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Ascent of South Park Hills on 2018-03-16

Climber: Ben Lostracco

Others in Party:supported by Rose
Per TR
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, March 16, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:South Park Hills
    Location:USA-Kentucky
    Elevation:902 ft / 274 m

Ascent Trip Report

I came here armed with Bob Schwab's detailed TR, which is still good, I did however ended-up approaching some of the areas differently because of access issues.
I visited all of the 10 areas (numbered a la Peakbagger) over 2 days, all as per this one only TR. This TR attempts to update/add detail to some areas only where necessary and provide a different route for the 4 areas on South Park Hills. This is not a stand alone TR, one must read Bob.
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OUR FIRST DAY 2018-03-15 .... successful at 6 areas.

FOUR AREAS (5, 6, 7 & 8) ON HOLSCLAW HILL ... (successful)
We found our way to the Jefferson/Bullitt County Line on Holsclaw Hill Road, a driveway on the left (the county line) heads west to 2 houses. The house on the right #802 is in Jefferson County, the one of the left in Bullitt County. We met/chatted with Jack West who has lived at #802 for 15 years, a nice gentleman full of information for the area.
AREA 5, shown at west of the road at the entrance of his driveway, is in a huge closed contour, and after checking out the area, I believe ground inside the woods abt 130+ yds right-of-north of Area 5, is a candidate (38.07979,-85.74561).
AREA 6 - To the right (east) of the road at the County Line is the signed "Paul Yost Recreational Area Trail" which heads northeast on the ridge for a short distance where it drops off to the left and a smaller trail continues on the ridge to the obvious HP (.5 miles RT).

ONE AREA (9) ON JEFFERSON HILL ... (successful)
Bob's directions got us to house with MB#12010. He writes "...... stop at an olive/tan house at the crest in the road.....". There was no one home at this house or at the 2 houses across the road. There were no dogs around so we went for it (an easy .3 miles RT).

ONE AREA (10) 0.5 MILES NORTHWEST OF METZ GAP. ... (successful, 1 mile, 320' gain, 55 minute RT)
As Bob alludes-to, Bear Camp Road is a very narrow road at the Metz Gap area and finding parking is a problem. After driving up to Metz Gap and back down, we were able to find a very small spot on the east side of the road at abt .2 miles north of the Gap (38.07941,-85.80668, elev 620').
I hopped over the deep roadside ditch and bushwacked/climbed a westerly line abt 200 yds to the top of the ridge (38.07895,-85.80837). This is a very steep slope requiring all-fours at a few spots, the woods are open with no underbrush to speak-of. I huff-and-puffed with numerous granny breaks.
Once on top I followed Bob's footsteps along the ridge line (generally northwest) to the obvious HP (38.08205,-85.81035), having to deal with the patches of briars on-route. I descended in 16 minutes.

FOUR AREAS (1, 2, 3 & 4) IN THE SOUTH PARK HILLS ... (unsuccessful on 1st day)
We drove west on Granger Road for .8 miles to an automated locked gate (38.10649,-85.71733). Near the key pad there is contact information, Dennis Thomas (502-291-1078) and Frank Harris (502-396-2544). We called both numbers and got an answering machine. There was no one home at the last house on the left. The last house on the right had all sorts of posted signs and did not look too inviting. Not in a risky-kind-of-mood so we decided to end the day - find a Wi-Fi and check out possible other approaches, which we did.
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OUR 2ND DAY 2018-03-16 ... successful at last 4 areas on South Park Hills ... 4 miles, gain, 2:20 hours RT.
This morning we first went to the east side of South Park Hills and checked out accesses off of Barracks Road. We drove all the way to the north end (38.10359,-85.70168), just before a gate. A woods road on the left heads/climbs west to the ridge at AREA 2. Unfortunately everything is posted, and a visit to the house just before confirmed things, "No you can't go up there. You can get up there from the other side."
Secondly we went to Hillview Drive .6 miles south (38.09724,-85.70180) which climbs west. At abt 400yds on the left is a steep concrete driveway to the highest house. John Brooks was on his way out and said that he couldn't allow access without his presence, "Come back later today and I'll let you go up." I thanked him and told that I might be back. A bushwack/climb to the ridge would come out at AREA 3, probably the shortest/easiest of all the routes.
Thirdly we looked at Levi's route starting at (38.08932,-85.70203)- a Power Line R-O-W climbs west to the ridge in the area of the Riley BM (a good route). A house is just north of this R-O-W 400 yds west. There was no one home and not sure if the Power Line R-O-W crosses their property so I let it be.

Finally we moved to the west side and found our route (all my hiking distances are estimates only).
We found our way to the JCT Hwy 1020 and N Lakeview Drive and went north on 1020 for .25 miles to a gated/unused entrance on the right (posted, leads to an abandoned large building with a sign "body Shop"). We parked here, this was my TH (38.08524,-85.71960). .3 miles north is the entrance to the large industrial complex "General Shale Brick", shutdown with a "For Sale" sign, not a sole around.

My hiking route is heavily used by ATVers and thereby I think its not a problem for hikers.
From my TH I followed an ATV trail north (15yds from/parallel to 1020) for 100 yds, where I went right (east), entered the woods to a small ridge at another 100yds (38.08605,-85.71928), then bushwhacked northeast on the ridge for 250 yds to a large clearing and the start of an ATV Track.

From the clearing the ATV Track climbs very steep northeast 100+yds to the top of the ridge, then stays on the ridge as it heads climbs/winds/undulates northeast on its way to AREA 4 at .8 miles from my TH (passing by the old Riley BM location).
From here on the ATV Track continues northeast another 1.2 miles on the ridge going over AREAS 3, 2 & 1 (Bob's route in reverse).
The ATV Track is more like a road, very well used, rutted in places. Once on the ridge the route has a number of small/short moderately steep climbs but overall moderately easy. Smaller tracks drop off to the east at a number of places.
This time of year the ridge offers good views through the trees.


"JEFFERSON COUNTY WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1780 AND NAMED FOR THE THOMAS JEFFERSON, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, WHO WOULD BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. AS OF THE 2010 CENSUS THE COUNTY SEAT WAS LOUISVILLE AND THE POPULATION OF 741,096 MADE IT THE MOST POPULOUS IN THE STATE - MORE THAN TWICE AS POPULOUS AS THE SECOND RANKED COUNTY OF FAYETTE COUNTY.
IN 2003 THE JEFFERSON COUNTY GOVERNMENT MERGED WITH ITS LARGEST CITY AND COUNTY SEAT LOUISVILLE, FORMING THE ENTITY LOUISVILLE/JEFFERSON COUNTY METRO GOVERNMENT (OR LOUISVILLE METRO - OFFICIAL SHORT FORM)."

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1002 ft / 304 m
    Extra Gain:320 ft / 97 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:whack/atv track neb to 4 areas
    Trailhead:Hwy 1020  540 ft / 164 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack



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