Ascent of Kyles Mountain on 2008-05-16

Climber: Scott Surgent

Date:Friday, May 16, 2008
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Kyles Mountain
    Elevation:1161 ft / 353 m

Ascent Trip Report

Today was going to be another rest day, so the night before I asked Beth if I could run out and hike a couple of highpoints in the early morning, while Beth slept in, which she was agreeable to. Today was fixing to be one of the wetter days, and that prompted me to look at a couple lower-elevation highpoints farther out from Buena Vista.

On the list for this morning were the Appomattox County highpoint at Kyles Mountain, and for a chaser, the Prince Edward County highpoint a few miles south. Leaving Buena Vista before 6 a.m., I drove east along US-60 down from the mountains and onto the gentler, lower elevation foothill ("piedmont") regions. The weather was drizzly but not terrible. The scenery was quite lovely and very rural. I enjoyed the drive very much.

Eventually I worked my way toward Kyles Mountain, leaving US-60 at Virginia State Route VA-24. I entered into Appomattox County, then drove a lesser paved road a couple of miles to put me east of the little hill. This area is low rolling hills, most of it heavily forested. I seemed to be apart from any residences, which was good, although I didn't sense access was restricted much, if at all.

The route to Kyles Mountain follows a dirt logging road, and runs about one mile each way. I started hiking at 7:45 a.m. in foggy, misty conditions. A new gate spans the dirt road from where I parked, but despite its new-ness, the gate had minor vandalism damage. I suspect this is a popular hangout for bored local teens with beer.

Moving quickly, I followed the road as it descended about 60 feet to a low-point, then bent slightly left to where the road met with another road, this one along the main "ridge" and going north-south. Most of this stretch of hiking was open, the region having been logged within the last couple of years. The new saplings were still fairly small and immature. But now on the main ridge, I started to enter into more mature stands of growth.

I hiked north about another half-mile to the highest hill, the summit of Kyles Mountain. As expected, the summit is wooded with no views, but it is well-defined and I spent a couple minutes here inspecting the area. The one-way hike had taken just 20 minutes.

On the hike out, I came upon a "Posted: No Trespassing" sign. It was facing the other way and I would not have seen it coming up. Well, a lot of good that does me now, right? It was still early in the morning on a foggy weekday, so I was not expecting anyone to come by or hassle me.

I made the walk out in about 20 minutes, my total time apart from the car less than an hour. It had been a reasonably nice morning hike-stroll. The fog hindered views, but probably helped keep me invisible. The usual bane of rural highpoints, barking dogs, did not notice me in the fog. I heard no barking.

After the hike, I drove into the town of Appomattox, where the surrender of the Confederates took place to the Union Army in 1865, ending the Civil War. However, lazy me, I just drove by the buildings. I stopped in town for gas and snacks, then drove south to Lyle Mountain, the Prince Edward County highpoint.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:300 ft / 91 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Trailhead:861 ft / 262 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike

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