District of Columbia Highpoint Trip Report

Fort Reno Reservoir (420+ ft)

Date: October 29, 2005
Author: Don Desrosiers

I had been to this one about 10 years ago with my friend Hank and my two daughters. Like Dan Case, we also found what was, in the words of my eldest daughter, "The world's biggest mulch pile!" Today I parked near the corner of 39th and Fessenden, carefully noting the parking restrictions of 2 hours from 7AM - 8:30PM M-F. If this becomes a real problem, you may want to walk a shade faster. Directly across the street, just head up the hill to the fence then slightly to the right for what is, in my opinion, the high ground. There is a path running around the perimeter for about a 10-12 minute walk if you also want to check out the District's mulch pile and any other possible candidates.

There appears to be a very small area inside the fence that looks to be a few inches higher than the 39th & Fessenden corner. However, with that said, if you go back to the original documents for Fort Reno and for the reservoir (just after the Civil War), it is clear that the entire hill has been modified at least twice. Thus, the area inside the fence is almost certainly manmade and the exact HP is good faith effort. If you really want to get inside, the local Corps of Engineers office has oversight authority and are usually pretty good about access if you beg nicely, although they are closed on weekends. Anticipate the usual questions.

You may want to avoid this one when school is in session at Alice Deal JHS or at Wilson HS if you intend to park in either of their lots. Walking from the Metro is exactly as Dan Case described.