Duncan Branch Forest is a 52 +/- acre multi-use, recreational, and residential property located near the 3000-acre Summersville Lake, 2000-acre Bluestone Lake, New River, Winter Place Ski Resort, and just minutes to the 70,000 acre New River Gorge National River Park and Preserve, America’s newest National Park and Preserve.
Duncan Branch Forest represents an opportunity to create a classic family ownership legacy for the next tenure. Most of the terrain is considered gentle for the region.
- 52 +/- acres multi-use, recreational and residential property
- Dark skies with little or no light pollution for star gazing, planet observation, star walking and astrophotography
- Several forest trails and county roads provide superior access for ATV riding, hiking, camping, hunting and nature viewing
- Right sized to create a wonderful country retreat – very private but not remote
- 15 min to the Green Sulphur Springs exit on I-64
- Jet airport service is a 45-minute drive to Lewisburg and Beckley
- Mature hardwood forest is comprised of Red Oak, White Oak, Hickory, Poplar and Maples
- Perfect for all water sport activities supported by the nearby Greenbrier River, New River, 3000-acre Summersville Lake and the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake
- The 70,000 acre New River Gorge National River Park and preserve is just minutes away
- City amenities are 45 minutes to Beckley and Lewisburg
- 90 minutes to Charleston, the State Capitol and WV’s largest metro area and jet service
- Amazing resident wildlife population rich in diversity and ever changing
- Fur bearing – deer, black bear, squirrel, rabbit, bobcat, raccoon, coyote, 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
- Exceptional rock outcroppings for rock climbing, bouldering and exploring
- Forest soaks up tons of Carbon Dioxide and produces tons of life-giving oxygen
- Two or three springs on the property which potentially may be developed
- A rewarding off-grid permaculture lifestyle can be easily developed
- Cell phone coverage is good with 5G service
- An easy drive to higher population areas of Charleston, Blacksburg, Roanoke, Beckley, Princeton and Lewisburg, jet airports, and 4 major interstates
- Surrounded by timber tracts and cattle farms in a nice rural neighborhood
- Boone and Crocket country
- Elevations run from 2111 ft. to 2750 ft.
- Low taxes, low population density
Google Coordinates:37.806547°(N), -80.774420°(W)
Address: Red Springs Road, Alderson, WV 25976. No 911 address assigned to a property without structures.
Elevation Range: 2080 ft. to 2802 ft. +/-
- 30 minutes to Beckley
- 35 minutes to Raleigh County Memorial Airport, Beckley
- 35 minutes to Lewisburg
- 40 minutes to Greenbrier Valley Airport, Lewisburg
- 35 minutes to Babcock State Park
- 60 minutes to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and the famous New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville
- 60 minutes to Summersville Lake, Summersville
- 1 hour 10 minutes to Hawks Nest State Park
Duncan Branch Forest is an easy drive of higher population areas of Charleston, Roanoke, Blacksburg, Beckley, Princeton and Lewisburg.
Hinton, Beckley and Lewisburg offer big box stores, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, auto parts stores, hardware, hospital, dentists and most other city amenities. Hinton is the Summers County Seat, Beckley is the Raleigh County Seat and Lewisburg is the Greenbrier County seat and they are the economic and governmental hub of those counties.
Charleston is West Virginia’s state capitol (90 min). 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 (45 min), 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-80 +/-, 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.
- 30-60 min to Hinton, Beckley, Princeton, Lewisburg, 70,000 acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, 2,000 acre Bluestone Lake, Pipestem Resort, Bluestone State Park, Sandstone Falls, Winterplace Ski Resort and the 4-Star Fayette Resort
- A picturesque Amtrak train ride from Hinton or White Sulphur Springs connects the area to DC, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and many other locations
- Washington, DC is 5 hours and Charlotte 3 hours
- Charleston, Beckley, Lewisburg airports offer daily jet service to main hubs
- Charleston, the state capitol, is a 90-minute 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 60 minutes
The 14,000 acre Bluestone Wildlife Management Area is just up river at Bull Falls
The property offers unparalleled recreational opportunities. Numerous soft recreational activities are anchored by the nearby Greenbrier River, New River, New River Gorge National River Park & Preserve, 3000-acre Summersville Lake and the 2000-acre Bluestone Lake.
Water-sports enthusiastswill find the nearby lakes and rivers 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 viewingis 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. Ideal for star walking and astrophotography too.
Shooting-sports devoteesfind 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
The property 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 bikescan 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 abundant timber resource of some 50 acres does have a tremendous amount of nice mature timber ready for commercial harvest to generate immediate cash flow and offset holding costs. The resource is well positioned for current timber income as well as excellent value appreciation over the coming decades. Part of the timber stand was once in fields decades ago but has regenerated into a nice young forest. Other areas of the forest contain trees that are 120 to 150 years old and have never been harvested and represent significant commercial value. 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 50 +/- acre forest has trees in the 20 to 150-year-old range. The forest resource is composed of upland Appalachian hardwoods. The species composition consists primarily of White Oak, Chestnut Oak, Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Poplar, Red Oak, Hickory, and a host of associated species (Sourwood, Black Walnut, Black Cherry, Basswood, Locust, Black Gum, Beech, Ironwood and Hop Hornbeam).
