SWEET RED SPRINGS FARM
|Address:||363 Stringer Road, Covington, VA 24426|
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674
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Sweet Red Spgs Farm area map (Foxfire)
Sweet Red Spgs Farm general location map (Foxfire)
Sweet Red Spgs Farm Google Earth map (Foxfire)
Sweet Red Spgs Farm location map (Foxfire)
Sweet Red Spgs Farm state map (Foxfire)
Sweet Red Spgs Farm topographic map (Foxfire)
Sweet Red Springs Farm Home Exterior Footprint
Sweet Red Springs Farm Interior Footprint
Sweet Red Springs Farm Timber Inventory
Sweet Red Springs Farm Room Measurements
- 195 +/- acres adjoining the 140,000-acre Jefferson National Forest for 1 mile
- Bold mountain springs, some with headwaters on the neighboring National Forest
- $140,000 of ready to harvest standing timber appraised by a professional forester
- Springs provide crystal clear water to the farm and residences downstream
- One of the area’s oldest farmsteads in continuous agricultural use since the 1800’s
- Original 1800’s farm house with hand cut chimney and foundation – move in ready
- Original barn with hand-hewn timbers and mortise and tendon construction
- Rows and rows of piled field stone from the land clearing days 150 years ago
- Located in the sleepy hamlet of historic Sweet Chalybeate
- Over a mile of common boundary line shared with the Jefferson National Forest
- Ephemeral streams flow during rain events and snow melt
- Sheltered in the Sweet Springs watershed valley by Peters Mountain and Slaty Mountain
- One hour to Roanoke, Blacksburg, Lewisburg with easy access to airports and interstates
- Excellent year-round access, upslope cell coverage and internet connection
- Commercially valuable forest of high quality Appalachian hardwoods and white pine
- 30 acres meadows seeded with warm and cool season grasses and wildflowers
- Miles of winding forest trails perfect for hiking, horseback riding and ATV adventure
- Exceptional bird population including neo-tropicals, eagles, woodpeckers, owls, hawks and many songbirds
- Resident wildlife population density is unrivaled with rabbit, squirrel, deer, bear, turkey, bobcat, coyote, turtles, frogs, chipmunks, and grouse
- Old apple trees and blackberry patches
- Dark skies for stargazing and planet observation
- Monarch Butterfly management zone with highly developed milkweed habitat
Sweet Red Springs Farm is located in Alleghany County in the Southwest Alleghany Mountains of Virginia. The region is known as Virginia’s Alleghany Highlands, with some 16,250 people residing in the county. It is bordered by the Alleghany Mountains, from which the county derives its name, and it is the northernmost part of the Roanoke Region. The county seat is Covington.
The county was created in 1822 from parts of Botetourt County, Bath County, and Monroe County (now in West Virginia). At the time, the majority of the population lived around Covington, and the primary cash crop then was hemp, which was used for rope production in Richmond. However, as hemp demand and prices declined, the farmers of Alleghany switched to grain, hay and livestock production. During the American Civil War, the iron for the CSS Virginia (Merrimac) came from Longdale Furnace in the county.
The county economy is dominated by WestRock, which operates a paperboard mill in Covington, the second largest on the East Coast and an extrusion and converting facility in Low Moor. Both Alleghany County and Covington are known for the low cost of its housing market and close proximity to The Homestead, Lexington, The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, and Lewisburg are all about 45-minute drive in any direction and Roanoke.
The sleepy little hamlet of Paint Bank is just a short drive over Peters Mountain from the Sweet Red Springs Farm. The Paint Bank General Store and Swinging Bridge Restaurant is a popular stop on Route 311 for travelers and locals alike. The secluded, mountainous New Castle community, the county seat of Craig County, features one of the commonwealth’s antebellum court complexes, including a porticoed courthouse built in 1851. Roanoke and Lewisburg WV are one hour’s drive.
Sweet Springs Farm adjoins the 140,000 acres of Jefferson National Forest. The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are U.S. National Forests that combine to form one of the largest areas of public land in the Eastern United States. They cover 1.8 million acres of land in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Approximately 1 million acres of the forest are remote and undeveloped and 139,461 acres have been designated as wilderness areas, which eliminates future development. The pace of life is unhurried where natural amenities and the opportunities for recreation are limitless. There are over 140,000 acres in the Jefferson National Forest.
