Franklin County High Point Trip Report

on St Paul quadrangle sheet

Date: May 5, 2001
Author: Hans Haustein

Hare Mountain was the third of five highpoints I did this day, and it was by far the hardest. The mountain is reached by driving to Dutton (just west of St. Paul) on State Highway 16 and then turning south on the first road and crossing the White River then past Dutton Cemetery on the east. This road continues southeast for 4 miles until it comes to a saddle on the ridge where it comes to a 'T'. Go west at this 'T' past the Liberty Cemetery, the road shortly turns due south to the next road intersection at 2.2 miles. At the next intersection turn west on to National Forest Road (NFR) 1504 (the sign is pretty hard to read) and continue. The next intersection is NFR 1518 and is 2.7 miles from the NFR 1504 sign. Continue on NFR 1504, NFR 1533 is the next intersection and it is 0.7 miles from NFR 1518. From NFR 1533 it is 2.7 miles to a due south turn in the road (it is just past a house on the south side of the road). This is closest point to park to Hare Mountain.

I used a GPS to locate the summit area, it is a good thing because the fog rolled in when I started hiking. The straight line distance is 0.57 miles to the highpoint area from the parking spot. I started up the mountain, climbing up past three benches before I found an overgrown road/trail that headed in northwestern direction. There was a lot of vegetation; I was about mid-thigh deep in May Apples and Poison Ivy for a good part of the bushwhack. I followed this road/trail until it reached the ridge top; it was quite steep. I followed the ridge top in a northerly direction past some old rock walls and then headed in a northeasterly direction toward the highpoint. Walking on the ridge top was relatively easy because of the lack of underbrush. The highpoint area was relatively flat with no noticeable high area, so tramping around is necessary. I couldn't tell if there was a view or not due to the fog.

On my way down, on the ridge top in the area with little ground cover, I noticed what looked to me to be some of Arkansas' #1 cash crop growing on the summit -- and I don't mean rice. So, if you make a trip to Hare Mountain during growing season and especially harvest season, beware.