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Blog :: 02-2015

Recreational Land Investment For Sale Somerset County

This newly listed forested lot for sale in Concord Township, Somerset County has all of the components for quality recreation and investment. When buying land many of our customers have a list of similar requirements. Here is a list of the most commonly requested features which this lot enjoys.

  1. Good Access - A parcel of land that you cannot legally get to has reduced value. The savvy buyer will be sure the acreage they are looking for has a good deeded right of way or fronts on a maintained public road. Care should be taken to certify an apparent access is a legal one.
  2. Power - Some customers will consider off grid locations, but the majority of people like the convenience of being on the grid because it is simply cheaper and easier.



    136 +/- acres Concord Twp - Little Houston Brook Road frontage with electric at street.


  3. Dry Land - Maine buyers know that finding a large parcel of property that is completely free of wetland is probably impossible with all the streams, ponds, vernal pools and forested wetlands in our state. They look for a good percentage of dry land with soils that promote the growing of trees and other plants. The dryer the land the more options for building sites and future development there will be.
  4. Water Frontage - Almost every potential buyer either wants to be on or near some kind of water. Man is naturally drawn to wild rivers, streams, lakes and ponds for the recreation, views and resources.


    Frontage on Houston Brook in Winter 2015

    Lots of Frontage on Houston Brook


    Interior Roads - On larger tracts of land having a road or trail system is a great advantage to better use the land. The best parcels have a road through the property that makes available different building sites and a reduced cost for managing the timber on the property.

  5. Views - It is difficult to put a value on great views, but most customers hope to find them on the parcel they purchase.


    Nearby Kennebec River in Bingham Maine

    Nearby Kennebec River in Bingham Maine


  6. Nearby Recreation - When buying a property location is a big consideration. For those investing in land for recreation, things like maintained trails for snowmobile, ATV riding and hiking are a big benefit. Nearby waterways for fishing and boating appeal to the outdoor minded buyer. Another important  consideration is the culture in the area. Do the local residents also appreciate the natural environment and are there nearby businesses and services catering to the rec buyer.



    Nearby Groomed and Maintained Snowmobile Trails


  7. Timber - Not all buyers are focused on commercial timber value, but few desire to own a recent clear cut. As an investment, timber has always been a pretty safe bet for the long run. Healthy stands of trees of various ages, quality soils for better growth and the proximity of nearby markets for the harvested timber all will be considered by the educated investor.

If you are reading this and are like many of our other customers looking for the features listed above, this new listing in Concord Township has all of these features. It contains 136 +/- acres of wooded land with frontage on a 4 season road, electric at the street, frontage on a mountain trout stream, some quality trees, interior road and just minutes from the Kennebec River and other recreation. See more details at our LISTINGS or call or email for a complete property information package.

Recreation Destination - West Branch Penobscot River


West Branch2

West Branch Penobscot River Near Telos Road


Today was one of those bitter, cold, I want to stay inside kind of days in Maine. So I had a little day dream of one of my favorite places, the West Branch of the Penobscot River. It flows out of Seboomook Lake just north of Moosehead Lake. This section of the river is extremely remote and is accessed by private logging roads from either the Rockwood area or though the Katahdin Region via Millinocket. There is no need to give you directions just pick up a copy of the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer. I never drive into remote sections of Maine without it. Most of the real estate in this region of Maine is owned by large timberland owners who rarely sell, so finding a recreational property to purchase may not be possible. The good news for outdoors people, these owners do allow access to their lands through the North Maine Woods organization with manned gated checkpoints. They will charge reasonable road use and camping fees so have a little cash with you when you enter the woods. Fishing is good for landlocked salmon in the pools below the dam on Seboomook. Be careful wading the river is deep and fast in places. A canoe can be launched and a wilderness canoe trip from here to Hanibal's Crossing on the Golden Road would make for a great outing. From the crossing the West Branch flows though remote forest to Chesuncook Lake where moose and deer are more plentiful than people. Expect to see them wading in the shallows around a bend in any of the slower river sections.


