River Ridge West
Gadsden County, Florida⁞3694± ACRES
Sporting Property Located in the Famed Red Hills Plantation Belt just 15 miles North of Tallahassee, FL
- 3,694 +/- acres Sporting Property in the Famed Red Hills Plantation Belt, Gadsden County, FL
- 3.1 +/- miles frontage on the beautiful Ochlockonee River
- 33-acre lake and 8.5-acre lake great for bass fishing
- 18-acre natural duck pond with wood ducks and ringnecks
- 1 mile on both sides of Shaw Creek flow through the property; park-like hardwood creek bottoms & cypress sloughs
- Bordered by and in the neighborhood of other large landowners
- Diverse and multi-faceted
- Pristine pine savannahs managed for quail for decades with prescribed fire
- 20-acre dove field
- The uplands are a prime example of natural pine savannah habitat
- 720 sq. ft. 1 BD/1BA lakeside cabin, with its large screened-in and open-air decks
- 760 sq. ft. 1 BD/1BA cabin tucked into the woods
- 2,000 sq ft metal steel pole barn, a large 2,396 sq. ft. metal equipment barn and shop which includes 908 sq. ft. of heated area
- The entire property has been manicured, strategically planted, limb pruned, and otherwise groomed for aesthetics
- Rolling topography, towering pines, wiregrass, magnolias, camellias, live oak allees
- Year-round protein food plots and condo stands in place
- Three 4-inch wells
- Substantial future timber revenue
- Located just 15 miles to downtown Tallahassee; 6.6 miles to the nearest Publix grocery; 26 miles to historic Thomasville, GA; 7 miles to Havana, FL
- Significant “Higher and Better Use”
Rare Opportunity on a Highly Managed Wild Quail Plantation of this Magnitude, Strategically Located on the Outskirts of Tallahassee, with Significant “Higher and Better Use”
Diverse and Multi-Faceted, This Property is a Shining Example of Great Land Stewardship, in a Great Location, with Major “Higher and Better Use” Upside
River Ridge West is a high-quality 3,694.24-acre Sporting Property located in the famed Red Hills plantation belt just 15 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida. Diverse and multi-faceted, this property is one that is very dear to our hearts and stands as a shining example of great land stewardship, in a great location, with major “higher and better use” upside.
The neighborhood is exceptional and bordered by like-minded landowners; bordered by the 3,785-acre River Ridge, the 797-acre Longview, the 487-acre Big Bear Ranch, and more. River Ridge West has pristine pine savannahs managed for quail for decades with prescribed fire, a plethora of rich water features such as 60 +/- acres in lakes, park-like hardwood creek bottoms, cypress sloughs, more than 3 miles of Ochlockonee River frontage, and 1 mile of both sides of Shaw Creek flowing through the property!
However, what stands out as well, is that almost the entire property has been manicured, strategically planted, limb pruned, and otherwise groomed for aesthetics. For almost two decades, the landowner has created what could be described as a “Maclay Gardens or Calloway Gardens” landscape effect; however, here it’s 100% native plantings with pruning, thinking, and subtlety incorporated throughout the property. The landowner has his own nursery and team of horticulturalists/managers that work exclusively for him and a group of highly skilled outside consultants (of which some have worked for him for almost four decades). They have not only created a quail, turkey, duck, and deer paradise, but it’s also exceptionally beautiful. One isn’t just hunting deer here, but sitting in a blind that has been groomed for natural aesthetics. One doesn’t just hunt quail here; the courses are a visual masterpiece. On top of it all, there is timber growing everywhere, high-quality timber at that.
“Essentially, the landowner enjoys taking hikes while he is negotiating deals. His passion is aesthetics, so when he’s on a walk and sees an imperfection - it could be a limb that should be pruned or a place that could use a splash of color like the golden leaves of a fall cypress, or it could be adding Wiregrass or Longleaf - he will add it. I have seen limb pruners working out of a bucket truck pruning pines 30 feet high and working years on end. Thousands of trees fertilized, too. Then comes in the gallon containers of Longleaf and then Wiregrass plugs, custom grown at a nursery for just this property. Oak and magnolia alleys. I’ve been doing this for 30 years; and outside of Mr. Dahl’s properties, there is nothing like this. The fact that this is River Ridge, his signature property, there has been no holding back.” - Jon Kohler
Put together over three decades by one of Jon and Walter’s first clients, Mr. Jim Dahl, and personally managed and groomed by Walter as the property manager, Walter’s connection to this property literally runs roots deep. For over 25 years, Walter worked managing what has now grown into the 7,500-acre River Ridge Plantation, and was instrumental in acquiring the additional western acreage almost 20 years ago.
“Having spent years enjoying and managing this property, I can truly attest there are very few properties out there that have the overall wildlife attributes and recreational opportunities as River Ridge West.” - Walter Hatchett
The uplands are a prime example of natural pine savannah habitat that once encompassed over 90M acres across the Coastal Plain. Less than 10% is left, and this is as good and diverse of an example as it gets.