The historic Sweet Springs Resort, established in the 1780’s is a mile away. The property is owned by the Sweet Springs Resort Park Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration & revitalization of the historic property.
Alleghany County offers something for everyone, including fishing, hunting, birding, and primitive camping and hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
HOME AND OUTBUILDINGS
The farm has several original structures dating back to the 1800’s.
- The updated 2200 sq. ft. two-story farm house is typical of the period with a cut stone chimney and foundation, shiplap poplar siding and galvanized tin roof. The home is solidly built and is in move-in condition. The homes lives like new and is quite comfortable. The interior contains 3 bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, bath and laundry room, pantry, storage room an attic. Full length covered front porch with awesome view of the valley and distant mountains.
- The 40’x2 4’ vintage barn is still in use. Its age could be much older than the home, as it has hand-hewn beams with mortice and tendon construction.
- 24’ x 16 Rustic guest cottage sits near the main home and has a full length covered porch.
- 18’ x 12’ root cellar – smoke house
- 12 x 10’ storage shed (former chicken coop?)
- 2 other sheds needing roof work
Capital Timber Value of the timber and pulpwood was appraised by a professional forester in 2019 and determined to be about $140,000 with 530,000 bd. ft. of timber and 10,000 tons of pulpwood.
The Sweet Red Springs Farm’s timber resource, about 165 acres, is composed of some high quality Appalachian hardwoods and white pine. 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.
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 Cherry – 2%
- Sugar Maple – 6%
- Poplar/Cucumber/Basswood – 11%
- Red Oak Group – 36%
- White Oak/Chestnut Oak – 36%
- Soft Maple – 2%
- Hickory – 2%
- White Pine – 4%
- Black walnut – 1%
- As well as a host of other species (birch, beech, sassafras, wahoo, buckeye)
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 farm’s timber component has been well managed over the years and generally consists of two age classes that have been managed under even-aged silvicultural guidelines. The predominant timber stand contains 40-120-year-old stems ranging in size of 10”-36” dbh. Portions of this stand have been thinned over the last several decades as prudent forest management called for. Many sections of this stand are ready for a selective thinning which will generate considerable income.
The second distinct stand was established over the past 50 years when some of the farm fields and pastures were abandoned and the forest began to naturally regenerate. These stands represent a quality hardwood resource and will be reaching economic maturity in the next 20-40 years.
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 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 presently there are no signs of pest infestations of Gypsy Moth. The Emerald Ash Borer and Hemlock Wooly adelgid are present and it is anticipated that the Ash component will come under attack by the borer in the next decade. There have been no forest fires in the recent memory.
The forest floor is home to several types of mushrooms, medicinal plants, wild ginseng, ferns and cool green mosses. One could spend a lifetime getting to know this inviting environ.
There are approximately 30 acres of hay fields, pastures and meadows composed of cool and warm season grasses and beautiful wildflowers. There are several productive apple trees and blackberry bushes. The large amount of sugar maple and red maple trees could make hundreds of gallons of maple syrup if a sugarbush was established.
SELF-SUSTAINING LIFE OFF THE GRID
Just like 150 years ago, when the first mountaineers 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 spring.
- The forest would provide fresh food (deer, and turkey).
- The agricultural land would be used to raise livestock, vegetable gardens, berry patches, fruit orchards, and row crops of corn, oats and barley.
- Bee hives would provide honey and beeswax for candles.
- The vast forest would provide firewood for heating and cooking, lumber for building, maple syrup and pounds of nuts (walnuts, beechnuts and hickory nuts).
RECREATION AT SWEET RED SPRINGS FARM
Sweet Red Springs Farm offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the 1 mile of common boundary line with the Jefferson National Forest. The 195 acres provides the foundation for all that is the Sweet Red Springs Farm.
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.
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.
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
Sweet Red Springs Farm has 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 the Sweet Red Springs Farm’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.
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 and very little to no hunting at all.
Sweet Red Springs Farm 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 195 acres, the vigorously growing forest and grass land is sequestering approximately 15,000 tons of Carbon Dioxide each per year.
On average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Since there are estimated to be some 130,000 trees growing in the forest, there could be over 17,000 tons of Oxygen being produced each year. The forest may be supplying the needs of over 20,000 of the world’s citizens.
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: 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)
The farm is blessed with super abundant year-round natural water sources.
An historic, very large cold water-natural mountain springs flows year-round and provides water to the farm as well as 18 other residences in the community of Sweet Chalybeate. The flow rate in gallons per minute is not readily known but is exceptional and time tested for over a century of production.
