Miami-Dade County High Point Trip Report

56 areas (20+ ft)

Dates: March 4 and 15, 2001 and November 30, 2002
Author: Dave Covill

A description of highpoint contenders should include the following:

  2 areas of 30 ft and 35 ft in Virginia Key, probably man-made
26 areas of 20-100+ ft, all man-made landfills, bridge embankments, and construction
28 natural areas of 20+ ft along southeast shore of Miami

This report was started in March 2001 and finished in December 2002. I can say with good certainty that there are 26 man-made areas among these, leaving 28 natural areas plus 2 areas at Virginia Key of 30 and 35 feet that are likely man-made.

We hit 6 areas coming back to Miami from the Keys on Sunday, March 4th, 2001. I then got up early Monday and did my best to conquer Miami-Dade Co. Let me cut right to the chase; I came up about a dozen areas short, after continuing until 8:30PM. Long day! In a nutshell, the HP of Miami-Dade appears to be one of the 20+ foot areas, which no one will ever tell, as every single area over 20+ feet seems to me to be man-altered. Some of the spots I hit in the northwest corner of Miami-Dade were very nasty neighborhoods. Only problems is one confusing area down to the south, and inability to fully traverse a few ridges, settling for intersecting roads and driveways, although in no case did I see a higher spot than where I had stood.

I have a very large, approximately 5 x 8 foot, copy of the topos, all spliced together, for the entire county. I have numbered the areas 1 to 56, with 2 being found to the far west, enormous landfills west of the Florida turnpike by the everglades.

I am willing to mail the map to anyone serious in doing the Miami-Dade cohp's. I feel that to do Miami-Dade, the Virginia key question must be answered, then one must do approximately 35 areas along the southeast shore, and inland a few miles. All the stuff to the north and northwest is bogus, in my opinion.

I have added a section at the bottom that lists the points by the number on the map, from 1-56. I of course did not visit them in that order. I have included the odometer reading and time on each visit.

The following notes are by HP contour number - odometer - time - description - remarks.

Sunday March 4th, 2001

#46 - 9984 - 1:28PM - 96th Street and 90th Avenue - major construction to north of intersection, highest right there. Nice houses all around, very flat. Approximately 22 - 24 feet.

#47 - 9985 - 1:38PM - Park at 100th & 83rd Court - High at northwest corner of park on street. Noticeably higher than to the east and south. Approximately 22 - 24 feet.

#45 - 9986 - 1:45PM - 84th & 92nd Trail - distinct reef outcrop in font of house. Levels even with park 3 blocks to south. Approximately 21 - 23 feet.

#51 - 9993 - 2:15PM - 24th & 57th Avenue - high at edge of driveway of # 2419 on the east side, on road just south of 24th Street. Busy 4-lane street.

#50 - 9994 - 2:25PM - Coral Way & 58th - high spot in yard of #5819, no fence, walked around. High spot at intersection looked altered, also natural high in yard by big tree. Approximately 21 - 22 feet.

Monday March 5th, 2001

#13 - 10058 - 9:14AM - Virginia Key N - I went straight out to Virginia Key Monday AM. I hiked up to the bluffs on the north end, where it reaches 35 feet. There isn't much junk in the coral gravel, and the stratification is quite convincing, with layers of pebbles to silt visible. Small trees are on the tops of the ground, and large, 60+ feet, trees ring the perimeter of the higher ground, perhaps at the 5-foot level. It looks convincingly natural, but the proximity of the sewage plants is disturbing. I asked myself, "in an area of either dunes or coral reefs, how did clastic deposition occur?" It seems to be material from the ship channel being dredged up, and thus the lack of trash otherwise seen in a landfill. Same thing with the southern 30+ foot hill. I am 95% convinced this is all built up, and may have only been 5 - 10 feet. A cop passing by said that it had looked like that since the 1960's.

#14 - 10059 - 9:55AM - Virginia Key S - Very flat field, walked around edge, slight berm there, appears to be fill, approximately 50-foot pines on edge, drove to southern portion on very soft dirt, road goes around it. Likely a landfill.

#54 - 10067 - 10:27AM - South tip of Miami Beach - I then went to South Beach, where Jon Mann reported tall dunes. They appear to be 20 - 25 feet. Bogus! All bulldozed around condo towers, and a small possibly natural one at the southern tip of the island by a restroom is approximately 10 feet.

