Ascent of Hampton City High Point on 2006-07-30

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Sunday, July 30, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hampton City High Point
    Elevation:30 ft / 9 m

Ascent Trip Report

Back in Hampton, we set out to explore the four scattered "highpoints", all little blips of land that rise (so say the maps) to just above 30 feet elevation. Two of the four are located in a city-run woodlands park called Sandy Bottom off of Interstate-64. The other two are north in housing tracts. From I-64, we followed local roads to the entrance into the park. We parked at the visitor's center lot.

The two areas in this park don't necessarily agree with the map, since the park is relatively new, but it is apparent that there are areas that rise above other areas. We walked a couple of the trails, one on the south side of the access road (forget the name) and another near a couple of the ponds. Even areas near the parking lot looked like contenders since they had mature trees growing so they can't have been too "artificial". We spent 30 minutes total walking some of the trails. I liked one rise just west of the visitor's center, along a gravel trail just before it entered into the trees. When we left I felt good we'd given the park a reasonable walk-through. The weather was hot and humid so we decided to reward ourselves with a lunch at a restaurant across the way in the mall.

The other two areas were north on Big Bethel Road about a mile-plus, and both in neighborhoods. We visited both areas and tagged a tree at one. Neither area seemed to have any significant relief and probably are not contenders for the highpoint. Ironically, a massive landfill hill rises behind one such highpoint. We had no desire to claim that one.

We did, however, spend part of our day at Fort Monroe on Hampton's southern tip. Beth lived here as a teen with her family. The Fort is still an active military base, and dates from pre-Civil War and is notable for its massive earthen battlements and moat. A museum exists within the rooms of the bulwarks, parts of which were an old jail. Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, was imprisoned here for awhile.

We scrambled up to the top of the bulwarks, which is a combination of massive brick and mortar construction and earth piled against it. Beth showed me where the teens on the base would go to sneak smokes and beer. Given that the ground here was literally at sea level, the tops of the earthen battlements were probably above 30 feet elevation. Unfortunately man-made highpoints don't count, but hiking up onto these was far more satisfying than the bumps we encountered up the road.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:5 ft / 1 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.3 mi / 0.5 km
    Trailhead:25 ft / 7 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Open Country

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