Smaller ephemeral streams flow during rain events and snow melt.
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 abundant year round water source created by mountain springs and creeks the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. The streams and their surrounding aquatic plant life create a water supported community with a wide variety of wildlife. Some of the margin of the creeks are fringed by lowlands, and these lowlands support the aquatic food web, provide shelter for wildlife, and stabilize the shore of the streams. 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, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, 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 larve.
The property has a mixture of mature hardwood species, white pine forest, and hemlock. The diverse tree species, coupled with the abundant water supply from the creeks and springs, creates the perfect wildlife habitat. The miles of “edge effect” created between the creeks, hollows, ridges, rock outcrops and forest is 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.
Google Coordinates: 37.641136°(N), -80.225733°(W)
Address: 363 Stringer Road, Covington, VA 24426
Elevation Range: 2104 ft. to 2967 ft. +/-
All rights the owner has will convey with the property. A title search for actual mineral ownership rights is recommend.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
Some of the boundaries are evidenced by land use and some fencing. Over a mile of shared property line is common with the National Forest and there is red paint and some monuments along the boundary line. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
Sewer: Private septic
Internet: Phone line
Cellphone Coverage: excellent on the higher slopes and fair to spotty at the home
The property has frontage on Stringer Road RT 678 and is accessed by a right-of-way from Stringer Road, providing access to the public road system.
Alleghany County is subject to some zoning and subdivision regulations. All prospective buyers should consult the county government and also the Health Department for details regarding zoning, building codes and installation of septic systems.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
The property is comprised of the homestead grounds, fields, and forestland. A breakdown is as follows:
Homestead grounds: 1 acre +/-
Hay field: 7 acres +/-
Reverting fields: 2 separate fields of 14 acres +/- and 6 acres +/-, slowly reverting back to forest
Forestland comprises the balance of the property, about 165 acre +/-
(This summary is an estimation of current property use as determined from aerial photography. It is made subject to the estimation of property boundaries and any errors in the interpretation of land use type from the aerial photography utilized.)
DEED and TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: DB 282 Pg. 178
Alleghany County, Virginia
Acreage: 195.03 acres +/-
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Alleghany County, Virginia
Tax Parcel 09000-00-000-0540
2018 Real Estate Taxes: $1,316.34
Alleghany County School District
Public Elementary School:
Callaghan Elementary School
Public Middle School:
Clifton Middle School
Public High School:
Alleghany High School
The county also contains one Virginia state governors school, the Jackson River Governor’s School; one technical center, the Jackson River Technical Center; and the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.
From I-64 Callaghan Exit 10 when traveling I-64 West from Covington, VA toward White Sulphur Springs, WV: 18 miles +/- (30 minutes +/-)
At the end of the exit ramp, turn onto RT 159 South toward Callaghan; travel RT 159 South for about 11 miles to the intersection of VA RT 159 and VA RT 311 South after crossing the bridge; stay to the left to go onto VA RT 311 South; travel 6 miles; at the Sweet Chalybeate sign, turn left onto Stringer Road VA RT 678; travel ½ mile; as RT 678 makes the sharp curve to the right, continue straight onto the access road that goes into the farm; stay straight for about 300’ and the property starts at the farm gate.
From I-64 Crows Exit 183 when traveling I-64 East from White Sulphur Springs, WV toward Covington, VA: 13 miles +/- (25 minutes +/-)
At the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto VA RT 311 South; travel 5.8 miles; stay right to continue on VA RT 311 South; travel another 6 miles; at the Sweet Chalybeate sign, turn left onto Stringer Road VA RT 678; travel ½ mile; as RT 678 makes the sharp curve to the right, continue straight for about 300’ and the property starts at the farm gate.
From Gap Mills, West Virginia: 13 miles +/- (20 minutes +/-)
At the intersection of WV RT 3 and Moncove Lake Road WV RT 8; travel WV RT 3 East 10.8 miles; at the WV/VA state line, WV RT 3 East becomes VA RT 311 North; continue on VA RT 311 North for 1.6 miles (being a total of 12.4 miles from WV RT 3 / Moncove Lake Rd intersection at Gap Mills); turn right onto Stringer Road VA RT 678; travel ½ mile; as RT 678 makes the sharp curve to the right, continue straight for about 300’ and the property starts at the farm gate.
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