Rafting in Maine

Rafting in Maine


The next section of the West Branch begins at McKay Station below Ripogenous Dam. This is the most popular and busy section of the river. This is where many white water rafting and kayaking enthusiasts begin their journey. This is no place for a canoe! Fishing is possible around the power station and occasionally a lunker landlocked salmon is caught here. The whitewater begins immediately below the station and is an exciting experience if you are brave enough to give it a try. The steep canyon walls and rapids through this section make fishing difficult to impossible. The water flattens out briefly at Little Eddy and can be fished from shore with careful wading or from a canoe. This is fly fishing only water from the dam to the bridge at Telos Road and the landlocked salmon need to be 26 inches or longer to be kept with trophy fish caught every year.

The West Branch from Rip Dam to Ambajejus Lake is probably the most scenic section of the river with Mount Katahdin towering above it. The gorge near the dam has a rough trail along the north river bank. Great views of the river and its steep canyon walls along this trail make it worth bringing your camera. Paddlers will be challenged by some of the most technical whitewater in Maine with some class 4 and 5 rapids just before the Big Eddy.


Fly Fishing West Branch Maine

Fly Fishing West Branch Maine


There is a wilderness campground run by the Chewonki Foundation at the Big Eddy. This can be accessed by car from the Golden Road out of Millinocket. The campground has plenty of sites for campers, tents and a few cabins are available. You can also get a hot shower if you have been in the wilderness for several days.

Below the Big Eddy a series of rapids and dead waters meander through the woods before the river flows into the Pemadumcook Chain of Lakes at Ambajejus Lake. Along the way you pass the southern boundary of Baxter State Park, the Appalachian Trail and many good camping spots. Leaving the lakes at North Twin Dam, the West Branch flows through a series of ponds and dams, around the town of Millinocket and East Millinocket eventually meeting the East Branch to form the main stem of the Penobscot River in Medway. The adventurous angler will enjoy some secret landlocked salmon spots and truly remarkable smallmouth bass fishing in the small stump filled ponds.


Landlocked Salmon

Landlocked Salmon


Come to the West Branch this year and enjoy the outdoors. A couple of notes before you get here. The upper river water levels can change quickly below the dams so use caution when wading the river. The State of Maine has a ban on transporting firewood in hopes to stop the spread of invasive insects like the Emerald Ash Borer and others. Do us a favor and buy your campfire wood at the camp sites. Finally, if you are bringing a boat and motor and waders, be sure to property clean them to prevent the spread of invasive plants and organisms. Maine has been fortunate to avoid many of the pests that have plagued other areas of the U.S.

If you are looking for a property in the West Branch Region, land, home or camp, check out the listing on this site or at United Country McPhail Realty

If you are new to the area and want an expert to show you the river and other secrets of this part of Maine, click HERE to contact our favorite Master Maine Guide.

New App for Woodland Owners

At the annual meeting of SWOAM a discussion came up about a new app for smartphones called About My Woods.  I down loaded it immediately and have used it for the past few weeks. It has some great features.

The mapping menu is cool. You will find terrain, satellite, soil, water shed and land cover mapping all showing your location on the earth.

The app has a decent description of plants, trees, wildlife and invasive plants and insects. I like the quality photos and description making identification much easier.

A "who can help" menu has contact information for district foresters, local mills and more.

The app is from the North East State Foresters Association (NEFA) and the best part is it is free.

To get the app go to

Coastal Timberland Investment Near Belfast Maine



Downtown Belfast, Maine


Anyone looking for a reasonable investment in coastal Maine land should consider the Belfast area a great place to start. You can find land here for timber/recreation as well as development use. Prices will vary greatly depending on the size of the parcel, its proximity to the shore and many other factors.

One of the big attractions to many of the small Waldo County towns is the close proximity to the Coast and Penobscot Bay. Belfast is one of my favorite small cities in Maine. It is not as well known as Bar Harbor and Rockland but that is not a bad thing.



Boardwalk Along Belfast Bay


Belfast has a great downtown area with small specialty shops. One of my favorite don't miss spots is Rollie's Pub located at 37 Main Street. The atmosphere is energetic with staff and locals who are Maine friendly. After a meal at Rollie's a short walk down to the town board walk along the bay will help burn off a few French fries. The boardwalk and public park area on Belfast Bay is a great chance to see some impressive yachts in harbor.


