Ascent of Pine Hill on 2009-09-13

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:Dennis
Date:Sunday, September 13, 2009
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Pine Hill
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:740 ft / 225 m

Ascent Trip Report

We are travelling West on Interstate 90 in NY State, on our way to Welland Ontario, to help my sister move into her new condo. What better way to enjoy any road trip than a visit to a few county High Points within easy access of our route. I purposely choose this route because of my quest for PB's List "Canadian Border Co HPs".

Gary's Fallesen's guide book "Peak Experiences' NY Co HPs" says (in 2000) that the true Orleans County High Point is not accessible to hikers, he gives an alternate "Mount Albion Cemetery". We set out following Gary's suggestion but with plans to check out the true High Point to see if things are still the same after 9 years.

We exited I90 at Batavia exit 48, and travelled 15mi north on #98 to Albion, jctn #98/#31. Turned right (east) 1.8mi to the main entrance of Mount Albion Cemetery ..... a beautiful, hilly, treed place, dating back to the 1800's, a number of walkers were out on this day.

We parked inside the entrance (elev 580') and walked the narrow paved road generally south, as it winds/climbs to a T junction, turned left and climbed to the huge beautiful "Soldiers and Sailors Monument" (elev 680') ........ the alternate High Point, Gary notes that it dates back to 1843, it is abt .3mi from the entrance. This is a beautiful place worth exploring.

After an interesting visit we drove dack to the Albion road junction and travelled south on #98 1.8mi to a right (East) turn on hwy #31A. Continued West for 3 miles to a left turn on Eagle Harbor Road and after 2.5mi a right (West)on Gray Road. The TH is the dirt track on the right .45mi up Gray Road ....... The Pine Hill High Point is 250 meters up the dirt track due North, we found out later the the owner of the property lives in the farm house just before the dirt track.

We drove around checking out the area, further up the road to the left is a Gun Club, a family BBQ was in progress. We drove in and inquired about the Pine Hill High Point, the head person "Chris" referred us to "Dennis" ...... he was well aware of high points, he's a pilot. I told him about Peakbagger, he was very interested and wanted to help. He said that he knew the owner of the property that the High Point is on,
"Marlin is a good friend of mine and I'm sure he won't mind if you go up there".
I told him of the guide's book warning, he replied,
"That can't be right, I'll go with you if you want, he lives in that farm house", pointing to the house noted above.

We drove to the farm house, unfortunately no one was home,
"Lets go", said Dennis as he started out walking towards the dirt track.
Rose stayed back in the house's driveway.
We hiked up the dirt track (bean field to our right) to a sand quarry at about 150 meters, lots of evidence of dirt bikes. The track bends right and left again as it goes around the rim of the quarry, to an obvious height of land in the middle of a tall grass field (just before the woods and to the left of the bean field, past a steel post) ...... this High Point is about 250 meters from the road.

Dennis was an extremely helpful neighbourly guy, I don't think I would have accessed the High Point with the owner being away, I felt ok with Dennis. Although I must say from the condition of the area and what I saw ....dirt track, dirt bikes, truck tracks in the sand quarry and grass field ..... I don't see why a hiker would not be allowed to walk on the track.
However, permission to enter any private property is always a must.

We returned to the car and drove Dennis back to his BBQ. We thanked Dennis ...... very satisfied with our accomplishment we found our way back to hwy #31 and drove West to Niagara County High Point.

Meeting Dennis today is another example why I think that someone is always watching out for me was meant to be that I visit the true High Point of Orleans County and not just the alternate ..... for what other reason did I meet Dennis.


Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:110 ft / 33 m
    Elevation Loss:110 ft / 33 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:110 ft / 33 m
    Distance:0.6 mi / 1 km
    Route:dirt track from gray road sw of albion
    Trailhead:gray road sw of mount albion  630 ft / 192 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:110 ft / 33 m
    Route:dirt track from gray road sw of albion
    Trailhead:gray road sw of mount albion  630 ft / 192 m

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