SOWARDS FOREST

The 216 acre +/- Sowards Forest is an excellent multi-use recreational property with incredible wildlife values, miles of forest trails, plus offers a strong timber & mineral investment component.

Agent Contact:
Richard Grist, 304-645-7674

The 216 acre +/- Sowards Forest is an excellent multi-use recreational property with incredible wildlife values, miles of forest trails, plus offers a strong timber & mineral investment component.

This exceptional property is located just 10 minutes to the Greenbrier River and 30 minutes to the New River Gorge.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 216 acre +/- multi-use recreation and timber/mineral investment property
  • Professionally managed for 40 + years to promote protect and enhance forest health, water quality, clean air, and wildlife health and diversity
  • All mineral rights in title will convey
  • 10 minutes to the Greenbrier River and 30 minutes to the New River & a 2000 acre lake
  • Valuable timber is harvest ready for immediate income
  • One mile of improved interior management access road (graveled, ditched with culverts) wind through the property on gentle grades suitable for future residential development.
  • Miles of forest trails provide superior access to nearly every part of the property
  • Professionally managed wildlife program developed to enhance the habitat, increase species diversity, promote the health of the resident wildlife and increase the carrying capacity.
  • Interesting moss-covered rock outcrops and rock cliffs
  • Permaculture lifestyle could be developed
  • Surrounded by large timber tracts and mountain farms in a nice rural neighborhood
  • Dark skies with little or no light pollution for star& planet gazing & astrophotography
  • Native sedges, rushes, ferns, songbirds, frogs, turtles, crawdads all enjoy the creeks
  • Located in peaceful Monroe County near Union, the county seat
  • Several ancient “Heritage” trees scattered about the forest estimated at 200-300 years old
  • Timber species include oaks, walnut, poplar, maple, white pine, hemlock and hickories
  • Electricity and telephone onsite
  • Winged wildlife includes eagles, hawks, owls, ravens, and Neotropical songbirds
  • Diverse topography containing a mature forest, emerging forest, old fields, huge rock outcrops and ancient trees create a fascinating natural setting
  • Forest is a tremendous producer of life-giving Oxygen and a major sequester of carbon
  • Dash-blueline streams flowing through the property
  • State maintained road frontage for superior access
  • Spectacular long-range views approaching 20 miles
  • High percentage of commercially – operable ground supporting forestry, recreation and potential for numerous cabin sites
  • Perfect for shooting sports, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, camping, hunting and nature viewing.
  • Low taxes, low population density

LOCATION

Google Coordinates: 37.695453°(N), -80.614134°(W)
Address: Flat Mountain Rd RT 1, Alderson, WV 24910; No 911 address is assigned to property without structures.
Elevation Range: 2076 ft. to 2307 ft. +/-

WATER

There is a dashed blue-line or intermittent stream that runs within the southern end of the forest for about ½ mile before merging into Laurel Creek within the property. The intermittent stream should flow during rain events and snow melt.  Laurel Creek is a blue-line stream that borders the property for almost a mile.  Laurel Creek becomes larger and supports Wolf Creek.

BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY

Over the years, the property lines have been surveyed and painted.  The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.

RECREATION AT SOWARDS FOREST

Sowards Forest offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by close proximity to the Greenbrier River and New River Gorge. The 216 acres +/- provides the foundation for all that is the Sowards Forest.

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 nearby Greenbrier River ideal for: Swimming, canoeing, 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
Sowards Forest has miles of internal roads and miles of forest trails that are perfect for experiencing the property from an ATV or UTV. These exciting machines handle the wide variety of the Sowards Forest’s terrain.  The riders can go from down along the streams, wind through the pine and hardwood forest and climb nearly 1000 feet up to the highest ridges.

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 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 is a first-class experience. 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.

GREENBRIER RIVER

Sowards Forest is a 10-minute drive to the lazy Greenbrier River at Alderson, where 20 minutes later it empties into the New River at Hinton. The Greenbrier River is 173 miles long is the last free flowing river east of the Mississippi. It is an excellent river to float or canoe and is well known for its large and small mouth bass fishing. It is the gateway to water recreation and fun as it is at most times lazy and easy to navigate.

