SHEPPARD MOUNTAIN FOREST
Sheppard Mountain Forest is a 716 +/- acre multi-use agriculture, timber investment, recreational and residential property, located in Summers County, West Virginia, and just minutes from Sandstone, the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, the big white-water New River, and America’s newest National Park, the 80,000-acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve.
Bill Zimmerman, 304-667-7026
Sheppard Mountain Forest is a 716 +/- acre multi-use agriculture, timber investment, recreational and residential property, located in Summers County, West Virginia, and just minutes from Sandstone, the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, the big white-water New River, and America’s newest National Park, the 80,000-acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. This property would be an excellent peaceful and quiet mountain getaway suitable for numerous outdoor activities. The property has an old log barn, that needs some work, miles of riding trails for ATV’s or horse back. Sheppard Mountain Forest also contains ready to harvest timber to offset purchase and holding cost, and spectacular views of the open fields and mountain range. Beautiful Miller Creek runs through the property, and with open fields and a pond, this property creates the essence of the old homestead lifestyle. With its approximately 30 acres in fields, and the remaining acreage in forest, this property represents an opportunity to create a classic family ownership legacy.
- 716 +/- acres multi-use land with a mature mountain forest
- Perfect for all water sport activities supported by the nearby Greenbrier River, New River and the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake
- 80,000 acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve nearby
- 30 +/- acres in fields and remaining acreage in mature forest
- All small town amenities are 35 minutes away in Hinton, the Summers County Seat
- Excellent river and lake fishing nearby with a mix of deep holes, rapids and still water
- Amazing resident wildlife population rich in diversity and ever changing
- Fur bearing – deer, black bear, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox, chipmunk, opossum
- Area winged wildlife includes Neotropical songbirds, turkey, grouse, eagles, herons, hawks, owls, ravens, king fishers, ravens, crows, and hummingbirds
- Dynamic forest with some old growth trees estimated to be 150-200 years old
- A rewarding off-grid permaculture lifestyle can be easily developed
- Cell phone coverage is good with 4G service
- Darkest of skies with little or no light pollution for star gazing and planet observation
- The 716 +/- acres can offer ATV riding, hiking, camping, hunting and nature viewing
- Low taxes, low population density
- An easy drive to higher population areas of Charleston, Blacksburg, Roanoke, Beckley, Princeton and Lewisburg, jet airports and 4 major interstates
- Long views of distant mountains
- Surrounded by timber tracts and cattle farms in a nice rural neighborhood
- Boone and Crocket country with exceptional resident wildlife populations
- All mineral rights the seller owns will convey
- Diverse topography creates an interesting natural setting
- Elevations run from 1980’ to 3108’
Google Coordinates: 37.769528°(N), -80.801290°(W)
Address: Wingfield Mountain Road, Sandstone, WV 25985. No 911 address is assigned to a property without residential structures.
Elevation Range: 1980 ft. to 3108 ft. +/-
25 minutes to I-64, Sandstone
35 minutes to Bluestone Lake, Hinton
35 minutes to Raleigh County Memorial Airport, Beckley
40 minutes to Beckley
1 hour to Concord University, Athens
25 minutes to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Visitors Center, Sandstone
30 minutes to Little Beaver State Park
40 minutes to Glade Springs Resort
45 minutes to Willow Wood Country Club and Golf Course
50 minutes to Pipestem State Park main entrance
1 hour to Camp Creek State Park and Forest
The headwaters of 3 dashed blueline streams are located within the forest. They are intermittent streams that should have water flow during rain events and periods of snow melt.
The abundant timber resource 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.
This well-maintained 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 predominantly 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, Poplar, cucumber, sugar, Red Oak, and soft maple and a host of associated species.
Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and old field edges. These ancient trees, some 100-200 years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering flood, ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.
The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses. There may be a few fruit trees scattered about, which were part of the early homestead. Crops of black walnuts are produced each. Honeybees will do very well here.
Water: water well on property
Sewer: private septic would need to be installed installed
Internet: Unknown; available through satellite provider
Cellphone Coverage: Good
The property is accessed by Wingfield Mountain Road Routes 7/21 and 7/4.
Summers County currently does not have any Zoning outside of its municipalities which are subject to some zoning and subdivision regulations. All prospective buyers should consult the County Commission and the Health Department for details regarding zoning, building codes and installation of septic systems.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
The property is comprised of approximately 30 acres in pasture fields and the remainder in forestland.
(This 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.)
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.