Several “Heritage Trees” are scattered throughout the forest and old field edges. These ancient trees, some estimated at 200 to 300 years old, and 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.
BOUNDARIES AND SURVEY
The property was surveyed in 2004, and a plat was prepared from that survey. The plat is recorded as Map Cabinet C-91. The property is being sold by the boundary and not by the acre.
Water: There is an old water well which has water, but has not been used for many years. There are at least 2 springs on the property which may have potential to be developed. A new well may need to be drilled, as the availability of adequate water flow from these sources is unverified.
Sewer: No public sewer system available.
Landline Telephone: Nearby
Cell phone Coverage: Good in most places with 5G
Internet: Possibly telephone cable through Frontier but hardwire is not on site. Satellite, Cellphone hotspot with 4G is possible
LP Gas: Available locally for delivery
Television: Direct TV, Dish
Summers County currently has no known zoning or subdivision regulations. However, all prospective buyers should consult the County Government and also the Health Department for any changes and details regarding zoning, building codes, and installation of water wells and septic systems.
Red Springs Road Rt. 4/2 travels along the southern property boundary and through the southern portion of the property for about ¼ mile. Duncan Branch Road Rt. 44/3 travels through the property for about 4/10 mile.
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.
The property is comprised of forestland with a utility line in the southern portion of the property.
(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.)
The nearby New River, Greenbrier River, Summersville Lake, and Bluestone Lake are major contributors 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 lakes and rivers 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.
DEED AND TAX INFORMATION
Deed Information:DB 277 Pg. 320
Summers County, West Virginia
Acreage: 52.08 acres +/- by recent survey
Real Estate Tax ID/Acreage/Taxes:
Summers County (45), West Virginia
Green Sulphur District (3)
Tax Map 11 Parcel 46; Class 3
2022 Total Real Estate Taxes:$65.06
Summers County School District
Public Elementary School:
Hinton Area Elementary School
Public Middle School:
Summers County Middle School
Public High School:
Summers County High School
THE NEW RIVER GORGE NATIONAL PARK and PRESERVE
The 70,000-acre New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a unit of the United States National Park Service (NPS) designed to protect and maintain the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia in the Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1978 as a national river, the NPS-protected area stretches for 53 miles from just downstream of Hinton to Hawks Nest State Park near Ansted. The park was officially named America’s 63rd national park, the U.S. government’s highest form of protection, in December of 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a relief bill.
West Virginia is home to parts of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a foot path that stretches more than 2,100 miles between Maine and Georgia; the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, which cuts through 16 states for 4,900 miles; the Bluestone National Scenic River; and Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Now, over 70,000 acres of land, bordering 53 miles of the gorge, has earned the government’s protection.
The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is rich in cultural and natural history and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities. New River Gorge is home to some of the country’s best whitewater rafting, mainly from the Cunard put-in to the Fayette Station take-out and is also one of the most popular climbing areas on the East Coast.
Home to the New River, which drops 750 feet over 66 miles, with its Class V rapids, has long drawn adventuresome rafters and kayakers to this whitewater area. The New River, which flows northward through low-cut canyons in the Appalachian Mountains, is actually one of the oldest rivers on the planet.
Rock climbing on the canyon walls, mountain biking and hiking on trails that flank the river, and wildlife viewing—bald eagles, osprey, kingfishers, great blue herons, beavers, river otters, wild turkeys, brown bats, snakes, and black bears—are all popular activities within the park.
The New River Gorge Bridge is a work of structural art. Construction of the bridge began in 1974, and was completed in 1977. The Bridge spans 3,030 feet in length and is the third highest bridge in the U.S., at 876 ft. During Bridge Day, an annual one-day festival celebrating the construction of the Bridge, BASE jumpers launch off the 876-foot bridge and parachute down to the New River. New River Gorge is the only national park in the U.S. that permits this extreme activity.
President Jimmy Carter signed legislation establishing New River Gorge National River on November 10, 1978 (Pub.L. 95–625). As stated in the legislation, the park was established as a unit of the national park system “for the purpose of conserving and interpreting outstanding natural, scenic, and historic values and objects in and around the New River Gorge, and preserving as a free-flowing stream an important segment of the New River in West Virginia for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.” The New River Gorge National Park and Preserve Designation Act was incorporated into the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, changing the designation to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. Less than 10% of the original national river was re-designated as a national park, where hunting is no longer permitted, while the remainder is a national preserve with little change.
NEW RIVER REGION OVERVIEW
The New River is shared by boaters, fisherman, campers, park visitors and local neighbors. The waters of the New River system contain a mosaic of hydrologic features and aquatic habitats that support a highly productive aquatic ecosystem that includes distinct populations of native fish, mussels, crayfish, and a broad array of other aquatic life, including rare amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The 320-mile New River rises in the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina and flows northeastward through the Appalachian uplands to Radford, Va., where it turns northwestward and passes through a series of narrow valleys and gorges into southern West Virginia. It ends where it joins the Gauley River to form the Kanawha River. In WV, the New River is entrenched in a steep and narrow valley, the most narrow part of which is known as the “New River Gorge.”
