Pinellas County High Point Trip Report

Date: September 15, 1999
Author: Fred Lobdell

There are two areas in Pinellas County that are shown on the topo as being over 105 feet elevation, and they are within a mile of each other. The northern one is in a golf course and the southern one in a shopping center. For the northern area, exit I-275 in north Tampa at US 92 (Hillsborough Ave.) and go west for about 12 miles. Stay on Hillsborough as 92 goes left and the street becomes county 580. A little more than a half mile west of the Pinellas/Hillsborough county line, 580 will fork to the left; so should you. Follow this road for about 4.7 miles to Countryside Blvd. (There is a traffic light at this intersection.) Turn right (north) on Countryside and go about a third of a mile. Turn right and park just past the golf course. Walk back to the golf course and walk northeast along the paved cart trail. The hill you're looking for is shown as the third one on the topo. You can keep track of your location by noticing where the water hazards are. I was fortunate in that I did this on a windy weekday morning, and I saw only two pairs playing golf. On a pleasant weekend morning you might have difficulty avoiding the golfers. The hills contain the greens, and I have considerable doubt that they represent a natural surface. The whole area has probably been landscaped. Further, I didn't think that hill 105 was any higher than any of two or three others, so I stood on top of all of them. For the second area, return to Countryside Blvd. And go south about 0.9 miles, crossing county 580 in the process, to a large shopping center on your right. Turn into the shopping center and park. The high area is shown as being at the southeast corner of the J. C. Penney store. This area has probably been landscaped too, but at least it was probably built on a natural hill and the area around the southeast corner of the store is still the highest part of the mall. It may be close to its natural elevation, and I guess that's about the best we can do. In urban areas (e.g., Hudson Co., NJ), there may be no natural surface remaining, and we have to accept standing on the sidewalk or road surface as being the closest we can come. The area under the building has of course been excavated for a basement, and thus no longer exists at the elevation shown. We do the best we can!