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: DB 226 Pg. 597
Summers County, West Virginia
Acreage: 715.807 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Summers County (45), West Virginia
Green Sulphur District (3)
Tax Map 16 Parcel 28, Tax Map 17 Parcel 23, and Tax Map 22 Parcel 2; Class 3
2022 Total Real Estate Taxes: $6766.98 (The property is currently not enrolled in West Virginia’s Managed Timberland program, but could be easily enrolled which would reduce the tax assessment substantially.)
THE NEW RIVER AND BLUESTONE LAKE
Sheppard Mountain Forest is a 20-minute drive to the New River, 80,000-acre New River Gorge National River Park and the 2000 acre Bluestone Lake at Hinton. 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, walleye, pike and muskie are all common species of fish found in the New River and Bluestone Lake.
Bluestone Lake is over 2000 acres at summer pool and is the state’s third largest body of water. Great hunting and fishing opportunities abound at the 17,632-acre Bluestone Wildlife Area adjacent to the park.
RECREATION AT SHEPPARD MOUNTAIN FOREST
Sheppard Mountain Forest offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the nearby Greenbrier River, New River, New River Gorge National River Park and the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake.
Water-sports enthusiasts will find the nearby Greenbrier River, New River and Bluestone Lake ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing. Great fishing is found for small and large mouth bass, crappie, catfish, muskie, walleye, pike and bluegill.
Nature viewing is next in line of recreational activities. Wildlife viewing is not just for larger animals. Equal consideration is given to a 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, geese, squirrel, raccoon, fox and rabbit make up the resident wildlife population.
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
- 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day
All Terrain Motorsports
Sheppard Mountain Forest 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 land may be used for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding and the area offers several state and national parks geared for these activities.
Shepherds Mountain forest has an abundant wildlife population, including whitetail deer, wild turkey, and bear. The whitetail deer population is particularly impressive. The mixture of mature Forest and emerging forest and abundant old farm fields, coupled with an abundant water supply from Miller creek and ponds, create the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” benefit all the resident wildlife. In addition to those listed above, 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 and Bluestone Lake with small and large mouth bass, crappie, catfish, muskie, walleye, pike and bluegill present in good numbers.
The rivers, lake, and creeks, and their surrounding aquatic plant life, create a water a water-supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Much 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.
It is hard to find a property that has a better mix of wildlife as there have been wildlife management practices in place for many years .
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.
- Solar or wind power could provide an endless supply of off grid electricity
- Fresh water for drinking and cooking would come from the drilled water well (hand drawing water from the well using a cylinder well bucket)
- Deer and turkey can supply fresh meat
- Raise 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
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 possible 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)
Sheppard Mountain Forest is an easy drive of higher population areas of Charleston, Roanoke, Blacksburg, Beckley, Princeton and Lewisburg.
Nearby Hinton is the county seat with grocery stores, restaurants, banks, auto parts stores, hardware, hospital, dentists and most other small-town amenities. Hinton is also the Summers County Seat and the economic and governmental hub of the county. The county’s total population is about 14,000.
Charleston is West Virginia’s state capitol and is a 90 minute drive. Charleston is West Virginia’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 45 minute drive, has a population of 34,000, and is the county seat of Raleigh County. All city 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.
The surrounding area offers unlimited recreational activities including white water rafting, golfing, fishing, camping, hiking, bird watching and rock climbing and snow skiing.
- 25 minutes to Hinton
- One hour or so to Beckley, Princeton, Lewisburg, 80,000 acre New River Gorge National Park, 2,000 acre Bluestone Lake, Pipestem Resort and Bluestone State Park, Sandstone Falls, Winterplace Ski Resort and the 4-Star Greenbrier Resort
- A picturesque Amtrak train ride from Hinton connects the area to DC, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and many other locations
- Washington, DC is 5 hours away and Charlotte only 3
- Charleston, Beckley, Lewisburg airports offer jet service to main hubs
- Charleston, the state capitol, is 1.5 hours’ drive and offers all large city amenities
- Easy access to I-64, I-77, I-79, US 460, US 19
- The Bechtel Summit Reserve, the12,000 acre Boy Scouts of America’s high adventure camp, is also an hour’s drive
- The 14,000 acre Wildlife Management Area is just down river at Bull Falls
Historic Summers County
Hinton, the county seat of Summers County is a 25 minute drive. Hinton, founded in 1871, grew rapidly as the hub of a growing railroad industry serving the New River coal fields, passenger travel and coast to coast freight lines. Today, Hinton serves the growing tourist and technology industries.
Summers County (2014 population—13,417) is located in the southeastern region of West Virginia, scenically placed between the beautiful Greenbrier and New River Valleys. The City of Hinton (2013 population—2,588) serves as the county seat and is the sole municipality within Summers County.
