Most of Middle Plains Forest has been in the same ownership since the late 1950s. Over the decades, the landowner has focused on producing high-quality forest products which today offer a valuable timber resource.
Property highlights include:
· Attractive location close to East Middlebury village and the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF) Lands;
· Developed access leading to prime home site options;
· High-value forest resource, dominated by oak species, offering exceptional asset appreciation and hunting opportunity.
The property is located in Middlebury and Salisbury, at the edge of East Middlebury Village, where the vast forestlands of the Green Mountain National Forest meet the agriculturally rich lands of the Lake Champlain Valley to the west.
Middlebury is one of Vermont’s most rounded towns, with a robust economy created from a diversity of private, public, and non-profit institutions. Most notable is Middlebury College, whose main campus is 6 miles to the northwest in downtown Middlebury. The college’s Breadloaf School of English is situated 7 miles to the east, surrounded by Green Mountain National Forest lands. This campus is also host to Rikert Nordic Ski Center. A mile further east is the College’s Snow Bowl Ski Area.
Middlebury has a vibrant downtown, which includes nearby Porter Medical Center. The Middlebury State Airport is 3 miles to the north. Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is a 55-minute drive to the north along Route 7. Boston is about a 3.25-hour drive to the southeast.
Access is via Pratt Road, a Class IV, non-maintained town road. Pratt Road comes off Lower Plaines Road and runs southeasterly ±1,000’ to the last driveway serving a year-round home on Pratt Road. This section of the road is maintained and plowed privately by adjacent landowners who live on the road. The Class IV section of the road then runs another ±600’ to the property boundary as a graveled town road that is not maintained by any neighbors (the total length of Pratt Road to the property boundary is ±1,600’). Electric power runs to within ±1,000’ of the property. Once on the property, Pratt Road runs another ±800’ as a graveled road to a large clearing on the property.
Additional access is via a driveway access point along Upper Plains Road.
Internal trails are well developed and extend well into the Middlebury unit of the forest.
The forest offers mostly well-drained soils with terrain that is often level, providing ideal conditions for a wide variety of property uses.
Elevation ranges from 560’ above sea level (ASL) at the land’s western end to 760’ along the eastern boundary. This slight change in elevation indicates a mostly level property with little topographical relief from one end of the land to the other. However, a short ridge runs north to south down the center and western end of the land. In between this ridge, the terrain is largely level or gently sloping. Another short ridge extends north to south at the property’s eastern end.
Soil drainage is very good in most areas, the exception being close to the northern branch of Halnon Brook within the Middlebury Unit.
Halnon Brook runs through the southern portion of the property. Its watershed is relatively small, so the brook runs low during dry periods but rushes strong during snowmelt and rainy periods. A small beaver pond exists along the northern branch of the brook (see maps for location).
Various private home building options are available from the Pratt Road access at the land’s southern end. With tree clearing, nice views of the Green Mountain slopes to the east are possible.
Much of the land has been in the seller’s ownership since 1956, with their primary goal being the development and growth of high-quality timber. The ownership has carried out that goal by carefully managing the forest stands over the many decades of their tenure. As such, the timber is a notable and valuable resource that offers solid value growth over the coming decades.
The property’s red oak resource is of particular interest, which is the dominant forest species. High-quality oak stems are present in most areas, with both growing stock diameters (8-13”) and larger-diameter sawlogs in the 14-20” size class. It’s seldom to have such a high percentage of red oak within Vermont, so these oak stands are quite special. Also, large-diameter, tall white pine is widely scattered over the forest.
Roughly 40 acres within the southern portion of the land were thinned 5-9 years ago. The balance of the forest has not been thinned in over 20 years and is ready for forest management and income generation. There is no current timber inventory data available on the property.