Appanoose County High Point Trip Report

31 areas (1,080+ ft)

Date: March 19, 2004
Author: Bob Schwab

eleven areas in sections 8/9/16/21-67N-19W

From Centerville, drive south on Route 5 for 11.75 miles to 600th Street (also J-60, but not well-signed). If you miss this turnoff, it is 1.9 miles north of the Missouri state line. From Route 5 drive west 3.7 miles on 600th Street to 135th Avenue. Go north for a little more than 0.5 mile to a field access on your left (west). Park here and hike west into CRB land (conservation restoration, not farmed) to visit three small areas (1-3); one just northwest of the access site, a second one on the southern field line about 0.25 mile west, and a third one on the northern field boundary into some tilled land about 0.4 mile northwest. This is a pleasant hike in the tall grass and tiny trees, but these spots are not the county high points.

Return to the 600th Street/135th Avenue intersection and continue west for a little more than 1 mile to a dark blue gate on the north and area 4, a flat bean field which straddles the road near a farm (no one was home). To the south and west of the farm out in the pasture, there is a small area (5) with no significant rise. To the south and east of the farm, there are three modest spots (areas 6-8) aligned south into the bean/corn field. Hike south about 0.6 mile into the flat fields to "ascend" these non-candidates for county highpoint. Return to your car and backtrack east on 600th Street to the intersection with 135th Avenue. Turn south on 135th and park after going about 0.4 mile. There are no obstacles to entering the fields here. Hike west about 0.4 mile into the bean field to area 9. Unfortunately, this plowed ground was wet and quite muddy on the day I hiked in.

Continue south on 135th Avenue to 614th Street (100th Street in Missouri). Turn right and drive east 0.8 mile to a gate on the north side that enters a bean field. This long, narrow area (10) reaches from the state line north and northeast over 0.6 mile. The highest ground seems to be about 0.4 mile north on the bean side of the line. Continue roughly another 0.4 mile north-northeast to a small remnant area (11) which is lower.

one large area and four small remnants east of 110th Avenue

I am quite certain that this monster contour contains the true county highpoint. Lines are drawn in 20-foot increments on the topo maps for this region, and there is detectable vertical undulation this large area which is hard to find in most of the small fragmented areas that surround it. Area 12 sprawls north from the state line for about 2.5 miles between 614th and 590th Streets. The northern half is rather flat and mostly dedicated to corn, while the southern part has been put to a variety of uses (corn/bean/hay/pasture). Start from The state line where 614th Street and 135th Avenue intersect. Drive west 2 miles to the crest in the road and park in a field access niche. Hike north in this hayfield for 0.7 mile to a line with a big tree growing on it. This nice hike allows you to assess the area to your left and right as well as the pasture to the north. There are three tiny remnant areas (13-15) at the tips of this areaís eastern extensions, but they clearly arenít as high as the ground near the tree. The pasture is 0.5 mile farther north also seems quite high.

Another small remnant area (16) exists to the west of the main mass, close to 110th Avenue in the pasture. This area appears to be insignificant when standing on the main contour. This section of land is owned by Mr. Vanderlinden, who lives on 600th Street. He thought the highest spot on his property was in here somewhere, south of his farm along "the ridge". When you return to your car, drive west, then north on 110th Avenue to 600th Street. Drive east 0.5 mile to Mr. Vanderlindenís farm. To explore the northern reaches of this area, either park along 600th Street and hike north, or drive up 110th Avenue to the more northerly spot elevation site (1080 feet) and hike east. There is an obvious clump of trees/debris about 0.25 mile east which will get you close to another eastern extension of this area, as well as allow you to evaluate the terrain to the north. Drive north to 590 Street, turn right and go 0.5 mile east to the second fence line going south. Park and hike south along the east side of the fence to a tree on the corner. There seems to be high ground along the trees going west here, as well as farther south out into the field toward the debris pile. I think the highest spots inside this contour are here south of the fence line, in Mr. Vanderlindenís pasture, and in the vicinity of the big tree in the south.

six small areas north and south of 590th Street

Park near the intersection of 110th Avenue and 590th Street. In the cornfield to your left and the bean field to your right are two small areas (17 and 18) which are virtually undetectable from the road. Next, consider driving west on 590th Street. If the mud has subsided, drive west about a mile to the county line. If not, youíll have to approach this area from the west by turning off from Route S-60 onto Cedar, then driving east to the county line. There is a small pond to the north and a No Trespassing sign on the county line (unsigned). I suspect the sign is to keep people out of the pond (at least thatís what I assumed). Park just west of the county line and hike north 0.25 mile on the west side of the fence to visit a small "liner" area (19) on the east side of the fence. From the road, hike south along the fence about 500 feet and cross over to the east side to visit another "liner" (area 20). Continue southeast into the bean field another 0.25 mile or so to a larger more obvious area (21). You may wish to continue going southeast roughly another 0.4 mile or so to yet another small "remnant" area (22) where access from the south is likely to be problematic (see below). Of these four areas, area 21 appears to be the highest.

six small areas north and south of 600th Street

From the intersection of 600th Street and 110th Avenue, drive west 0.25 mile on 600th Street and park. To your right (north) is area 23, not far from the road in a bean field. To your south in the terraced cornfield are two more small spots (areas 24 and 25) that are remnants from the western extension of area 12. Itís about a 0.3 mile hike to the southernmost spot. There is very little if any rise within each of these contours. Continue west on 600th Street roughly another 0.3 mile and park again. Two more spots are in the field 0.2 and 0.4 mile to the south (areas 26 and 27). There is another small contour (area 28) just north of the road in CRB land (conservation/untilled) immediately east of an old farmhouse. There is very little (if any) rise within these six contours, thus I believe they can be eliminated as candidates for the county highpoint. The old farmhouse to your northwest has a track of sorts that starts in the yard and heads north into the field toward area 22 (see above). This would be a better access route for area 22, but no one was at home when I visited.

three areas along 610th Street

From the intersection of 600th Street and 110th Avenue, drive south on 110th to 610th Street. Turn right on 610th and be careful not to get stuck as you drive west to an obvious crest. Park here where area 29 crosses the road from a pasture (north) to a cornfield (south). The highest part of this contour is south of the road in the field. You can also approach this area from the farm on 110th Avenue. Continue west on 610th Street another 0.2 mile or so to some old buildings on your right. There were two nearly-new SUVs sitting in this area, which I know hadnít moved in some time (because of the muddy conditions). I worried that perhaps Iíd stumbled upon some chop-shopís hidden inventory, so I made a very hasty visit to the small area (30) in the hay to the north, and retreated back to 110th Avenue. Go south on 110th Avenue to the farm on our right (active dogs when no one is home). As I said, area 29 can be explored from here as well, and there is a final tiny, tiny area (31) about 600 feet south of the barn at this farm. Clearly area 29 is the giant among these three contours and is the only one with any significant rise within it.