The property is a showcase of exemplary forest management and a classic example of a nearly pure sugar maple resource. Healthy stands of sawlog-sized sugar maple cover the majority of the forest, with exceptional stem quality and perfectly-spaced trees for robust asset appreciation. This resource is well aligned to the timber investor seeking value appreciation, while enjoying the recreational amenities this highly esthetic landscape has to offer.
The forest is situated at the northern end of Huntington township roughly 2.5 miles from Huntington Village. The property’s location along Happy Hollow Road is shared with occasional, well-maintained homes, which are mostly year round, with the exception of a few fine seasonal camps. Johns Brook runs along the town road, coursing its way through this narrow valley and, at one point, running through the forest. This small, pristine stream’s headwaters originate to the east on Camels Hump State Forest. The property shares a mutual boundary with the state forest, which is the third largest in Vermont (nearly 20,000 acres).
Richmond, the largest town center, is located 8 miles to the northwest. Burlington Vermont is 22 miles to the west, while Montpelier, Vermont’s state capital, is 27 miles to the east. Boston is a 3.5 hour drive to the southeast.
Access to the property is provided by a 50’-wide right-of-way (RoW) that begins just off Happy Hollow Road on Town Highway #9 (TH9). Once on TH9, the road crosses Johns Brook and proceeds uphill for a short way (note the brook crossing has been removed). From the end of TH9, the RoW runs in an easterly direction for roughly 1,600 feet to the property boundary. The RoW exist as a woods trail along gently sloping terrain, well suited for future upgrades. A new buyer, committed to land stewardship, can expect to negotiate a more extensive RoW that deals with logging and/or maple sugaring easements, with the adjacent landowner.
A northerly and westerly aspect prevails, with the lowest elevation where the RoW enters the land (1,320’ ASL (at sea level)) and terrain steadily rising towards the back of the property at the two ridgelines, the eastern ridge situated at the height of land (2,220’). A local peak, this site shares a boundary with the state forest, offering an excellent recreational amenity. The southern ridge offers a long, flat top, with wide views in many directions. It also hosts a cross country ski trail maintained by the Camels Hump Skiers Association.
Overall, terrain is moderate, with some steep slopes along streams and at the eastern end. Forest operability for forest management can be considered very good with quality trails throughout. Soils are highly productive, predominantly well drained and consisting largely of a Lyman Marlow complex, a rocky surface complex with rich soil characteristics, well suited to the sugar maple resource that exists on this forest.
Timber data in this report are based on a comprehensive and monumented timber inventory, conducted in January of 2017 by the ownership’s forest consultant and land broker. 42 points were sampled, covering a 410’ X 410’ grid using a 15 factor prism (1 plot per 3.9 acres). The timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 821 MBF International ¼” scale (5.1 MBF/commercial acre) with 2,074 pulpwood cords (12.8 cords/commercial acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 22.9 cords. Based on this information, stumpage values were assigned in January of 2017, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $291,000 ($1,758/total acre).
Total species composition is mostly sugar maple (75%), with yellow birch, white ash, beech and miscellaneous other species as associates. Sawlog volume is an impressive 86% sugar maple, not a surprise as the Huntington area soils are well known for their maple-producing capacity.
Average diameter for all products combined is 15”, with sawlogs at 16.5”. Average sawlog diameter for sugar maple is 17”. The diameter distribution indicates that the majority of the timber resource is well on its way to financial maturity. It also provides evidence of the careful past forest management practices which have focused on developing large diameter stems.
The property offers an opportunity for sugarbush development, given the high level of maple stocking and downhill slope to the access point. The timber data indicate a total maple potential tap count of 9,885 taps with nearly all taps from sugar maple. Trees from the 10” size class and greater were considered, providing an average of 61 taps/acre, covering 162.1 commercial acres.