#11 - 10077 - 11:15AM - Small mound on golf course at Indian Creek Village - On N to Indian Creek Village. They wouldn't let me onto the very exclusive island, but I saw photos of a very flat muddy island from around 1950, and was told the 20-foot hill at the northwest corner was pushed up for a golf course. You can get a good view from W. Broadview Drive at the last house #922, talked to older owner there, agreed it used to be flat and muddy.

#10 - 10082 - 11:48AM - Small area by FIU - Up to FIU. Drove into the Cosco, and walked into the woods for a half mile. Much junk around, in the ground. Surely a landfill. Didn't see the northern little hill, presumed previous reports of a landfill to be true. Waste of time. Lots of junk on the ground. Found some roads, confusing, lots of birds.

#8 - 10084 - 12:36PM - Small mound in playground - Up to Greynolds Park, looked fake, made for kids.

#7 - 10086 - 12:42PM - Rise by mall - Up to Aventura Mall, looks fake and man-altered. Doesn't match present contours with map's.

#5 and 6 - 10089 - 12:56PM - 2 landfills - West to a landfill a mile, very obvious.

#2 and 3 - 10101 - 1:39PM - 2 rises in landfill - west to a landfill near Broward line, drove all the way around, very obvious. Smelled VERY bad, nasty neighborhood. Signs say "Landfill - Keep Out".

#1 - 10104 - 1:53PM - Landfill - West to the monster landfill on the Broward line, checked out.

#12 - 10118 - 2:16PM - Colf course clubhouse hill - south to Doral Country Club. Blew off Amelia Earhardt Park per Mike Schwartz. Doral is built up, clubhouse sits on a hill, nothing around over 5 feet. Concierge, who looked 70+, assured me it was "carved out of the swamp". Feels like a Disney property, lagoons and fake cliffs near the high spot.

#41 - 10142 - 3:35PM - linear rise - Far south to Deering Estate, a county run park. Very cool place. On a 20-foot ridge. Walked it after paying $6 to get in. High spot by a BM, right at edge of stone wall by ranger station. Helpful rangers. Signs said off-limits to the south, but I walked around, crossed fence, walked back up towards Park, not any higher in woods. Could be 23 - 24 feet.

#40 - 10147 - 4:20PM - small rise - Next area is by US plant introduction station and Deering Bay Golf Curse. Map may really be an depression, not a rise to 20 feet. Saw no sign of a hill, although the ground is a bit higher around the general vicinity. Land slopes consistently to the east down from road. Drove on 3 sides, can't get into government area. High spot on map would be at the west end by huge bougainvillea bushes, no rise there, may be a depression on map. Went into huge resort called Deering Bay, they showed me maps, very helpful.

#39 - 10148 - 4:44PM - 128th and Cutler, slight rise in road. By gated community to east. Very slight rise in road. Approximately 21 feet.

#38 - 10150 - 4:56PM - Road in front of Tropical Fairchild Garden at Old Cutler Boulevard and 101st, not 105th as map says. Very gentle. Lots of traffic at #38 & 39. Approximately 21-22 feet.

#37 - 10152 - 5:02PM - Small rise on road - Cutler Road and Cartagena Plaza, higher here than on road back to the wsouthwest. Walked 6 blocks back to the east side to around 78th from 72nd. Highest is at Plaza, which is a huge traffic circle, in banyans by southeast corner. Very ritzy, topo is misleading, no one's backyard was as high as the street.

#36 - 10152 - 5:24PM - linear rise at Ingraham Terrace - possibly highest at Sunrise or Morning Streets. Approximately 24 feet. Yards slope away.

#35 - 10153 - 5:32PM - Ingraham and Douglas - extra cross-streets not shown on topo. Walked all over, seems highest at Matheson. West Park Lane hand-leveled lower than Douglas Road. Walked to Crebbs Street, took Matheson Lane to Justison back to Ingraham. West of Bayshore Drive levels up 2 feet from Ingraham, which is down 1 foot from previous spot at 5-way intersection, which was up 4 - 5 feet to HP so this is lower. Nothing seems higher in yards.

