Ascent of McGuire Benchmark on 2014-12-07

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Sunday, December 7, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:McGuire Benchmark
    Elevation:994 ft / 302 m

Ascent Trip Report

994 ft., 991 ft.

Sunday, 12/7/2014

2 candidates near BM McGuire, BM Leonard

I was traveling to Indianapolis for 3 days of continuing education. I left early the Sunday before so I could travel south and complete some Indiana HPs. My first stop was in Monroe County, home of Indiana University. Traveling south on IN37 from Martinsville, I approached the northern contour from the north. The zero point for this county was the intersection of IN 37 and IN 46. I continued south on IN 37.


0.9 – Turn right (west) onto W Vernal Pike. Continue trending west on this curvy road.
4.1 – Turn left (south) on N. Hartstrait Road
4.3 – Pass a gravel drive to your left – I mistakenly turned here at first
4.4 – Turn left (east) on signed, blacktop-paved Majestic Woods Drive, a private lane?
4.6 – Veer left at a fork in the pavement
4.7 – Arrive at 5952 Majestic Woods Drive

I left my car and walked up the front steps to ask permission to hike. As I approached, the door opened; I was greeted by a man named John. He is a new owner. The Argabrights no longer live here. After answering a few questions, he graciously agreed to let me hike up behind his home.

I walked around the east side of the house and up the hill on the approach described by Bob Schwab. Once I crested, I could see that the higher ground was to my left (west), so I began searching in that direction. Eventually, I came to the reference BM1. The metal disk contained an arrow that pointed toward BM McGuire, which I easily found to be about 25-30 paces in the direction of the arrow. An orange “No Hunting” sign hung on a tree between the two. Both benchmarks were on concrete posts that stick about a foot above the ground. Looking along the line from BM to BM1, I could see the Majestic Woods home just down the hill. So if you find the BM first, then just walk toward the house to find BM1. Sadly, I forgot to look for BM2. I expect this reference marker can also easily be found by anyone who takes time to search for it.


I returned to N Hartstrait Road. That was the zero point for traveling to the southern contour. I turned left to travel south on N Hartstrait Road.

1.2 – Continue straight (south) through the intersection with IN 48
3.2 – Turn left (east) past the Monroe County Airport onto W Airport Road
3.4 – Turn right (south) onto S Bunger Road
3.9 – Turn right (west) onto IN 45
4.1 – Turn left (south) onto Ison Road
4.5 – Continue straight (south) through the intersection with W Leonard Springs Road
5.6 – Turn left (east) onto Tower Road
5.8 – Park at the gate blocking access to the tower area

As I parked at the gate, I was immediately greeted by the barking of a small terrier dog. He was harmless, though, and he joined me on my hike up the hill to the towers. I did not find the BM2 on my way up the hill. I wandered around the top, both in the woods and in the area surrounding the two fenced towers. I did not find the BM Leonard; I agree with Bob S. that this marker was likely disturbed with the tower construction. I satisfied myself that I had wandered over all likely high spots, and I returned to my car.

On the way back down this short 500ft drive, I carefully watched for BM2. Then I spied it! It actually sits a bit off the road, perhaps 10-15 paces up the embankment in the area generally described by Bob S. This reference marker also sits atop a concrete post that sticks about a foot above the ground, on the south side of the road a bit east of a large solitary oak tree. I followed the arrow back in the direction that pointed to the benchmark, but I did not find it even with this new information.

My next destination was the nearby Greene County highpoint.
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