The railroad boom of the early 20th century helped to build Hinton and Summers County. However, the county’s current economy is based primarily on tourism thanks to the Bluestone Dam and Lake along with the Bluestone, Greenbrier, and New Rivers which converge in Hinton. Further, the New River Gorge National River begins at Hinton and flows northward into neighboring Fayette County.
Summers County is also home to Bluestone State Park, Pipestem Resort, and a number of other facilities that provide lodging, camping, and a variety of recreational activities. The Hinton Railroad Museum, the Graham House, the Campbell Flanagan Murrell House, and other museums provide glimpses into the county’s history. The architecture of buildings in Hinton’s nationally-registered historic district is of interest to many. A solid core of retail stores and professional service providers meet the needs of residents and visitors alike.
Residents of Summers County enjoy a wonderful small town, laid back quality of life. Service clubs such as the Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary, and Ruritans support a number of community initiatives, school programs, and special events. The Summers County Library supports the county school system and provides visitors with Internet access and other services. Several denominations of churches meet the Summers County community’s spiritual needs.
Summers County is served east-west by Interstate 64 and by north and south connections to Interstate 77. The New River Parkway, when completed, will improve access to Sandstone Falls by upgrading River Road from I-64 near Exit 139 Sandstone into Hinton. West Virginia Routes 3, 12, 19, 20, and 107 are the primary highways within the county. Amtrak also provides an important transportation link to Summers County with its Cardinal line from New York to Washington DC to Chicago. Stops are made three times per week to pick up and disembark passengers at Hinton’s historic Rail Depot.
The Summers County Appalachian Regional Hospital provides a fully-staffed emergency room and a variety of medical services. Summers County Emergency Services provides ambulance service. Law enforcement is provided by the Summers County Sheriff’s Department, a detachment of the West Virginia State Police, the City of Hinton’s Police Department and park rangers with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service, and the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. Similarly, the City of Hinton has a new fully-manned and equipped fire station complemented by six other volunteer fire departments throughout the county.
Historic Greenbrier County
Lewisburg, (1-hour drive), which is the Greenbrier County seat, was voted the Coolest Small Town in America, combining the warmth of a close community with the sophistication of more urban locations. The thriving downtown historic district offers year-round live productions presented at the State Professional Theatre of WV, Carnegie Hall, distinctive dining venues, antique shops, award-winning galleries/boutiques, a year-round farmer’s markets. Greenbrier Valley Medical Center is a modern hospital and all attendant medical facilities, along with the many big box stores.
The county and city host several fairs & festivals throughout the year including The WV State Fair, a professional 4-weekend Renaissance Festival, Chocolate Festival, Taste of our Town Festival (TOOT), antique car shows, Jeep Rally’s, Airstream Rally, WV Barn Hunt Competition, PGA Tour @The Greenbrier.
Lewisburg is also home to the modern Robert. C Byrd Medical Clinic (300 employees), the WV Osteopathic Medical School (600 students) and the New River Community and Technical College. The area is a strong economic generator with a solid workforce employed in county/state government, tourism, hospitality, medical, education, retail, construction, wood products, mining and agriculture.
The world-renowned Greenbrier Resort, with 800 rooms and 1600 employees, is located in the sleepy little town of White Sulphur Springs. The 4-Star resort has a subterranean casino and is home to the PGA tour, NFL Summer Practice Event, Tennis Exhibitions (Venus Williams, John McEnroe etc.). Several other area golf courses are available in the area – including Oakhurst Links, America’s first golf course, where guests play using old style hickory-handled clubs and ground-burrowing golf balls.
A picturesque Amtrak train ride from Hinton connects the area to DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, and many other locations. By car, DC is 5 hours away and Charlotte is only 3.
Within a two-hour’s drive are located some of the finest recreational facilities in West Virginia. Winterplace Ski Resort, whitewater rafting / fishing on the New River and Gauley River, 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, Pipestem State Park and Resort and the 80,000-acre New River National Gorge National Park. Five other area state parks and state forests offer unlimited hiking, horseback riding, ATV riding and rock climbing opportunities. Snowshoe Ski Resort is 90-minute drive through some of the most scenic country on the East Coast. The new 12,000-acre Boy Scout High Adventure Camp and home to the US and World Jamboree is an hour’s drive.
THE GREENBRIER RIVER
The lower Greenbrier River possesses the excitement of life on one of the nation’s great wild rivers. The focus of a vast outdoor-recreation destination, it flows untamed out of the lofty Alleghenies, attracting anglers, paddlers, and naturalists from across the globe.
