Marion County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: March 2006
Author: Bill Jacobs

Marion has 30 plus areas for your highpointing enjoyment. A third of the areas were successfully summated and a few others reconnoitered from afar. Major obstacles awaiting future highpointers: 1. Region is covered with upscale horse ranches barred by electronic gates. 2. Several areas are highly vegetated and best penetrated with a machete and other jungle warfare paraphernalia. On a positive note, if you have ever dreamed of owning your own county highpoint, 200 acres of an 1,100 acre ranch, on the probable highest point, are for sale at a bargain price of $12,000,000.00.

The areas are clustered in three general regions: Flemington, Reddick, and Fairfield, corresponding with the "quad" names. All the areas are between the 200 and 210 foot contours with an area in the Flemington region having a 209-foot sighting.

As an aside, I came upon one property with five warning signs: "Caution, we do not call 911", "Warning, entering high risk area", "Enter at your own risk", "Beware of dog", and the benign, "Private property, keep out".

Flemington

There are thirteen areas here. Andy's book lists ten areas which he compiled using a now-outdated topo.

Area 1. From the intersection of I-75 and SR 320 (an overpass) go 0.3 mile west and turn left (south) into the entrance of a luxurious horse ranch. A large area extends from SR 320 south for 0.5 mile into the heart of the ranch operations. High areas throughout are apparent and walking through most of the area is required. The main entry gate was closed and I was able to drive around to an ungated road on the southwest side of the area to gain access. The office manager, first building to the left after entering the main gate, gave me permission to wander about.

Area 2. From I-75 and SR 320 proceed 0.4 mile west and turn right (north) onto a dirt road. Another tenth of a mile brings you to a contour where the road takes a sharp turn to the right.

Area 3. At 0.8 mile west of I-75 on SR 320 is the area on the right in a pasture. On the northeast side of the pasture is an opening in the fence reducing by one the number obstacles you need to scale.

Area 4. Another 0.2 mile west on SR 320 is possibly the highest point in the county. Turn left at the signed road, Town and Country Farms at Rabbit Hill, and proceed up to the barn/garage building. The area on top, which includes the 209 foot sighting, is fairly flat.

Area 5. This area has a 207 foot sighting and is located west of area 1 and south of areas 2 and 3. The area can be driven to, with permission, from various dirt roads on the ranch. They were not gated. A new house is under construction on top of the hill, rumored to be the owner of the ranch. Future highpointers may find access more difficult. I wandered about the construction site trying to look official while the laborers eyeballed the stranger in their midst.

Area 6. At 1.6 miles west of I-75, on SR 320, turn left (south) onto NW 100 AV Road. At 0.8 mile turn right (west), street address #20440. Proceed uphill to a private residence. Owner gave permission to wander about several pastures to the west of her house. The area is rather large and extends westerly into some dense vegetation.

Area 7. Another 0.5 mile farther south on NW 100 AV Road (1.3 miles south of SR 320), turn right (west) on NW 200 ST Road. At 0.5 mile turn left (south). Area is to the right over a fence. It's small and flat and can be discounted as an hp candidate.

Areas 8-12. Recon only. Although Andy martinís book lists 10 areas in the Flemington quad, there are 13, two or three with manmade-appearing shapes on the topos.

Area 8. At the intersection of Dungarvin Road (next east/west road south of SR 320) and I-75 is a large area running to the south and extending out on both sides of I-75. What I could see of the area was highly vegetated. Access through multiple private properties may prove time-consuming.

Areas 9-11. Immediately south of the southern tip of Area 8 are three smaller areas surrounding what appears on the topo to be a large excavated area. One area looks natural in shape, the other two have straight lines and sharp corners, possibly manmade.

area 1     area 2     area 3

Area 12 is 0.7 mile west of Irvine and 0.8 mile south of areas 9-11. Did not explore.

Area 13. Became aware of this elusive spot only after returning home and Andy had reviewed the topos: (29° 28' 09" N, 82° 17' 50" W).

Fairfield

Two of the eight areas are 0.4 mile south of W. Highway 316 on NW 110 Avenue. They are located on either side of the road, just north of the radio tower, in what appears to be thick vegetation.

A third area is centered at the intersection of NW Highway 225 and NW 87 Avenue where also is the Mount Herman United Methodist Church. The area extends over one mile on its north/south axis. There is variety of land uses running from upscale horse ranches, to farms, and to sections with dense vegetation. Some of the "green" areas shown on the topos have developed into farm interests. Covering this area will require a considerable investment of time. There are five other smaller areas on the edges of Area 3. Three to the southeast are on horse ranches. To reach an easy one to snag travel 0.5 mile south of the church and 0.3 mile east on NW 130 Street. The other two are farther southeast and will need permission.

Reddick

Ten of the thirteen areas are one mile east and northeast of Fairfield. Most, if permission obtained, should be easy to get. One large area appears on the topo to be in an uncultivated area and may be a challenge. Three other areas are two miles to the south in or near fruit groves. Did not check these out.