Northfield Hills Forest is an affordable, large tract of forest in central Vermont. It is 8 miles from I-89 and 20 minutes from downtown Montpelier, so you can get to the property and into the hub of central Vermont quite quickly. Accessed by a right-of-way, it offers privacy and seclusion in a deep woods setting. The varied landscape hosts large vernal pools, numerous rock outcrops, and two year-round streams. Come build an off-grid cabin, explore the forest and manage the mixed species stands to suit your goals.
Northfield Hills Forest is located in central Vermont in the town of Northfield, where the landscape is dominated by forested mountains and narrow valleys. Scenic rivers flow through the valleys, which are populated by disperse family farms, country homes and small hamlets. Northfield Village, 3 miles east of the property, is an active community with a strong heritage, and features six covered bridges within its borders.
The twin cities of Montpelier, Vermont’s capital, and Barre, an historic center of Vermont’s granite industry, are located within a 20-minute drive of the property. Together, these communities provide a healthy job market, an active cultural and artistic scene, great scenic beauty and diverse recreational opportunities.
Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is 1 hour to the north, while Boston and Montreal are within a 3-hour drive to the southeast and northwest, respectively. New York City is a 5-hour drive to the south.
Access to the property is via a deeded right-of-way (ROW) off Union Brook Road, a paved, town-maintained artery with power. The ROW leaves Union Brook Road 3 miles from where Union Brook Road turns off State Route 12 (via Water Street) in Northfield Village.
The ROW climbs steadily but moderately for 2,500 ft until it reaches the property boundary. Once on the property, the road continues for another 2,500 ft until it exits the property in the northwest corner. The ROW is an old woods road that has not been maintained in some time. It is passable by 4-wheel-drive, high clearance vehicles.
Northfield Hills Forest lies to the west of Northfield Village in the foothills of the Northfield Range. Elevation ranges from 1,100 ft in the eastern drainage to 2,180 ft along the western boundary. Overall, soils are moderately well-drained.
The property can be described as a series of drainages separated by rounded ridges. The ROW on the western side of the property follows a stream drainage into the property. From the upper reaches of the ROW, the terrain rises steeply and sharply, creating an impressive wall of trees and rock outcrops. Heading east from this point, the terrain rises gently to a large, rounded ridge, heads down a moderate slope to another level area, and then falls again to a second stream drainage. The second stream drainage makes up the eastern portion of the property with moderate slopes.
There are numerous rock outcrops and vernal pools, some of which are quite large. The property provides a large and secluded spot for recreating and managing timber on a long-term basis. An off-grid cabin could be built, either on a ridge top site with potential, local views or in one of the valleys by a stream.
The forest, last inventoried in June 2008, is a mixed species forest dominated by sugar maple, beech, red maple, yellow birch, hemlock and spruce. There are also small amounts of red oak, aspen, white ash and black cherry. Overall, the forest is currently adequately stocked. High-quality trees are found throughout the property, but unacceptable growing stock accounts for at least half of the total stocking.
Because of the variable terrain and the ROW road conditions, future silvicultural activity will be logistically challenging. Thinning activity will require smaller scale operations in areas accessed by the ROW. On the eastern section of the property (where terrain slopes away from the ROW), joint thinnings with an adjacent neighbor may be necessary.
The property is rich in wildlife and habitats (stream, snags, cavity trees, etc.) that support them. The property would be ideal for the hunter or nature enthusiast and for those interested in long-term timber management. The State of Vermont has identified a deer yard in the extreme southeastern corner of the property.