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Chapp Hill Forest

Colton, St. Lawrence County, NY
Price: $410,000
Acres: 432
Type: Multiple Uses
Availability: Sold
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Site Description


The property represents a considerable forested landscape that has been held as a long-term forestland investment. For the last 46 years, forest management has focused on concentrating growth on the best trees, resulting in a high-quality forest resource. Now, this land is being passed onto new owners that can benefit from the decades of previous quality forest management while developing many of the property’s highlights previously left untouched.      

Property highlights include:

  • Standing timber value of $354,300, with outstanding asset appreciation opportunity and short-term timber sale income;
  • Developed internal access to support future forest management activities and recreational pursuits;
  • Scenic landscapes with beaver ponds, streams, trails, abundant wildlife, large granite boulders & glacial erratics, old, abandoned RR grade, and two existing hunting camp structures/sites;
  • Easily accessible along a town-maintained road with possible off-grid building site(s).


The forest is located in the Township of Colton (population 1,412) a rural primarily forested area of the Northwestern Adirondacks, historically known as the “South Woods”. This area is quite rural with scattered homes and camps along town roads. To the south and west are large forestland tracts including adjoining Conserved Lands. The closest communities are the Hamlets of South Colton and Colton, 2 Miles and 6 Miles respectively. The larger community of Potsdam is some 15 Miles North. Potsdam is home to SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University. Potsdam is considered the cultural and educational center of Northern New York State. Potsdam is also home to Damon Field, a municipal airport that is readily open to the public. Three miles north of the land is the Higley Flow State Park, a 1,115-acre park with campground facilities, a lake, and a sandy beach.

Burlington, Vermont is a three-hour drive to the East and Montreal, Quebec Canada is a two-and-a-half-hour drive to the Northeast.


The property benefits from excellent access with a substantial town-maintained road frontage of 1,650 Feet. This, coupled with a solid internal road and trail system, allows for forest management entry, recreational activities, homestead options, and even possible subdivision opportunities. Currently, one point of entry to the property exists from the year-round publicly maintained, graveled Little John Road.

The gated internal access road commences along the town road and runs roughly one mile to a point near the base of Chapp Hill itself. This road is well-graveled and ditched but has not been used in nearly 12 years. The beaver pond near the beginning of the road has recently overflowed, crossing the road surface, and preventing vehicle access until the beaver dam adjacent to the road is removed. 

The boundary lines to the west and south have been well maintained with painted blazes and posted signs. The northern boundary line is a combination of stone walls, old wire fencing, painted blazes, and posted signs.

Site Description

Chapp Hill defines the height of land located at the property’s western end with an elevation of 1,340’. This western third of the property is comprised of a high plateau, with the land then generally falling easterly towards the developed access system and town road frontage (lowest elevation at 900’), creating a mostly easterly aspect. The topography is primarily rolling with some steeper slopes leading up to Chapp Hill and immediately along a few drainages. All of the commercial forestland is well suited to mechanical harvesting equipment, facilitating future forest management.

The majority of the land is well drained with productive soils well suited to hardwood development. The less well-drained soils are situated on the level sites where the softwoods have become established. Three wetland ponds exist along the drainages, created by beaver dams, providing habitat diversity and scenic vistas from the water’s edges.

While the property is ideally suited as a long-term timberland investment, given its highly valued forest resource, the town access, internal roads, and terrain also lend themselves to the development of a homesite or prime campsite. Two old camps exist on the land with one that may have the potential to be repaired for future use or as a recreational lease providing annual income.


The timber 2022 data reveal a total sawlog volume of 1,345 MBF International ¼” scale (3.5 MBF/acre), with 6,394 pulpwood cords (16.9 cords/acre). The combined total commercial per acre volume is 24 cords, a figure about average for the region. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in September of 2022, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $354,300 ($935/commercial acre).

The species composition is nearly all comprised of hardwood species which represent 96% of the total volume. The minor softwood balance consists of spruce/fir and hemlock. This hardwood-dominated timber resource offers a high level of future asset appreciation given hardwoods increase in value as they mature (by moving into higher-valued products like veneer). 

Species composition for all products combined mirrors that commonly found in the area, with red maple holding 35% of total volume, sugar maple (26%), black cherry (11%), beech (10%), yellow birch (9%), and miscellaneous other species completing the profile.

The sawlog volume breakdown is held by species with strong demand in the marketplace, with The Maples, black cherry, spruce, fir and white ash holding the majority of the volume. 

Since the tenure of the current owner began in 1976, forest management improvement activity has occurred on most of the acreage. Improvement thinning last occurred roughly 12 years ago on roughly 65% of the acreage. Based on field observations and the timber data, silvicultural improvement treatments will likely be possible within the next 10 years on nearly half the acreage generating enough income to easily cover holding costs over this period.

The average diameter for all products combined is 12.5”, while the average sawlog diameter is 14.5”. The average diameter for the main three species are red maple 14.5”, sugar maple 15” and black cherry 16.5”.

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