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Ascent of Jefferson County High Point on 2015-07-16

Climber: John Hasch

Date:Thursday, July 16, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Jefferson County High Point
    Location:USA-Wisconsin
    Elevation:1061 ft / 323 m

Ascent Trip Report

CoHP – JEFFERSON COUNTY, WISCONSIN
1060+ ft.
Posted to Peakbagger.com

Thursday, 7/16/2015

The candidates of Jefferson County are 2 distinct locations, and my route to each differs in major ways from the routes and locations described by Bill Shuler. I also have serious questions about whether Bill reached the proper destination when I compare his trip report to the topography of the region.

Busseyville Section 13
For the first area in Busseyville Section 13, Bill describes driving north on G Road. He crosses Dell Road on the left (west) and drives straight to address N4071. He drives to the house at the top to claim the HP.

It might be helpful to have the topo map handy. There are two hills along Highway G in the Dell Road area. One is north of Dell Road while the other is south. The hill having the higher elevation, including BM 1060, lies to the south. Bill’s trip report describes a visit to the hill to the north. While trying to determine the correct one, I noted that the address to the house atop the northern hill is “N4017”, a transposition of the address reported by Bill.

The address for the hill south of Dell Road is “N3965”. This address defines a white house with a number of farm buildings on the property. I turned into the large circular drive and parked there to ask permission to hike on their property. I went to the door and knocked. On about the third try, an elderly woman came to the door. She was very nice, and she knew that her land was the highest in Jefferson County. She granted me permission to hike after consulting with her husband. They are frequent visitor to the top as evidenced by the golf cart path that led up the hill through the tall brush. For a moment, I thought I might get a cart ride to the top. Alas, that offer did not come. But I thanked her for the permission, and I set off.

I followed the cart path SSW past the garden, behind some of the buildings and up the hill. Total ascent was about 100ft. on a hike of about 0.6mi R/T. When you get to the top and a “false summit”, you need to continue around a woodsy corner to reach the highest part of the field. Once you turn the corner, the highest ground is obvious. Step on all pebbles of interest and call it done.

I asked the farmer about the BM. She reported that her husband had seen it sometime in the past, so I looked around for it. I was not successful in finding a BM. I returned to the car and set off for the second candidate.

Little Prairie Section 26
Uncertain how I wanted to approach this HP, I stumbled upon an alternate route. From the town of Palmyra, travel east on State Road 59, also called the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. Turn south when you come to County Road Z. In about 0.6mi, you will arrive at the Emma Carlin trailhead on the right. Turn in and park.

This was a well-maintained nature area that was complete with miles of trails that departed from here. I inquired of a couple bikers that I met, and they told me they believed the HP was about 1.5mi along the trail, projecting a 3mi R/T. So I grabbed my pack and GPS and started hiking on the leftmost orange-blazed trail. I was searching for a bench that would mark the top of the trail.

The trail meandered through the woods, and I became concerned when my GPS had recorded 2 miles. I carried on, and I finally reached the bench. True to their comments, there was a nice view. But the mosquitos were not friendly today, and I did not stand still for long. Sadly, the GPS at this bench showed me to be quite a distance from the HP. There were other trails from here, so I set off on the one marked “S to Muir”.

Following my GPS, I continued along this trail until it intersected with another wider orange-blazed horse trail. I turned and followed GPS, horse trail and nose until I found the HP after a couple more turns, reaching the HP not far after a turn at an intersection marked by Post 19. I looked around but did not find the BM seen by Bill S. I returned to the parking lot the same way I came.

Back in the parking lot, the trip was actually a R/T of 6.25mi with about 180ft of gain, quite a bit longer than the bikers had projected. But then again, they had the wrong destination in mind. I drank plenty of water from the cold well located there, and I filled a couple water bottles too. As I was about to leave, a caretaker drove into the lot. I approached and asked where I might find a map of the trails system. To my pleasure, he had some park system maps with him! He gave me one before he drove away.

Apart from the hungry mosquitoes, this was a pleasant hike. I would recommend this route to anyone. Maps are certainly helpful, but they are optional if you have the GPS coordinates to the HP. There is no map kiosk at the parking lot.
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