Ascent of Martin County High Point on 2016-03-01

Climber: Tom Layton

Others in Party:Charles Zerphey
Date:Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Martin County High Point
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:92 ft / 28 m

Ascent Trip Report

Charlie Zerphey and I "climbed" Martin twice. The first time was at dusk on Feb. 27. We didn't find the hill we expected, so we returned March 1 in better light to make sure we hadn't missed it.

Brian Bockhahn identified Martin's only 95-foot contour through LiDAR research with the state of NC. Since then, Martin County has posted LiDAR maps with 2-foot contours that show a 96-foot contour with 10 feet of prominence. My GPS map showed 95- and 90-foot contours.

In a county as flat as Martin, a hill like that shouldn't be hard to find. Bockhahn's trip report ( says it is both discernible and natural. Based on satellite photos and GPS points, I'm sure we were in the same spot, but we didn't see anything that prominent.

We criss-crossed the contours and trampled a lot of dry cane (which makes a nice musical noise when you break through it). The highest ground we found was the bank northeast of a stream that runs through the "shooting alley" Brian describes. There is a deer-stand here, so be careful during hunting season. I thought the bank might be man-made, but it's hard to be sure. The stream runs to a drainage ditch further southeast at the edge of a farm field, and it falls steeply enough that there is actually a one-foot waterfall that is man-made. The bank rises at most four feet above the creek, so it doesn't account for the 10-foot hill that LiDAR sees.

We accessed the area from Mayo Farm Road, following Bockhahn's driving directions. The edge of the field that he describes as due north actually runs northeast. Don't go through the field, because a drainage ditch will separate you from the high point. Instead, enter the woods to the left of the barbed-wire fence and follow a hunter's path heading northeast with the drainage ditch on your right. When you reach the stream, cross on a wooden bridge and then follow the stream bank to the northwest. This leads back to the clearing that is evident on satellite photos. The high ground should be east of this clearing.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:10 ft / 3 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Trailhead:82 ft / 24 m
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)

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