#34 - 10155 - 6:11PM - Ransom Everglades School - drove into parking area of private academy. Drove down Royal Road, crossed high ground at edge of school property by hydrant, went in and drove around, high by main building at corner. Very Gentle, approximately 21 - 22 feet.

#33 - 10155 - 6:20PM - Peacock Park - near Coconut Grove. Highest by playground, at edge of church. Highest by big banyan tree. St. Stephens Church levels 1 foot lower.

#32 - 10156 - 6:55PM - Coconut Grove - doesn't jive w/ topo, all man-altered, walked around in contour. Used same parking spot as #33, ate at Haagen Daaz. Land slopes down to east from 5-way junction after 1 block. Nothing natural anywhere, big mall called Mayfair Grove dominates area on north side, condos on south side, much lower here right in the center of contour. Seemed higher than Park. Got dark during this one.

#31 - 10157 - 7:17PM - Street just to north of Coconut Grove - high in front of #2841. Slight rise up from 2 end streets, maybe 2 feet. Approximately 21-22 feet.

#53 - 10162 - 7:56PM - Salvadore Park - dark now, high 1 block to southeast of Park's tennis courts, around #1020 Valencia. This is a tennis park in a nice neighborhood, very flat, high spot to west of Park at 1020 Valencia. Seems higher there. Approximately 21-22 feet.

#52 - 10163 - 8:15PM - St. Theresa Catholic School. - PTA meeting going on, drove in to parking lot, mingled with hundreds of parents, land highest on northwest side of building, by lot and athletic fields. Approximately 21-22 feet.

Saturday November 30th, 2002

#30 - 11970 - 4:30PM - Small rise in neighborhood by Bayshore Drive & 17th Avenue- Micanopy Avenue runs down center of contour. Drove west as far as Coacoochee Street, higher to the east. High ground seems to be at intersection with Hallissee Street. At 17th Avenue is slightly lower by jog in road, ground slopes off to north and south sides of ridge. Big limestone outcrop is visible along south edge of this ridge on Bayshore Drive. Approximately 23-26 feet.

#29 - 11974 - 4:55PM - Tiny rise in neighborhood nearby to #30 - Drove by tiny spot at Atlaka Avenue, one-way street to north, leads to area #30. Very flat and small, edge of yard at corner.

#28 - 11977 - 5:30PM - Small rise on Vizcaya Museum grounds - Cool huge museum, wedding was going on, and museum was about to close, but guard let us wander a bit. Contour makes a loop around main building, barely crosses fence to the east, which leveled lower from 2 spots. HP appears to be right at guard station between parking area and museum. Feels high and on a ridge. There is an 8 - 10 foot cut through area down into limestone bedrock, believe it or not, and a creek is at the bottom, right through highest area. No explanation, other than erosion.

#27 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made. Drove by on the north side of all of them.

#26 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#25 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#24 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#23 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#22 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#21 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#20 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#19 - 11980 - 6:00PM - Bridge embankments along I-95 & Train tracks - all man-made.

#18 - 11982 - 6:20PM - Small rise in neighborhood at 11th Avenue and 11th Street - between 11th & 12th Streets. HP appears to be by #1190. Middle class Spanish neighborhood. Gentle, and slopes off from road in all directions. Approximately 21-22 feet.

#15 - 11984 - 6:35PM - Small rise in neighborhood at 7th Avenue and 29th Street - between 29th & 30th. Kensington Elementary School there, HP is at the east edge of the school fence, Cuban neighborhood, nothing natural anywhere around for blocks, on busy street, all buildings or pavement. Approximately 21-22 feet.

#16 - 11985 - 6:50PM - Small rise in neighborhood at 2nd Avenue and 32nd Street - At house # 230, gentle rise in street, noticeably higher than in all 4 directions, at edge of street by house, approximately 21 feet.

#17 - 11986 - 6:55PM - Small rise in neighborhood at 1st Avenue and NW 32nd Place - 1 block north of Flagler Boulevard, in street in front of Nursing home, #55, called "The Floridian". Very flat, barely detect the rise. Approximately 21 feet.

Done !!!!!!

