Missisquoi Branch Forest

Lowell, Orleans, VT
Price: $150,000 (Price Adjustment!)
Acres: 197
Type: Multiple Uses
Availability: Sold
Contact Fountains Land
Michael Tragner
802-223-8644 x22
Site Description


Thick forest stands, a pristine river, long road frontage and scenic vistas characterize this conserved property offering a prime homesite with an uninterrupted view of Hazen’s Notch, one of the regions iconic landmarks.


The forest lies in the northern Vermont town of Lowell, between the Green Mountains, 3 miles to the west, and the Lowell Mountains, 4 miles to the east. This is a rural, mountainous area of the state populated by small hamlets, working forests and scattered farms. The town of Lowell, tucked in the Missisquoi River Valley between the two mountain ranges, is a scenic area with a small hamlet at its center along Route 100, 3 miles to the east of the property. One of region’s landmarks is Hazen’s Notch, a mountain pass through the Green Mountains, set directly within view of the property. Hazen Notch Road runs through the pass between Sugarloaf Mountain to the north and Haystack Mountain to the south. The pass is open only during non-snow months and is widely considered one of the most scenic roads in northern Vermont.

Montreal is a 2-hour drive to the northwest and Boston is a 3.5 hour drive to the southeast.


The property benefits from excellent access with nearly 3,000’ of road frontage along Hazen Notch Road, a town-maintained, gravel road with electric and telephone services. The private Hoisington Road (aka Bayley Hazen Road) runs through the eastern end of the property for roughly 600’, providing access to an old field that overlooks the property’s central river valley. The long road frontage provides many potential driveway cuts into the forest and its small fields, facilitating future management, recreational activities and homesite development.

Site Description

Two notable landscape features define the forest: the river that bisects the land and the highly scenic vistas of the nearby Green Mountains. The un-named river that runs through the land and onto the Missisquoi River in Lowell village flows just north of the road frontage, coursing its way through the property’s open wetland and riparian zone. The river runs clear and offers excellent fishing opportunity and an ideal recreational amenity.

The local mountain visits from the property’s center are dramatic and include an uninterrupted view due west of Hazen’s Notch. The view is further enhanced by the inclusion of various peaks along the Green Mountain range including Tillotson Peak to the southwest, Belvidere Mountain to the south, and Buchanan Mountain and Domays Dome to the north.


The timber resource has not been managed in decades (thirty to forty years). The previous ownership goals focused on natural forest progression, allowing the forest to develop without intervention. As a result, there is no management plan or recent timber inventory. Field observations indicates a productive forest resource that is overstocked in all areas. Species composition is dominated by softwood species (primarily red spruce and balsam fir), with hardwoods as a subcomponent consisting of the maples, birch, ash, beech and black cherry.

Given the overstocked conditions and tight overstory canopy, undergrowth is quite limited, allowing for easy walking conditions and high forest aesthetics. Average per acre volumes are likely 6 MBF and 15 cords (high stocking for the region). Thinning can occur at any time, releasing crop trees, harvesting the mature balsam fir component, and generating income for the ownership.


The property will be sold subject to a conservation easement which will be held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT). VLT is the current owner and one of the most respected conservation organizations 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 regarding the easement lands under its jurisdiction.

Easement highlights include:

  • Most sustainable and traditional forestry/agricultural activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property;
  • The property can be posted against public access;
  • Silvicultural activities can occur under an approved forest management plan;
  • Surface Water Protection Zones (SWPZs), covering the riparian areas adjacent to the river corridor are protected from forest management and agricultural activities;
  • The conservation easement allows for the development of a house site and associated structures.

A copy of the proposed conservation easement is available upon request.

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