Ascent of Campbell Hill on 2006-12-27

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Summit:Car
Peak:Campbell Hill
    Elevation:1549 ft / 472 m

Ascent Trip Report


Left Hoosier Hill at 9:58am 12/27/2006
Arrived at Campbell Hill at 12:44pm (including stops of about ½ hour)
Gates were open, permitting me to drive all the way up the hill
86.5 miles from Hoosier Hill to Campbell Hill
22 steps from parked car to elevation marker
Estimated 2 foot rise in elevation from parking spot to elevation marker
Left Campbell Hill at 1:07pm
Arrived at work 3:11pm

Accurate photos found at:
(Click on “Pictures” link towards the bottom to see many relevant photos)

One of the reasons I decided to make the peak trip today was because I had read on the internet about the fenced-in property that contains Campbell Hill. A vocational school sits on the site of this Ohio summit. A fence surrounds the entire school campus, and the fence is locked and closed on weekends and holidays. If I waited until Easter Sunday, I rationalized, I might arrive in Ohio only to find a fence that kept me from my ultimate goal. Rather than risk arrest or a scramble over the fence, I decided to go today on a mid-week trip when an open gate was expected.

I chose an eastern and then northern approach to the city of Bellefontaine, where Campbell Hill is located. The road trip took me through several smaller Ohio communities including Piqua and Urbana. The main street of Piqua has adopted a uniquely consistent architecture that makes for interesting trips through towns like this. I stopped at the local Wal-Mart to buy some film for the Campbell Hill documentation.

The route was otherwise uneventful until I passed through West Liberty on the final approach to Bellefontaine. With an elevation of 1549 ft., Campbell Hill was only 292 ft. higher than Hoosier Hill. A steep uphill climb in West Liberty made up much of that elevation gain.

Entering Bellefontaine from the south, it was quickly evident this community was proud of its honor as the highest Ohio community. Signs everywhere revealed businesses named “High Point” this, “High Point” that. Even churches and schools got in the act.

The last major turn was right on Sandusky Avenue, also known as Hwy 540. Driving this last stretch also resulted in significant elevation gains as the road climbed skyward toward the Campbell Hill site. I crossed US Hwy 33, and the school was on the right about ¾ miles beyond.

To my delight, the gate was open, and I entered the school property without incident at 12:44pm. The trip took a bit longer than I had expected. I obviously did not select the prime route to this destination. Indeed, Google Maps had shown me a different route that would have entered Bellefontaine from a more western road.

Entering the property from the north, Campbell Hill was found by following signs that steered me to the obvious summit area to the right (southwest) corner of the property about ½ mile away. Driving up the backside of Campbell Hill, I found a parking lot practically on top of the summit marker. A short 22 steps took me up about 2 feet from my car to the survey marking that identified the exact geological high point of Ohio. The area also included a flagpole, two benches, a log book box, and a historic sign that discussed the prior uses of the property and how the property got its name.

With my camera full of film, I took several shots of the area, including some showing the car at the summit, the geology marker, and the historic sign. I hiked down the grassy slopes of Campbell Hill, about 100 feet high I would guess, and I took a couple shots back up the hill toward the summit.

No one else was here to share the moment. But I signed the logbook as High Point #2 in my career (and day) to eternally memorialize my day’s accomplishment. This was my highest documented ascent to date as I bagged #43 on the US list of state high points. Now I only have 49 other states and DC to complete the US circuit.

After a brief rest to regain the strength that had been zapped from this 2-peak day, I left Campbell Hill at 1:07pm and hopped on Hwy 33 for the trip back to Fort Wayne. This return trip was also on familiar roads since this is the way we drove between Fort Wayne and my home state of Virginia. I got to work at 3:11pm, and worked a normal day until the early hours of the evening.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2 ft / 0 m
    Route:Sidewalk, about 22 steps
    Trailhead:Adjacent Parking Lot  1547 ft / 471 m
    Weather:Cold, Windy, Overcast

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