Ascent of Wild Turkey Rock on 2006-04-22

Climber: Michael Schwartz

Date:Saturday, April 22, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Wild Turkey Rock
    Elevation:3228 ft / 983 m

Ascent Trip Report

Fred Lobdell and I visited the MD second highest point, Wild Turkey Rock, a 3228' bump on Backbone Mountain that meets distance and drop-off standards (200 feet in the East, but actually meets the 300 criterion used in the West) from the 3360' state highpoint further SW along the ridge of Backbone Mountain.

From MD 135 at Deer Park, for which the quad is named, take Boiling Spring Road SE about three miles, then turn left (NE) onto Eagle Rock Road, which ends at a locked gate after another two miles. The gate is located at the road junction shown just west of the letter "U" in the word "Mountain."

Walk up the road past the graffiti-festooned Eagle Rock, and follow it NE along the ridge top as shown on the topo. When you reach the saddle after passing Eagle Rock and the bump NE of it, jog left along the main road, and then jog right along a good road that is now on the northern side of the ridge. Follow the road to just below the Wild Turkey Rock BM, staying on the uphill road at forks. Contrary to the topo, the road continues all the way to the summit. As you approach very closely to the obvious summit bump, a lesser road
beckons left and uphill. Ignore its siren call and stay on the lower road to the right, which will reward you with a trip to Wild Turkey Rock. The BM (Wilson 1941) is easy to spot, as are reference marks 1 and 2, each about thirty feet in opposite directions along the summit rocks. Hike back to your vehicle and call it a day. Well, not really...

The USGS data sheet for BM Wilson mentions that it is 300 yards SW of the highest point of the hill. Being good citizens, we bushwhacked NE through fairly open woods, using GPS to ensure we traveled 300 yards. Along the way we passed two bumps, each crowned with a substantial rock outcrop over six feet high. GPS readings taken at the two bumps show them both to be in the summit contour.
Bottom line--visit them both to claim your prize, as they are probably both higher than BM Wilson.

Another tempting approach is to park at a pullout along MD 135 NE of the summit, bushwhack through open woods and not very steep terrain to the first saddle NE of the summit, visible in April from the highway. Once on the ridge crest, bushwhack past the two bumps east of the BM and then on to the BM itself. That should be a very short hike. The pullout is at the "135" symbol at the eastern edge of the Deer Park quad.
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