Martinsville is the home of The Virginia Museum of Natural History and the Piedmont Arts Association, which is affiliated with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and offers a performing arts series, ongoing fine arts exhibits and educational classes.


Just a few minutes down the road from Moss Rock is the Primland Resort. Primland offers spectacular views, mountain-top chalets, elegant dining, conference facilities, and a wide array of recreational activities. The activities offered at Primland include Orvis endorsed wingshooting for pheasant, quail and chukar, sporting clays, whitetail deer and wild turkey hunting. Primland also offers fly fishing, ATV tours, horseback riding, and more. An 18-hole championship golf course is a great play. The resort offers client entertainment, conference facilities, corporate outings, beautiful weddings and receptions, family get-togethers, or romantic getaways.


Naturalist, Roger Pence, has identified the deep green moss on Moss Rock as Sheet Moss. It is a type of Forest Moss.  Sheet Moss is also referred to as Mood Moss, which is quite appropriate.

Henry County is located in the Piedmont Physiographic Province and

is underlain by igneous, metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks, plus

Triassic sedimentary rocks. Some of the rocks were formed over 600 million years ago in the Precambrian Era. Geologist, Bill Balfor, reports Moss Rock is classed as a metamorphic rock and more defined as a mica schist. Other types of rock found in the area are granite, quartz, feldspar, mica, gneiss, claystone, shale, and siltstone.

Native American specialist, Jim Reed, relays the Indians who lived in the Roanoke River Valley, as well as northern Georgia, upper SC and Tennessee where part of the Archaic Period culture. This culture lasted from about 10,000 to 3,000 BP (before present day).

Mr. Reed’s brother Alan, a well-known Native American artifact collector, lived for several years outside of Martinsville and actively search for, and found, arrowheads, spear points, tomahawks, tools and toys (marbles). He relates that 90% of the artifacts on the property would be from the Archaic period and that they should be readily found on any flat areas on the river that would be one foot higher than the river bank.

More recently, in the 1900’s, tobacco was widely grown in the area and many small tobacco barns dotted the countryside. The tobacco leaves were picked by hand and dried in small barns. The handmade fireplace brick made of clay, and their hand-cut stone foundations have been preserved on the property. One of the original small wooden barns is still standing and in good repair.



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