Forsyth County Highpoint Trip Report

Sawnee Mtn

Date: January 13, 2008
Author: Edward Earl

Fred Lobdell's directions are fine. About 60 feet below the summit elevation, however, is a serious problem: the road is gated and conspicuously posted. A large, bright red, easy-to-read “No Trespassing” sign says that the area is under video surveillance and proclaims the Forsyth county government.

The cylindrical house and winding-staircase tower mentioned in Fred Lobdell's report are both easily identifiable through trees. The ground around the house appears to have been leveled to make way for its construction but I couldn't tell for sure from below. Mounted on a fence around the house was a similarly conspicuous “No Trespassing” sign, easily legible from my position some 200 feet away. The HP is probably near or inside the fence but again I couldn't tell for sure from below. I didn't dare approach any closer.

After other activities later that day, I returned to Sawnee Mountain after dark. The cylindrical house, though not floodlighted, was well enough illuminated that a climb to the summit near it wouldn't be very clandestine.

I can't help but wonder who the owner of the "house" on Sawnee Mountain really is. The “No Trespassing” sign identifies the county government but the look of the house itself is as if it's owned by some wealthy individual with a futuristic space-age creative mindset. Perhaps it's privately owned and the sign falsely suggests the county has something to do with it; I have no way to tell.

I don't know when was the most recent successful ascent of Sawnee Mountain by a county HPer or what the conditions were then but it could be a serious access problem for the foreseeable future.