In 1998, because of historical, economical, and cultural importance, President Clinton signed into law the New River as one of the very first American Heritage Rivers. Much of the river’s course through West Virginia was designated as the New River Gorge National River. In 2021, the area was designated as the United States’ newest National Park.
The New River is recognized as the “second oldest river in the world” and is estimated to be between 10 and 360 million years old. Its headwaters begin near Blowing Rock, NC, and is one of the few rivers in North America that flows northerly.
Class I, II, III, IV and V rapids dot the entire 320 miles of New River making it a great paddling, tubing, and white rafting adventure. Beautiful cliffs, bluffs, and mountain views make it one of the most scenic rivers on the east coast.
New River Gorge National Park includes 53 miles of free-flowing New River, beginning at Bluestone Dam and ending at Hawks Nest Lake. The New River typifies big West Virginia style whitewater. Within the park it has two very different characters. The upper (southern) part of the river consists primarily of long pools, and relatively easy rapids up to Class III. It is a big powerful river, but very beautiful, always runnable, and providing excellent fishing and camping. There are a number of different river access points, and trips can run from several hours to several days.
The lower (northern) section of river is often referred to as “the Lower Gorge.” In a state that is justifiably renowned for colossal rapids, the Lower Gorge has some of the biggest of the big with rapids ranging in difficulty from Class III to Class V. The rapids are imposing and forceful, many of them obstructed by large boulders which necessitate maneuvering in very powerful currents, crosscurrents, and hydraulics. Some rapids contain hazardous undercut rocks.
Prior to the rise of the Appalachian Mountains, the New River cut its bed at a time when the land sloped to the northwest. Amazingly so, as the Appalachians gradually rose around the river, the New River wore away the bedrock at the same rate the mountains formed, leaving behind towering cliffs and prominences that hover hundreds of feet about the water level.
Accounts claim that Indians referred to the New River as the “river of death,” however this origin story is likely legend. Native Americans and early European settlers regarded the New and Kanawha rivers as being one single waterway. The name “New” may have been derived when the river upstream was discovered by European explorers as the first “new” river found flowing westward.
Native American Indians used the New River as they traveled west years before the pioneers arrived. In the 1600s explorers navigating the New River thought they were close to the Pacific Ocean because of its westerly flow.
In 1671 the Batts-Fallam expedition, by way of the New River, came through to the Lurich area and ended there because the Indian guides refused to take them any farther. They carved their initials in a tree and claimed the territory for King Charles II of England. This was the first proclamation of English territory west of the Alleghenies making the New River the first gateway into the west.
Fast water, big rocks and lazy/slow stretches are features of the New River. Water sports enthusiasts will find the New River ideal for swimming, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, tubing, snorkeling, paddle boarding and windsurfing. Great fishing is found in the New River with bass (largemouth, smallmouth and rock), flathead catfish, channel catfish, muskie, walleye and bluegill present in good numbers. Year after year, it produces more citation fish than any other warm water river in WV.
The New River Gorge was a vast and largely unsettled wilderness until the C&O railroad was built on the eastern side of the river in the 1880’s. The railroad opened up the rich coalfields and virgin timber stands of the region. Early “mountaineers” settled the area and soon were carving out mountain farms and raising families.
The gorge was practically impassible before completion of the New River Gorge Bridge, near Fayetteville, WV, in 1978. The river within its gorge is one of the most popular whitewater rafting destinations in the eastern U.S. Much of the New between Hinton and Gauley Bridge is managed by the National Park Service as the New River Gorge National River.
Principal tributaries of the New in West Virginia include, from south to north, the East River, the Bluestone River, and the Greenbrier River.
Many former mining communities located on the New River in its gorge have since become ghost towns. These include Sewell, Nuttalburg, Kaymoor, Fayette, South Fayette, Hawks Nest, Cotton Hill, and Gauley, Beury and Claremont.
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 a 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 lumber for building, 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)
2000 ACRE BLUESTONE LAKE AND 3000 ACRE SUMMERSVILLE 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, Camp Creek State Forest and the 10,000 acre Beury Mountain WMA. 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, and muskie are all common species of fish found in the New River and Bluestone Lake.
Superb water quality and sheer sandstone cliffs make the 3000 acre Summersville Lake a unique place to visit. West Virginia’s largest lake; Summersville Lake has over 28,000 acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline.
Boating, water-skiing, swimming, fishing for large- and smallmouth bass, walleye, panfish, and catfish, (trout are stocked below the dam in the spring and fall) scuba diving, picnicking, hunting, and biking are the favorite activities enjoyed by nearly one million visitors annually.
Technical rock climbing and whitewater rafting are available year round, with scheduled whitewater releases below the dam on the world class Gauley River in September and October. Adjacent to the lake is Mountain Lake Campground with cabins, camping & RV hookups and many other conveniences for guests. Sarge’s Dive Shop and the lake’s marina are located on the lake with grocery stores, restaurants, and service stations located nearby in Summersville.