ZION MOUNTAIN FOREST
Richard Grist, 304.645.7674
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Zion Mountain Forest is a 68+/- acre heavily wooded recreational property located just 5 minutes from the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, the mighty New River and the 80,000 acre New River Gorge National River Park.
- 68+/- 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 River Park nearby
- Fronts on a paved state maintained road – FedEx, UPS and USPS delivery
- All small city amenities are 10 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
- An hour’s drive to jet airports and 4 major interstates
- 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 68+/- 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
Packs Branch, an intermittent-dashed blue line stream flows through the forest for about 3000 feet before exiting the property. Water flows during rain events and snow melt.
MINERAL RESOURCES & RESERVATIONS
The current status of the minerals rights is unknown. They may have or may not been reserved in previous deeds. However, the owner will convey any and all mineral rights that the owner has in title.
There is a reservation for the construction of any future transmission and distribution lines as well as other reservations that may have been provided for in previous deeds.
All prospective buyers are encouraged to have an attorney conduct a title search to determine the status of the surface and mineral titles.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
The property was surveyed in 1936 and a partial resurvey was done in 1995. A copy of the 2 PLATS OF SURVEY are in file and will be made available to prospective purchasers.
Water: water well could be drilled
Sewer: private septic could be installed
Electricity: On the property
Telephone: On the property
Cellphone Coverage: Good
The property fronts secondary road WV 14 (Zion Mountain Road). An existing interior forest trail can provide 4X4 vehicular and ATV access with some improvement.
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.
PROPERTY TYPE/USE SUMMARY
This is a multiple use forestland property suitable for hunting, hiking, camping, residential development and possible timber investment. ATV and shooting sport enthusiast will enjoy this property.
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information: DB 206 Pg. 23
Summers County, West Virginia
Acreage: 67.95 acres +/-
Greenbrier District (2), Tax Map 9 Parcel 45
2019 Real Estate Taxes: $549.18
RECREATION AT ZION MOUNTAIN FOREST
Zion 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 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. Attentive wildlife management has been geared not to just larger 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, 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. It is hard to find a property that has a better mix of wildlife.
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
- Plain ole’ plinking: Grandpa’s old 22 single shot rifle and a few tin cans make a fun day
All Terrain Motorsports
Zion 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.
The nearby New River -Greenbrier River and Bluestone Lake are a major contributor to the local ecosystem richness and diversity for both plants and animals. There are many animals that live year round and at other times in the water and around the edges of the rivers/lake, including beavers, otters, minks, raccoons, opossums, blue herons, Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, king fishers, minnows, native fish, turtles, salamanders, newts, crayfish, muskrats, bull frogs, eagles, owls, hawks and redwing blackbirds.
The miles of “edge effect” benefit all the resident wildlife. In addition to those listed above, white tail deer, black bear, wild turkey, 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.
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)
The 68+/- acre forest has some mature trees in the 40-100 year old range. The forest resource is composed of Appalachian hardwoods. The species composition consists primarily of Black Walnut, Locust, Sycamore, Birch, Red Maple, Poplar, Red Oak, White Oak, Hickory, and a host of associated species (Sourwood, Black Gum, Beech, Ironwood and Hop Hornbeam).
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 are a few fruit trees scattered about, some of which were part of the early homestead. Crops of black walnuts are produced each. Honeybees will do very well here.
Zion 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 an easy 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.
- 5 minutes to Hinton
- One hour or less 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 5 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, (45-minute 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.
THE NEW RIVER AND BLUESTONE LAKE
Zion Mountain Forest is a 5-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.
ARCHEOLOGY AND GEOLOGY
Zion 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.
From Hinton, WV:
Starting at Kirks Restaurant on Route 20 beside the WV State Police Office: After crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge when traveling from RT 20 South/RT 3 East from Hinton; turn right with RT 3 into BellePoint. Travel RT 3 (Greenbrier Drive) East for 2/10ths miles; turn right onto Zion Mountain Road CR 14 travel 1.2 miles and the property will start on the right. The small driveway leading off the county road into the property is on the right near the far end of the property.
- Amtrack Station at Hinton, WV
- Barns of Summers County – Info on Historic Barns and Great History of Area
- Bluestone State Park
- Bluestone Wildlife Management Area
- Camp Summers
- Concord University
- Groundworks Nursery
- Mercer County Convention and Visitors
- Mercer County, WV Official Page
- New River Gorge National Park
- Otter and Oak General Store and Art Gallery
- Pipestem Resort State Park
- State of West Virginia
- Summers County Appalachian Regional Healthcare Hospital
- The Boy Scouts of America – The Summit Bechtel Reserve
- Three Rivers Avian Center
- West Virginia Cave Conservancy
- West Virginia Conservation Agency
- West Virginia State Parks
- Willowood Country Club and Golf
- Winterplace Ski Resort
- WV Department of Natural Resources
- 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