CARBON SEQUESTRATION

Sowards 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. With 216 acres +/-, the vigorously growing forest is sequestering approximately 15,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide each per year.

On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year there could be over 15,000 tons of Oxygen being produced each year. The forest may be supplying the needs of over 10,000 of the world’s citizens.

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 examples of crops that can be 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, persimmons, 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)

FOREST/TIMBER RESOURCES

The abundant 216 acre +/- 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.

The Sowards Forest’s resource is composed of quality Appalachian hardwoods, white pine and hemlock. This well managed timber resource can provide a great deal of flexibility to the next ownership in terms of potential harvest revenue and can be managed to provide cash flow opportunities to offset holding cost and long-term asset appreciation. Capital Timber Value of the timber and pulpwood has not been determined at this time but is considered substantial. Recently, the white pine and hemlock species were selectively harvested on a portion of the property.

The forest’s predominately well-drained upland terrain has led to a resource dominated by hardwood species. Overall, the species composition is highly desirable and favors Appalachian hardwood types, consisting primarily of:

  • Black Walnut
  • Sugar Maple
  • Poplar/Basswood
  • Red Oak Group
  • White Oak/Chestnut Oak
  • Soft Maple
  • Hickory
  • A host of associate species white pine, hemlock, (ash, cedar, birch, sourwood, black gum, beech)

Forest-wide, most stands are fully stocked, providing the next ownership with a great deal of flexibility in shaping their own silvicultural legacy. Stem quality forest-wide can be considered excellent with the forest containing an abundant current and future veneer source.

The property’s timber component has been well managed over the years and consists of several stands of differing age classes that have been managed under exacting silvicultural guidelines. The predominant timber stand contains 10-140-year-old stems ranging in size of 6”-40” dbh. Portions of this stand have been thinned as prudent forest management called for. Some of the stands were completely regenerated and are now young emerging forest with thousands of vigorously growing trees on each acre. Recently, the white pine and hemlock species were selectively harvested on a portion of the property.

Diameters are well represented across the commercial spectrum with abundant pole size timber and growing stock. Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and field edges. These ancient trees, some 200-300 years old, have withstood the test of time, weathering ice, wind, lightning strikes and fire.

The forest is healthy and 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 attack by the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and the remaining 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 black walnuts and hickory nuts are produced each year from the abundant black walnut 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.

WILDLIFE

Years of progressive wildlife management practices have created the quintessential wildlife preserve. Early on, management goals promoted overall wildlife health, facilitated the harvest of game, developed wildlife viewing areas, increased carrying capacity, and increased species diversity.

The nearby Greenbrier River is a major contributor to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals.  The river and ts 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 lowlands, and these lowlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the stream. The plant life associated with the wetland includes rushes, sedges, cattails, duckweed and algae.

There are many animals that live in the water and around the edges of the creek including, trout, beaver, otters, mink, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, minnows, stocked fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrat, bull frogs, eagles, hawks and redwing blackbirds.

There is the insect and microscopic world including butterflies, dragonflies, pond skaters, water beetles, damselflies, tadpoles and various insect larvae.

The property has a mixture of mature hardwood species. The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the seasonal creeks and springs, creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between the creeks, hollows, ridges, rock outcrops and forest are the textbook habitat benefiting all the resident wildlife. Bald eagles, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, fox and many species of songbirds, owls and raptors make up the resident wildlife population.

The hardwood forest provides the essential nutrient source and produces tons of hard mast including acorns, hickory nuts, beech nuts and black walnuts. Soft mast includes stag horn sumac, black cherry, tulip poplar seeds, maple seeds, autumn olive berries and blackberries.

MINERAL RESOURCES

All rights the owner has will convey with the property. A confirming 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

Over the years, the property lines have been surveyed and painted.  The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.

UTILITIES

Water: water well could be drilled
Sewer: private septic could be installed
Electricity: Onsite
Telephone: Onsite
Internet:  possibly onsite through the phone cable or thru satellite
Cellphone Coverage: Good

ACCESS/FRONTAGE

The property has frontage on Monroe County Flat Mountain Road RT 1 for over ¼ mile providing access to the public road system.  Sowards Forest has miles of interior roads and trails that access most of the property.

