District of Columbia Highpoint Trip Report

Fort Reno Reservoir (420+ ft)

Date: December 24, 2000
Author: Dan Case

Like Manhattan, this one can be done using public transportation as it is not far from the Tenleytown Metro station on Wisconsin Avenue.

Whether you go via car or on foot, work your way east via Belt Road and Brandywine or Chesapeake Streets over to Nebraska Avenue , then follow that north to Fort Drive and Alice Deal Junior High School. Turn left at the light and follow that road to its dead end, near the fenced-off reservoir and towers.

Park next to a line of Jersey barriers on the right when you reach the buildings. About two hundred feet beyond them, a somewhat grungy cleared area rises to the highest natural point where a leaf pile butts up against the fence. This is the summit of DC. The view, despite the setting, is actually quite good and one can easily see how Union lookouts here could see the Confederates advancing as far away as Rockville. I could see clusters of taller buildings to the north marking Friendship Heights at the MD/DC line, downtown Bethesda and Silver Spring. To the west and northwest, the Fairfax County HPs around Tysons Corner are also quite evident.

Note that the slope top opposite 39th and Fessenden (shown on Roger Rowlett's web site) is a contender as well, and probably more permanent (it definitely gets a lot of attention from the neighborhood sledders), but this day, at this point in time, where we were was definitely higher.