GREAT PLACES WITH OPEN SPACES
Ever dream of owning a rustic retreat?
Ever dream of owning a rustic retreat? You're not alone: Recreational property is attracting a growing number of buyers.
In June 2007 we went in search of acreage available across the U.S. -- and our findings were as varied as the vast American landscape. Click through the slide show to the right to see a sampling of properties on the market at that time.
By Jeffrey R. Kosnett
Photos compiled by Candice Jones
CALHOUN COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
- Location: Midway between two state university towns, Oxford and Starkville, in north-central Mississippi. The closest metropolis is Memphis, Tenn., 100 miles to the north.
- Size: 354 acres.
- Price: Listed at $424,800, or $1,200 an acre.
- Character: This piece of upland Mississippi is forest and hunting land, with timber-harvesting potential, creeks, and frontage on the Yalobusha River.A drawback: Like most of the upper South, the area is subject to tornadoes and heat waves.
Photo courtesy Mossy Oaks Properties Forrest Investments Inc., McComb, Miss.
WILSON COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
- Location: Fifteen minutes south of the city of Wilson, which is becoming an outer suburb of Raleigh. The property is near I-95 and is 225 miles south of Washington, D.C. and 175 miles east of Charlotte.
- Size: 57 acres.
- Price: Offered at $125,000, or $2,200 an acre.
- Character: A level property featuring a 6.5-acre pond and a 5-acre duck swamp. There are homes on adjacent tracts, but there's thick timber for privacy and harvesting. Hunting is possible though limited. Land values are rising briskly within 90 minutes of the Raleigh-Durham metro area, so the tract has development potential. Drawback: If you're looking for a remote hideaway, you may feel too close to the hustle-and-bustle here.
Photo courtesy Carolina Forestry, Raleigh, N.C.
SUMMERS COUNTY, WEST VIRGINIA
- Location: Five miles from Hinton, the county seat as well as a historic and scenic river town. Summers County is in the southeast corner of the state, a half-day's drive from Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Washington, D.C.
- Size: 100 acres.
- Price: Offered for $360,000, or $3,600 an acre.
- Character: Features mountain views and a little New River frontage. The property, called Riverside at Sandstone, is suitable for building, with water and electricity available and paved road access. There are trails for hiking and horseback riding, and whitewater rafting on the New River is close by. Drawbacks: There are few convenient options for shopping, restaurants or theaters. Winter driving could be treacherous.
Photo courtesy Foxfire Mountain Properties, Lewisburg, W.Va.
KEEWENAW COUNTY, MICHIGAN
- Location: 360 miles north of Chicago and 275 miles northeast of Minneapolis. The nearby college and local hub town of Houghton, Mich., has commuter air service to Minneapolis.
- Size: 640 acres.
- Price: Listed at $640,000, or $1,000 an acre.
- Character: The thickly wooded Upper Peninsula is hilly and in places even mountainous. This tract, situated on the Keewenaw Peninsula that juts into Lake Superior, offers hiking and hunting plus winter sports such as snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. The lake is a half-mile away. Drawbacks: The land is remote and winters in the U.P. are cold and snowy.
Photo courtesy State Wide Real Estate, L'Anse, Mich.
JACKSON COUNTY, OREGON
- Location: About 30 miles east of Ashland, Ore., close to the California border. Near Soda Mountain and Cascade Siskiyou National Monument.
- Size: 40 acres.
- Price: Offered at $100,000, or $2,500 an acre.
- Character: Called 40 acres of "peace and quiet," there are no buildings or people, but the land works well for camping and hiking. It's situated where the eastern drylands of Oregon meet the wet fir forests. Negative: Because the land is zoned as "open space," you can't build a house. There are no rivers or streams, either.
Photo courtesy Oregon-Land.com, Jacksonville, Ore.
LEWIS AND CLARK COUNTY, MONTANA
- Location: Near the town of Lincoln, which is on a paved highway in the mountains midway between Missoula and Great Falls, just west of the Continental Divide.
- Size: 28.6 acres
- Price: Listed at $286,000, or $10,000 an acre.
- Character: On Herron Lake and near several national forests, the land features classic Montana mountain views and use of a lake for swimming, fishing and kayaking. The tract is suitable for building, with electricity already available on the adjoining property. You would need a well and a septic system. Drawback: Getting around Montana in the winter requires skilled driving and a heavy-duty truck or SUV.
Photo courtesy Mountain Homes and Land, Bozeman, Mont.