Ascent of McHenry County High Point on 2014-10-19
|Other People:||Solo Ascent|
Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Sunday, October 19, 2014|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
|Peak:||McHenry County High Point|
| Elevation:||1190 ft / 362 m|
Ascent Trip ReportI was able to find the county’s GIS map viewer site called Athena (http://www.mchenrycountygis.org/Athena/) that has 2-foot LIDAR-derived contours if you zoom in closely enough and chose the right layers to display. This shows that there is only one 1190-foot contour, located at benchmark 1189 on the USGS map (area 7), and two 1188-foot contours to the NW and SW corresponding to areas 6 and 8 in Roy Wallen’s report. The northern 5 areas are all lower so I decided not to visit them.
I drove north on Reese Road from Oak Grove Road, looking for a place to park, when I was very pleasantly surprised to see that a brand-new trailhead complex has been constructed for the “High Point Conservation Area”, complete with a paved access road to a little parking lot, trailhead signs, and an outhouse. Very nice. I parked, grabbed a map from the trailhead sign, and hiked the main loop trail, which led through tallgrass and forest to the obvious rise (actually a bit steep) that marked the high point.
This is the highest point in NE Illinois and the most prominent (almost 300 feet, wow!) so a worthy objective even if you are no a CoHPer. I then followed the trail down the south side of the little summit hill and struck off across a field to the SW. I reached Reese Road (where I had just been), left the county park land, crossed it on foot, and tried to get to the 1188’ area there. There was a large barn complex, with a fence and gate, featuring a sign warning of “teams of guard dogs” attacking trespassers. It was hard to tell where highest ground was here, so I touched all candidate areas outside the fence and even went inside the open gate a bit to investigate a man-made pile of dirt before calling it and returning across Reese Road to the park land.
I completed the trail loop and returned to the parking area. The NW 1188’ contour, it turns out, is just behind the outhouse at the parking area, in some tallgrass, so I quickly tagged that, too. I feel that the main 1190’ summit is all that is needed to claim McHenry County. Overall this one is highly recommended.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||72 ft / 21 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||72 ft / 21 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||1.6 mi / 2.6 km|
| Quality:||3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack|
| Weather:||Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy|
| Gain on way in:||42 ft / 12 m|
| Gain Breakdown:||Net: 2 ft / 0 m; Extra: 40 ft / 12m|
| Loss on way in:||40 ft / 12 m|
| Distance:||0.5 mi / 0.8 km|
| Route:||Nature Tr|
| Start Trailhead:||County Park TH 1188 ft / 362 m|
| Loss on way out:||32 ft / 9 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 2 ft / 0 m; Extra: 30 ft / 9m|
| Gain on way out:||30 ft / 9 m|
| Distance:||1.1 mi / 1.8 km|
| Route:||Nature Tr|
| End Trailhead:||1188 ft / 362 m|
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