Swanville 103 +/- Acres

Swanville 103 +/- Acres


Peter and I listed a gorgeous 100+ acre woodlot in Swanville this week. The weather was beautiful for a snowshoe but the snow conditions were not. Anyone who snowshoes knows how much fun three feet of fresh powder can be. A little sun, wind and warmer temps should improve the conditions for this winter activity. This property located on Oak Hill Road has some nice timber, a long access driveway and a partly constructed home/cabin in need of some TLC and good carpenter skills. There is an existing well, septic and concrete pad for a garage. Power has been run onto the property. It is just 5 miles from the property to downtown Belfast!

If you own a home in town and have been looking for a place to hunt, hike, cut firewood or invest, you should look into this new listing. Call us to if you want to see this property this winter. If you need more information click the link here for more details.

Property Information Package - Oak Hill Road Swanville, Maine



Unfinished building near end of driveway




Maine Recreation - Visit Mount Katahdin

I grew up nearby Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park in north central Maine. I enjoy hiking the many trails, paddling its small ponds and fishing for the parks wild brook trout. For those new to Maine or just discovering the joy of hiking and exploring wild places, I encourage you to visit.

The park was generously donated to the people of Maine by Percival Baxter, Maine governor from 1921 - 1925. It took Baxter many years to raise the funds and negotiate the purchase of the land. Baxter made his final land purchase in the 1960's. Since then additional lands have been acquired and today the park has in excess of 209,000 acres.



Views of Hamlin Ridge from Cathedral Trail



Without a doubt, the crown jewel of Baxter State Park is Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest peak at about 5,270 feet. When asked why they climb mountains, many people are often heard replying "Because it was there". Well I don't know about the rest of you but I climb mountains for the view, and Katahdin views are some of the best in Maine.

The hike to the top of Maine is not for the unfit. The rugged trails to the peak all vary in difficulty but no matter which trail you pick, it is going to be a long day in the field. This is not intended to discourage you, just know you need to be prepared physically for the experience. Many not familiar with the mountain think that just a mile of elevation is but a hill. Not so, when you start as close to sea level as Katahdin does.

To get to Baxter Peak you have a number of options. From the Park Tote Road you can find parking near the Katahdin Stream Campground and locate the Hunt Trail. This trail is also the Maine end of the Appalachian Trail and does get a lot of use. This is one of the less exposed trails to the summit. The trail is a little more than 5 miles long.


Author on Hunt Trail

Author on Hunt Trail


Another potential trail option accessed from the Park Tote Road is the Abol Trail. The trail was closed in 2014 because of a debris slide on the existing trail. The Park Authority has made plans to reroute the trail and last word was the trail may be completed by the fall of 2015. Do check with Park Officials before heading out for a hike. There are penalties for any use of the closed trail section.

My favorite trails to the summit of Maine begin from Roaring Brook Campground. From here you will find the Chimney Pond and Helon Taylor Trail heads. The Helon Taylor Trail proceeds to Pamola Peak on the eastern side of Katahdin. From here it is just one mile across the arête known as the Knife Edge to Baxter Peak.



Basin Pond - Chimney Pond Trail

Basin Pond - Chimney Pond Trail


Chimney Pond Trail is one of my favorites for a number of reasons. First it is quite scenic. Second, my wife likes to hike but is not a fan of exposed trails and heights. She enjoys hiking with me to Chimney Pond where she can spend part of the day enjoying the scenery and reading a good book. She is often rewarded with a visit by a moose to the pond. Along this trail a short off trail brings you to the Basin Ponds. The views of Katahdin's north basin from here are stunning. The reason I like this trail the most is because it gets me to my #1 favorite trail - Cathedral.



Ascending Cathedral Trail - Chimney Pond in background


The Cathedral Trail gets its name from a series of rock formations that resemble the buttresses and spires of cathedrals. The trail is short but very steep and exposed. If you don't like exposure I would not recommend this trail. If this does not bother you, the views in all directions including Chimney Pond, the Knife Edge, Hamlin Ridge and the outlying expansive forest land are amazing.



Chimney Pond



There are other trails to the summit that I have not mentioned here. To see more information on these you can get both paper and online maps from the Park Service and other sources. Also, there are many other trails in Baxter State Park that don't require as much commitment as a climb to Baxter Peak. I will try to write about these in future posts.

For park and other information click on the following links: