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Drake Mountain Forest

Property Details

Location: Chesterfield, Essex County, NY
Price: $2,680,000
Acres: 2,389
Type: Timberland


While the land offers an outstanding timber investment opportunity, it’s special site attributes set the property apart from other large tracts creating exceptional multiple use and conservation benefits.
Property highlights include:

  • Standing timber value of $2,300,000, offering superior asset appreciation opportunity, short-term timber sale income, with asking price near the timber value;
  • Developed, annually mowed, internal access to support future forest management activities and recreational pursuits;
  • Scenic landscape with 4 ponds, year round streams, easy hike to bedrock exposed Drake Mountain with impressive views of Lake Champlain & beyond to Burlington & Green Mountain Range;
  • Recreational lease income of $7,298 offsetting annual taxes; Attractive location near the western shoreline of Lake Champlain; Interesting terrain to explore including ridge-tops, short ravines and rock out-crops.
  • Location

    The property is located in the northeastern section of the Adirondack Park within the Town of Chesterfield, Essex County, New York. Despite the property’s near shorefront location to Lake Champlain, a forested, mountainous landscape dominates, with farms and gentle terrain (more common of the Lake Champlain Valley) a short distance to the north and south of the land. With Lake Champlain 1 mile to the east, scenic lake and Green Mountain Range vistas unfold from the land’s eastern slopes.

    The small towns of Port Henry and Keeseville sit 5 & 3 miles to the north respectively. The Port Henry ferry provides a scenic ride to Burlington, Vermont’s largest city located at Lake Champlain’s opposing shore. The scenic lakeside towns of Willsboro and Essex are 9 & 14 miles respectively to the south. The North Country’s largest city Plattsburg is located 20 miles to the north while Lake Placid sits within a 40 minute drive to the west.

    Exit 33 on Interstate 87 sits 1 mile from the land’s western boundary providing easy access to regional and Canadian forest product markets. Distances to major metropolitan areas include 5 hours to New York City and less than 2 hours to Montreal.  


    The forest benefits from secure, legal access from three separate locations which are described in detail below:

    Highlands Road (CR 28) access point – The entire eastern half of the property (east of the Drake-Skagerack Mountain Range) is accessed by a well-developed, private gravel road which originates from Highlands Road. This legal right of way road gently climbs in elevation and runs a distance of 2,000’ before entering the property. The road then proceeds westerly, with a branch road to the south and the main road approaching the base of Drake Mountain before turning south and then terminating just shy of the south central boundary line. This internal access system provides nearly 3 miles of quality road surface (annually mowed), with limited slope, facilitating sound access for forest management , recreational, and exploration of other highest and best use (HBU) activities.

    Mace Chasm Rd access points – Two secure entry points are situated along Mace Chasm Road near the western portion of the parcel. Each are currently unimproved rights of way that provide good access routes upon upgrades opening the door to the vast timber reserve situated on the property’s western half. One of these rights of way currently exist as an old logging trail located in the northwestern corner of the parcel, extending roughly 2,500’ to the property boundary. It provides sound access to the northern section of the tract along the shoulder of Drake Mountain. The second right of way originates near an apple orchard along Mace Chasm Road, and runs roughly 3,000 feet before entering the property along the foot of Bigelow Mountain. This right or way accesses much of the property’s southwestern section.

    Site Description

    Situated at the tract’s center, Drake Mountain is the dominate geographic feature, creating a notable landmark within the surrounding area. The east side of Drake offers an expansive granite top & ledge plus a seasonal waterfall, providing an attractive hiking opportunity to it’s upper exposed cliffs where compelling long range views unfold to Lake Champlain & beyond to Burlington and the Green Mountain Range.

    Much of the western portion of the tract is situated along a high forested plateau creating a basin between Drake, Bigelow (western boundary), and Skagerack (southern boundary) Mountains with the basin’s terrain falling off to the east and drained by the scenic, year round Little Trout Brook. The upper-slope sites and more moderate eastern terrain are generally well-drained, largely operable, and well suited to the pine, oak and maple dominated timber resource.

    While the overall terrain is characterized as mountainous and rugged, +/-94% of the acreage is commercially productive and available for timber production and forest management. Many short ravines dot the landscape where rock out-crops are common creating additional interesting terrain to explore.

    Elevation property wide ranges from 1,640’ above sea level (ASL) along Bigelow Mountain to 650’ ASL along the Highlands Road. Drake Mountain’s elevation is 1,371’.

    The eastern side of the land via the Highland access road offers glimpses of the outstanding views possible of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont. With tree clearing scenic, long range views can be exposed to enhance any future home or camp building opportunities.

    The land has a few open water beaver ponds, each 5-7 acres. Each pond is teaming with wildlife including ducks, great blue herons and beavers. Most are well suited to paddling and fishing and possibly a swim.


    Timber data in this report are based on a comprehensive and monumented timber inventory completed in the Fall of 2022 for the purpose of establishing Capital Timber Value (CTV). Three hundred and eleven inventory points were sampled (1 plot per 7.3 forested acres), covering a 550′ x 550′ grid using a 10-factor prism. Sampling statistics are ±7.8% standard error for sawlog products and ±5.9% for all products combined at the 95% confidence interval.

    Upon growth for 2023, the timber data reveal a total sawlog volume of 11,645 MBF International ¼” scale (5.1 MBF/acre), with 29,143 pulpwood cords (12.8 cords/acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 23 cords, a figure about average for the region. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in January of 2024, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $2,299,900 ($1,010/commercial acre). See the Timber Valuation in this report for details.
    Species Composition:

    The species composition is comprised of 65% hardwood species and 35% softwood species, the latter primarily white pine. The minor softwood balance consists of red pine. Much of the softwood volume is located within common stands on the higher plateau. This mixed species composition offers near-term income opportunity from the mature softwoods while the hardwood resource continues to increase in value as it matures by moving into higher-valued products including veneer. Species composition for all products combined mirrors that commonly found in the area, with a nice mix of red oak, white pine and The Maples. Miscellaneous common associates are found in much lower volumes.

    The majority of the sawlog volume is concentrated on the same four species with contributions by red pine, spruce/fir and white ash. This species mix has seen strong regional markets for their end use products assuring solid future asset appreciation.

    Parcel Map

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    Tom Gilman, CF

    New York Regional Manager & Real Estate Agent
    Tupper Lake, New York & Montpelier, Vermont

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