HP number - Name - Highest Contour - Remarks

  1. Large Landfill N of Carol City, on Broward Co line. 75 ft Landfill
  2. Small hill 1/2 m E of Landfill #1 20 ft Landfill
  3. Small hill 1/2 m E of Landfill #1 20 ft Landfill
  4. Amelia Earhart Park,1 m S of Opalocka Airport 30 ft Man-made
  5. Tiny Hill by Highland Lakes 20 ft Man-made
  6. Tiny Hill by Highland Lakes 20 ft Man-made
  7. N&S sides of Aventura Mall 20 ft Construction
  8. Tiny Hill in Greynolds Park 20 ft Man-made
  9. Small Hill NW of Florida Int. Univ 20 ft Landfill
  10. Large Hill W of Florida Int. Univ 35 ft Landfill
  11. Small Hill NW tip of Indian Creek Village Island 20 ft GC Construction
  12. Clubhouse Hill at Doral CC 25 ft GC Construction
  13. Large Hill on N end of Virginia Key 35 ft Channel Dredgings ?
  14. Larger Hill on S end of Virginia Key 30 ft Channel Dredgings ?
  15. Kensington Park School, NW 7th & NW 29th 20 ft Natural
  16. Tiny Hill at NW 2nd & NW 31st 20 ft Natural
  17. Tiny Hill at NW 1st & NW 32nd 20 ft Natural
  18. Small Hill SW 11th & Sw 11th 20 ft Natural
  19. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Tamiami Trail 20 ft Man-made
  20. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Tamiami Trail 20 ft Man-made
  21. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Tamiami Trail 20 ft Man-made
  22. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Tamiami Trail 20 ft Man-made
  23. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Tamiami Trail 20 ft Man-made
  24. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Tamiami Trail 20 ft Man-made
  25. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Rickenbacker Expwy 20 ft Man-made
  26. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Rickenbacker Expwy 20 ft Man-made
  27. Tiny bridge abutment I-95 & Rickenbacker Expwy 20 ft Man-made
  28. Large area Vizcano Park along S Bay Shore Dr 20 ft Natural
  29. Tiny spot along S Bay Shore Dr 20 ft Natural
  30. Large area in Bay Heights along S Bay Shore Dr 20 ft Natural
  31. Sm area near US Naval Res Ctr by Bay Shore Dr 20 ft Natural
  32. Peacock Park NE near Coconut Grove 20 ft Natural
  33. Peacock Park near Coconut Grove 20 ft Natural
  34. Ransom Everglades School near Coconut Grove 20 ft Natural
  35. Ingraham Pkwy & Park Ave 20 ft Natural
  36. Ingraham Pkwy & Terrace 20 ft Natural
  37. Cartagena Plaza on Old Cutler Rd 20 ft Natural
  38. Old Cutler Rd near Fairchild Tropical Garden 20 ft Natural
  39. Old Cutler Rd near Gulliver Academy 20 ft Natural
  40. 144th St SW by US Intro Plant in Kings Bay 20 ft Natural
  41. Old Cutler Rd near Richmond Dr/144th 20 ft Natural
  42. Landfill at Sw 87th & Coconut Palm Dr 85 ft Landfill
  43. Landfill at Sw 97th & Coconut Palm Dr 25 ft Landfill
  44. Tiny Quarry Pile at Homestead tpk & SW 136th 25 ft Landfill
  45. Lg Area S of Baptist Hosp, SW 96th & SW 92nd 20 ft Natural
  46. Sm Area E of Baptist Hosp, SW 92nd & SW 84th 20 ft Natural
  47. Lg Area N of Continental Pk, SW 100th & SW 83nd 20 ft Natural
  48. Sm dredge pit pile SW Tropical Park & Shula Expwy 20 ft Landfill
  49. Sm dredge pit pile SW Tropical Park & Shula Expwy 20 ft Landfill
  50. Sm area Schenley Park N Off Coral Way & SW 57th 20 ft Natural
  51. Sm area Schenley Park E Off Coral Way & SW 57th 20 ft Natural
  52. St. Teresa School, Sevilla & SW 54th 20 ft Natural
  53. Salvatore Park, Granada & SW 35th 20 ft Natural
  54. Un-mapped dunes on beach at S tip of Miami Beach 20 ft (about) Man-made
  55. V Large Landfill W of Miami at edge of Everglades 50+ ft Landfill
  56. V Large Landfill W of Miami at edge of Everglades 50+ ft Landfill