Santa Rosa County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 11-14, 1999
Author: Fred Lobdell

There are three areas in Santa Rosa County that rise above 290 feet. The western one is a short distance of FL 87 and about two miles south of the Alabama state line. The other two areas lie to the east on or near the state line and about 4 miles west of the Okaloosa county line.

From the intersection of Florida rtes. 4 and 87, go north on 87 about 4.7 miles to a dirt road on the right. (This point is about 2.6 miles north of the school in the hamlet of Fidelis.) Turn right (east) and go about 0.3 miles until stopped by a locked gate. Park off the road and ask the people whose house is in front of you if they mind if you leave your car there while you take a little walk. We found them to be quite accommodating.

There are several possible approaches to this HP; not all the woods and logging roads are shown on the topographic map. Hike up the road for about 0.4 miles, losing some elevation in the process. At this point turn left onto another dirt road and follow that for about 0.2 miles until it makes a sharp bend to the right (east).

At this point enter the woods and bushwhack almost due west, sideslipping to the south occasionally to keep going uphill. Near the high area you will come out on a logging road not shown on the map, and you can take this back to the original road. And when you're walking into this area, if you keep a sharp eye out to your left, you may notice this road beyond a brush pile; it will be an easier hike if you do so.

From this area there is no good way to get to the other areas. "You can't get there from here." After you regain FL 87, go north for 1.5 miles to the second right turn. Go right (east) and take this road, which shortly becomes a good-quality dirt road, for between 11 and 12 miles. It is not obvious from the map, but you will need to make a left turn at about 2.5 miles. At the "T" intersection about 8 miles from FL 87, make a left. When you come to paved county 191 at about 8.5 miles, make a right, go about 100 feet, and turn left. This will bring you out to an intersection of three roads at a place the topographic map calls Belandville, but no buildings are in evidence. Turn a very sharp left here and go northwest, then north for a half mile or so until you come into a large cleared area. Pull off and park. Most of the peanut field on your left lies within the 290-foot contour; for that matter, so does your car. Walk around the field and, if you wish, into the woods at the north end of the field, though they didn't appear any higher.

The highest area seemed to be near the middle of the field. We found the shots we were hearing to be unsettling; it turned out to be three squirrel hunters in camouflage outfits just up the road from us.

The third area is shown as being accessed by a dirt trail going due north along the section line, but this was not in evidence on the ground. So we continued north to the state line and found, right at the line, a dirt track going west. We did, too. This took us almost into the high area, and we parked at the edge of a field and walked to the state line and back into Florida, where we found the badly overgrown dirt road shown on the topo. The woods just west of the old track might have been a little higher.