At 172 miles long, the Greenbrier drains over 1.5 million acres and is the longest undammed river left in the Eastern United States. It is primarily used for recreational pursuits and well known for its fishing, canoeing, kayaking and floating opportunities. Its upper reaches flow through the Monongahela National Forest, and it is paralleled for 77 miles by the Greenbrier River Trail, a rail trail which runs between the communities of Cass and North Caldwell.
It has always been a valuable water route, with the majority of the important cities in the watershed being established river ports. The river gives the receiving waters of the New River an estimated 30% of its water volume. Over three-fourths of the watershed is an extensive karstic (cavern system), which supports fine trout fishing, cave exploration and recreation. Many important festivals and public events are held along the river throughout the watershed.
The Greenbrier is formed at Durbin in northern Pocahontas County by the confluence of the East Fork Greenbrier River and the West Fork Greenbrier River, both of which are short streams rising at elevations exceeding 3,300 feet and flowing for their entire lengths in northern Pocahontas County. From Durbin the Greenbrier flows generally south-southwest through Pocahontas, Greenbrier and Summers Counties, past several communities including Cass, Marlinton, Hillsboro, Ronceverte, Fort Spring, Alderson, and Hinton, where it flows into the New River.
Along most of its course, the Greenbrier accommodated the celebrated Indian warpath known as the Seneca Trail (Great Indian Warpath). From the vicinity of present-day White Sulphur Springs the Trail followed Anthony’s Creek down to the Greenbrier near the present Pocahontas-Greenbrier County line. It then ascended the River to the vicinity of Hillsboro and Droop Mountain and made its way through present Pocahontas County by way of future Marlinton, Indian Draft Run, and Edray.
ARCHEOLOGY AND GEOLOGY
Sheppard Mountain Forest has been visited by an archeologist from the State of West Virginia, and upon his investigation, he found very strong evidence that this property was once a Native American hunting grounds. Arrowheads and many other artifacts have been found on the property.
Sheppard Mountain Forest is nestled between the folded Ridge and Valley Province to the east and the younger Allegheny Plateau to the west. The Greenbrier River flows 162 miles southwest through numerous mountain valleys and empties into the world’s third oldest river, the New River, just a few miles downstream.
The area has many interesting “riches from the earth” in the form of sandstone, limestone, agates, fossils, geodes, caves and curious rock outcrops. The river’s bottom and banks have numerous types, ages and classes of rocks that originate from several diverse geological regions along the 172 mile long river basin draining about 1.5 million acres.
The Droop Sandstone, a very hard, quartz-rich rock originally deposited as sand beaches along an ancient shoreline, is especially prominent in the area. Numerous sheer rock cliff formations are created by the erosion-resistant Droop Sandstone. Locally, the Muddy Creek Mountain quarry produces decorative sandstone from the Droop that is known worldwide for its beauty and durability.
The area is well known for the healing waters of the numerous “Sulphur Springs”. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s, several “Sulphur Springs Resorts” flourished in the area. Most notably and still in existence are White Sulphur Springs, Warm Springs, and Hot Springs. Others included, Sweet Springs, Blue Sulphur Springs, Red Sulphur Springs, Green Sulphur Springs, Salt Sulphur Springs, Pence Springs and, Sweet Chalybeate Springs.
THE NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE
Sheppard Mountain Forest is located in proximity to the newly established New River Gorge National Park & Preserve in the midst of one of the fastest-growing tourism-based economies in West Virginia. In 2020, Congress established the 70,000-acre park, though the National Park Service had managed the area as a “national river” since 1978. The designation has resulted in a revolutionary interest in the region as a destination for travel and residency. Articles in Time, Vogue, and USA Today over the last year have greatly accelerated interest in the area globally, as has television coverage by major networks. Time has since named the park one of the “World’s 100 Greatest Places.”
Long a renowned destination for hiking, biking, rock-climbing, and whitewater rafting, the park has been attracting more than two million visitors annually in recent years. Officials had predicted an increase of more than 20 percent in visitation in its first year, though the increase appeared to be nearer 50 percent as of August 2021.
Sandstone PO: 7.5 Mi +/- (20 min +/-)
Rt. 20 S 2/10 mi; LFT on Ramp Rd; 5 mi; LFT on Keeney Mtn Rd; 1 mi; LFT on Sheppard Mtn Rd; 1.3 mi; Trent Mtn Trl on left; straight on Windfield Mtn Rd; 1/10 mi
- State of West Virginia
- West Virginia Explorer
- West Virginia Government
- West Virginia State Parks
- West Virginia Tourism
- Wonderful West Virginia Magazine
- WV Department of Natural Resources
- Virginia – Commonwealth of Virginia
- Virginia is for Lovers
- Virginia Museum of History & Culture
- Virginia Museum of Natural History
- Virginia National Park Service
- Virginia Recreation
- Virginia State Parks