VISITING THE US STATE HIGHPOINTS
I became interested in visiting the highest point in each state of the Union after Sally and I trudged up Mt. Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in 1992. Encouraged by this success, I found there was a group whose members had been climbing highpoints for years and I subsequently joined the Highpointers Club to obtain more information about the hobby.
Since I used to travel around the country on business, there were opportunities to catch a few of the less exotic high points. The following pictures were taken at each of them visited so far. Mt. Washington in 1992 was probably the most strenuous, but my recent trek to Mt. Harney in September, 2010 was surprisingly difficult.
Mt. Washington, New Hampshire (6,288 ft.) 1992
This was our first State High Point. We hiked about seven miles up a steep and well-traveled trail. As we crawled up the last few feet to the top, we were greeted by scores of people, cars, and a loud steam engine from the cog railroad. It would have been a lot easier to ride the train back down, but we opted to return in the manner we had come.
High Point, New Jersey (1,803 ft.)
The big tower was being renovated while I was there.
Mt. Davis, Pennsylvania (3,213 ft.)
Mt. Davis is situated next to a nice observation tower with lots of interpretive signs describing nearby points of interest.
Brasstown Bald, Georgia (4,784 ft.)
You can ride the bus to the top or hike up an easy trail. I hiked the trail and after locating the high point, visited the museum where I found a nice example of an old Forest Service radio.
Sassafras Mtn., South Carolina (3,560 ft.)
There was some question about where the actual high point was on Sassafra Mountain, but I feel I was in the right place.
Britton Hill, Florida (345 ft.)
This is the lowest state high point in the USA.
Campbell Hill, Ohio (1,549 ft.)
Not too far north of I-70, the Ohio high point rises gently above the surrounding terrain. This has to be one of most pleasant locations for a high point. I sat on the bench and contemplated the beautiful day.
Hoosier High Point, Indiana (1,257 ft.)
I had to knock on a couple of doors to find it. It's in a small grove of trees with a ladder to get over the fence.
Charles Mound, Illinois (1,235 ft.)
I got to this one on the second try. I climbed cross-country and made it to the top, but couldn't located the high point. The next day I took the published route from the south and was able to drive part of the way to the top on a good, well-signed road. After a short hike, I arrived at the top where there was a comfortable place to sit while signing the logbook.
Mt. Mansfield, Vermont (4,393 ft.)
I had to set the camera self-timer and run and climb to the top of the rock. I just made it.
Mt. Greylock, Massachusetts (3491 ft.)
When the road is not being repaired, this is a drive-up destination. The view is stupendous.
Mt. Frissell, Connecticut (2380 ft.) 2004
The camera focus did not work due a dropping accident back in Vermont. I didn't realize it until I downloaded the pictures at home.
Cheaha Mountain, Alabama (2407 ft.) 2004
Mt. Driskell, Louisiana (535 ft.) 2004
Mt. Driskell was a nice leg-stretching hike from the parking area by the road. I made my visit in January while driving from Maryland to Nevada.
Mt. Sunflower, Kansas (4039 ft.) 2008
Mount Sunflower is a slight bulge in the vast western Kansas prairie. I came in from I-70 on a dusty road and drove south right to the site. It is very well kept by the owners who welcome high-pointers and have provided a shelter and picnic table.
Panorama Point, Nebraska (5420 ft.) 2009
Panorama Point is on the western edge of Nebraska south of the town of Kimball. It is located south of I-80 at the end of 20 miles of graded dirt road. Wind farms are visible to the south of the marker and the high point may be occupied by a herd of Bison at various times. Fortunately, we didn't encounter any of the beasts while there. A donation may be made at the marked entrance to the final cowpath leading to the site. Three dollars per head is suggested to help with upkeep.
Timm's Hill, Wisconsin (1951 ft.) 2009
After living much of my life in Wisconsin, I decided it was time to visit what is now considered the highest point in the state. Geoff and I drove up to the Tomahawk area from Appleton after watching the Packers defeat the Bears in Green Bay the night before. The county park was easily found and the trailhead was endowed with a nice picnic area with interpretive signs. We ascended the wooded path to the benchmark and climbed the wooden observation tower for a great view of northern Wisconsin woodlands.
Harney Peak, South Dakota (7242 ft.) 2010
This peak is a long uphill climb through the pines from the parking area by the small lake. I hiked up in late afternoon and returned in the dark. I guess I was a little out of shape for the higher elevation.
White Bluff, North Dakota (3506 ft.) 2010
I had to drive on a water-filled dirt track to reach the takeoff point for the hike to the top. My Honda Civic wasn't the right vehicle for the road, but I made it in and out safely. This is one of the most scenic high points, in my opinion.
Hawkeye Point, Iowa (1670 ft.) 2010IA 1
A well-developed high point with a beautiful monument and lots of descriptive displays.
Spruce Knob, West Virginia (4861 ft.) 2010
It's easy to see why West Virginia is called the "mountain state" when you view the panorama from the observation tower. Although there is short trail from the parking lot, this is essentially a "drive-up" site. Amateur radio groups frequently operate VHF/UHF contests from here.
Eagle Mountain, Minnesota (2301 ft.) August 5, 2013
Proceeding west from Grand Marais, MN, a good paved road takes you most of the way to the trailhead for the seven mile round trip hike to the Minnesota high point. The wooded trail seemed to be made up of large rocks and tree roots interspersed with four bog areas with wooden planks. After reaching the shore of Whale Lake, the trail begins to wend upward over more rocks and roots, eventually ending up in a wooded clearing with a large plaque denoting the high point. The rock it is bolted to is over a billion years old. The return trip to the parking area was tougher than the trip up, probably due to my advancing age.
The trail and high point are in the Boundary Waters National Park and one must fill out a small questionaire before embarking on the hike. This may be an isolated area, but I passed lots of hikers of all ages going up and coming down. Don't forget mosquito repellent.
Mt. Arvon, Michigan (1979 ft.) August 6, 2013
The highest point in Michigan is located east of the pleasant town of L'Anse near the shore of Lake Superior. I stopped at the local tourism office and was given a detailed map to the site. In addition, the excellent dirt road is signed all the way to the parking area which is about 200 feet from the high point. In addition to picnic tables and a grill, there is a nice view site with a bench provided for your comfort.
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