ZONING

There is currently no county zoning in Monroe County. All prospective purchasers are encouraged to contact the Health Departments of those counties for answers regarding installation of septic systems and water wells. Further information on zoning and related regulations may be acquired by contacting each county’s planning and zoning department or county commission.

PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY

This property has been devoted to managed forestland for many years.

DEED AND TAX INFORMATION

Deed Information:
Monroe County, DB 241 Pg. 228; TRACT ONE; 216 Acres
Acreage: 216 acres +/-

Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Monroe County (32), West Virginia
Wolf Creek District (9)
Tax Map 7 Parcel 24; Class 3

2019 Real Estate Taxes: $316.72

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Monroe County and Greenbrier County School Districts

Public Elementary Schools:
Mountain View Elementary School, Union, Monroe County
Alderson Elementary School, Alderson, Greenbrier County

Public Middle Schools:
Mountain View Middle School, Union, Monroe County
Eastern Greenbrier Middle School, Fairlea, Greenbrier County

Public High Schools:

James Monroe High School, Union, Monroe County
Greenbrier East High School, Fairlea, Greenbrier County

THE AREA

Just 30 minutes to Bluestone Lake, Bluestone State Park and Pipestem Resort, the surrounding area offers unlimited soft recreational activities including white water rafting, golfing, fishing, camping, hiking, bird watching and rock climbing. Snow skiing at the Winterplace Resort is less than an hour away. In 10 minutes you can catch the Amtrak train in Alderson and ride to the Greenbrier Resort, Chicago or New York City. The Beckley Airport is just 45 minutes away. The new 10,000 acre Boy Scout high adventure camp is an hour’s drive and the 14,000 acre Wildlife Management Area is just across the river at Bull Falls.

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. Small-mouth bass, large-mouth bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish, hybrid striped bass, 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 and nearby Camp Creek State Forest.

Lewisburg, which is the Greenbrier County seat, was voted the Coolest Small Town in American and is just a 35-minute drive to the thriving downtown historic district. The downtown boasts a year-round live theatre, Carnegie Hall, new $3MM library, several fabulous restaurants, antique shops and boutiques. There is also a modern hospital and all attendant medical facilities along with all the big box stores. Several new schools have been built in the area.

The Greenbrier County Airport, which has WV’s longest runway, is located just 45 minutes away and has daily flights to Chicago and Washington DC. The world-famous Greenbrier Resort is 35 minutes’ drive and Snowshoe Ski Resort is about 2 hours’ drive. Blacksburg, Virginia (Vtech) is about 90 minutes away, Roanoke, Virginia, is 120 minutes, DC is 4 hours and Charlotte, North Carolina is 3.5 hours away.

The charming village of Union, which is the Monroe County seat, is a 25-minute drive. Banking, healthcare facilities, drugstore, grocery shopping and a great family restaurant are readily available. Some of the friendliest people in West Virginia can be found in Monroe County. Monroe County has a population of about 13,000 residents and does not have a stoplight and has more cattle and sheep than people. There are no fast food restaurants but there are local restaurants in the area that are well known for their good food and friendly atmosphere.

The town of Alderson is just 10 minutes away. The largest and most popular 4th of July day parade in the state is hosted by the Town of Alderson. Alderson’s amenities include churches, elementary school, motel, bank, Dollar General, Family Dollar, gas/convenience stores, medical clinic, pharmacy and restaurants. Alderson is located along the Greenbrier River in Greenbrier County and Monroe County, incorporated in 1881. Alderson was originally settled in 1777 by “Elder” John Alderson, a frontier missionary for whom the town is named Alderson is also home to “Camp Cupcake”, the minimum-security federal prison where Martha Stewart spent her vacation.

The Greenbrier Resort features an ever-expanding schedule of public events, including the underground gaming casino. The Resort opened a new $30 million training facility for professional football teams and their practices are open to the public. A 2500-seat tennis stadium to host professional and exhibition matches (Williams sisters, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, etc.) recently played there.

 

 

REGIONAL INFORMATION