Lake County High Point Trip Report

Date: December 11, 2002
Author: Gene Daniell

For the first high point, the redoubtable Sugarloaf Mountain (actually the name Sugarloaf Mountain may apply to the entire area, with this particular summit known as Howey Height), follow Fred Lobdell's route from the intersection of US 27 and FL 50 near Clermont, go north on US 27 about 5 miles, then north on CR 561 for about 2.3 miles. Here the paved road ascends about 0.8 mile to its height-of-land near the summit. I chose to walk this road as it seemed dishonorable to drive practically to the top of a state prominence candidate. As you reach the top of the road, you pass (on the left side, which is clearly higher) an antenna installation, a grassy field with some poles standing 50 - 100 yards from the road (opposite a side road on the right side too new to be on the map), a house, and a second antenna installation. Fred only mentions one antenna installation, which I assume is the second since the other seems clearly lower, and he felt that the high point was near here. I thought it was more likely in the field near the aforementioned poles. It seems likely that someone will build on this lot in the not-too-distant future, complicating the access. While I was there a car full of people drove up to the corner with spot elevation 297, got out, and enjoyed the view for several minutes - this may well be a locally famous viewpoint (it's about as spectacular as you can get in Florida).

For the second high area, go back to US 27 and follow it south 1.4 miles to the current second left (West Grassy Lake Road), then follow this road 1.6 miles through several turns to a crossroads. As Fred states, the land is posted and well fenced (ironically this side, which is uncultivated, is fenced and posted, while the orange grove on the other side is not), but if you follow the sandy road east just past the power lines, you might find a place where the lowest strand of barbed wire has sagged enough for even a fairly corpulent customer to slide through without donating blood. If you happen to see a place where it appears such a fairly corpulent individual has left a body-print while rolling through the fence, followed by Vibram prints in the sandy hillside, your imagination is a shade too vivid. If you could get to the top, you'd be likely to find a fairly well-defined dune-like summit with an interesting view of Florida's Turnpike cutting through the rolling hills.