After acquiring the property in 1983, the owner created a rustic homestead in which to live largely off the land. Over a three-decade period, she labored alone, creating a garden, developing woodland trails, building sheds, planting apple trees, cutting firewood, watching wildlife, and making upgrades to the home camp. The property is ideal for the buyer seeking a working camp to spend weekends and enjoy everything this forest has to offer.
Property highlights include:
· Rustic home camp with abundant light, solar power, phone service, hot water and shower;
· Established driveway to large fenced gardens, open meadow and a small, swimmable pond;
· Developed woods trails and abundant wildlife
The property is located in east-central Vermont, in a rural, quiet area of primarily high-elevation forestland and scattered homes along the roads. The homesteads along Downing Road are a mix of sizes and styles with some fine, originally designed homes on the way to the land.
Several large towns are within a 30-minute drive, including Bradford at Exit 16 of I-91, Wells River/ Woodsville at Exit 17 of I-91, and Barre and Montpelier along I-89, each town offering all amenities. Boston is a 2.5-hour drive to the southeast.
Access is provided by Kasson Road, which is not plowed in the winter; however, the property’s driveway is located ±830’ from Downing Road which is fully maintained by the town. Kasson Road and the property’s driveway to the camp are well suited to most vehicle types during dry conditions. Utility poles and a telephone line have been installed to the camp.
The driveway passes a small pond and apple trees, then follows a fence and stone wall as it winds up to the camp and garden area. From the garden, many trails, used by the current ownership for horseback riding, run throughout the woods.
The land is all forested, with the exception of ±2 acres of meadows and gardens near the camp. The eastern boundary borders a year-’round stream. Another brook cuts across the southwestern area, near the pond. The pond was developed some years ago and provides a nice swimming spot to cool off during the summer.
Terrain is moderately sloping and mostly well drained, supporting productive soil types. The property is located in the Groton-Topsham Highlands with elevation ranging from 1,620’ along the western stream to 1,860’ along the northern boundary. Views from the camp are local but expand to wide, long southern view from the garden area. A southern aspect prevails, including at the camp and garden area. The property’s location away from traveled roads provides a very private and peaceful setting with little noise pollution
The forest’s management plan is comprehensive, detailing many of the land’s natural resources. Two forest stands were delineated in the plan: a 33-acre mixedwood area holding both mature stems and younger areas (the latter the result of thinning 10 years ago) and a 40-acre, more mature hardwood stand, having been most recently harvested 35 years ago. It hosts maples, birch, beech and cherry, with size classes from 8” to 16”, combining to create an attractive aesthetic appeal.
As mentioned in the management plan “Signs that moose and deer use the property are widespread. The owner has also seen bear, fisher, long-tailed weasel, ermine, hare, grouse, turkey, porcupine, raccoon, fox and many birds, including owls and hawks”.
No invasive species have been noted on or near the property.
The camp is wood construction with a kitchen, sitting room, wood stove and shower unit on the first floor. The upstairs is a sleeping loft with plenty of windows. A wood stove is the heat source, while hot water, stove and lights are powered by gas. Two roof-mounted solar panels supply energy to four deep cycle batteries for electric power which run additional lights and a refrigerator. Dry wells drain the sink and shower, with an outhouse nearby.
The main outbuilding was used to stable horses, with hay storage on the second floor. Other, smaller outbuildings were previously used to shelter chickens, pigs and dogs.
The property (excluding 2 acres around the camp) is subject to a conservation easement which is held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT). VLT is one of the most respected conservation groups in the nation. A working forest “partnership” with VLT offers the new owner predictability and cooperation, given the long history and solid reputation this land trust has established in its management of easement lands under its protection
Sustainable forestry/agricultural activities are permitted and the property can be posted against public access.