Managed with fire for decades, the aesthetics are strong, with enhanced stands of long leaf and wiregrass that were planted as seedlings. From the camellias to the live oak allees, Walter helped this great land steward bring his vision to life; and the next land steward will see this vision continue. Acres grew, prescribed fire was implemented, food plots were sowed and planted; and today the land is ripe for a new steward to harvest its recreational enjoyment.
This is an extremely game-rich environment. In fact, Walter and current land manager Travis Sherman personally harvested the first place, prize-winning gobbler for the first Tall Timber’s Annual Turkey Invitational in 2006…1 7/8ths inch spurs, and an 11-inch beard. The turkey still holds the record for the top turkey harvested during this annual event. Walter and Travis together have harvested several winning birds for this annual event including in 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2019. Travis’ daughter Raegan has also won the youth division herself numerous times. The sheer number of big Florida bucks are incredible due to great bedding grounds, hardwoods, planted year-round food plots, and great natural water sources. Large like-minded adjoining landowners further contribute to the incredible game flow here.
With three major lakes, plus a natural duck pond, recreation is nearly unlimited. One 33-acre lake and an 8.5-acre lake are great for bass fishing, while a small waterfront cabin overlooks the larger lake. There is an approximately 18-acre natural duck pond that attracts a good number of wood ducks and ringnecks, as well as a great 20-acre dove field. The quail habitat is exceptional due to gently rolling topography, towering pines, wiregrass, and scattered oaks.
The outdoor recreation does not just stop at great hunting and fishing. Whether kayaking on the Ochlockonee River or hiking/trail riding on endless miles of trails and roads, photography opportunities, or bird watching, River Ridge West is truly a nature lover’s paradise.
In addition to the 720 sq. ft. 1 BR/ 1 BA lakeside cabin, with its large screened-in and open-air decks, there are several other improvements on the property. There is a 760 sq. ft. 1 BD/1 BA rustic cabin tucked into the woods near the lakeside cabin, a metal steel 2,000 sq ft pole barn, and a large 2,396 sq. ft. metal equipment barn and shop centered near the front of the property, which includes 908 sq. ft. of heated area. Note, the lakeside cabin and cabin in the woods could use some TLC and have been heavily discounted. The storage equipment is new and is in exceptional working order.
With an ideal location just 15 miles to downtown Tallahassee, 6.6 miles to the nearest Publix grocery, 26 miles to historic Thomasville, GA, and 7 miles to Havana, FL, this is a rare opportunity to own a recreational investment in the Red Hills.
“The additional upside inherent in a “Florida-side” plantation not yet under a conservation easement is something most people aren’t aware of. Florida is the #1 growth state in America. Its 20–30-year real estate cycles are well-documented. While the value curve across the state may have some dips, it has always, always regained its values and then risen to even new peaks. That’s indisputable. What most people don’t know, is how that relays to real estate values in the Red Hills and how to monetize this trend through conservation easements. A great example of where things are headed is by looking at where they’ve been. It’s been 19 years ago that I purchased the 975-acre Centerville Farms for $15,000 per acre and created the award-winning Centerville Conservation Community. Today, the value of those 200 lots amounts to $110,000 per acre (for interior lots and $175,000 per acre for lakefront lots). Imagine the conservation easement implications if this is applied to River Ridge West today! Also, in 2006 we made an unsolicited offer on the 4,000-acre El Destino Plantation for $15,000 per acre! It wasn’t on the market at the time and was declined. This, too, shows the peak “higher and better use” value during the last cycle on a property located 12 miles from the State Capital. Interestingly, River Ridge West is slightly more than 14 miles from the Capital. While the quality of the hunting and aesthetics may be debatable and subject to personal opinion, the fact that a few nearby properties similarly located outside Tallahassee have commanded values three times the current asking price is irrefutable. Given Florida’s proven track record and the fact that its growth is trending more aggressively than at any other time, the question is not “if” this property will go from being worth $19,500,000 to $55,500,000, but “when.” Essentially, one can purchase River Ridge West today for the same plantation price but have the astronomical “HBU” upside that others don’t have. To make it even better, this extra value can be “harvested” or monetized at any time during the hold by simply placing a conservation easement on some or all of the property.” – Jon Kohler
This is a rare opportunity on a highly managed wild quail plantation of this magnitude, strategically located on the outskirts of Tallahassee, with significant “higher and better use” - of which, its excess value can be monetized at any time. There is not yet a conservation easement on this property so this additional “HBU” value can be harvested now, or its value passed down tax-free to future generations. Given the Red Hills' history of being “recession-proof” and Florida’s proven cycles, this recreational property is poised to be looked at in the near future as an investment opportunity of the century. Its location and the appreciation aspects of this property are unrivaled. Its wildlife and aesthetic attributes are indisputable.
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