Taylor County High Point Trip Report

70 areas (1,300+ ft)

Date: March 19, 2004
Author: Bob Schwab

Andy Martinís book reports 73 areas for Taylor County spread across seven quadrants, but due to overlaps across quadrant lines, there are "only 70" contours that must be investigated. This county took three separate visits to complete.

two areas in section 36-69N-34W

From Bedford drive 3.25 miles north on Route 148 to Kirkwood Avenue. Follow Kirkwood north to 220th Street, turn right, then left onto Lexington Avenue. Go north about 0.4 mile to field access on your right. Park here and hike east into a bermed bean field to a small area (1). From this point, you can either continue northeast another 0.3 mile, crossing into a cornfield to area 2, or you can return to your car, move farther north to one of two possible field access spots to the cornfield, and hike east from there.

one area in sections 9/16-69N-34W

Return to Route 148 and continue north for 4.5 miles, passing the town of Gravity. Turn left on 180th Street and go west for 1.1 miles to an area just beyond a windmill on the corner of Jerico Avenue. Area 3 crosses the road here, with the highest part of the contour in the cornfield to the north.

nine areas in the vicinity of Sharpsburg

From Gravity, drive east, then north a total of 8 miles on Routes N-35 and N-52 to the town of Sharpsburg. Continue north on N-52 into town and turn right on Main Street. Drive to the eastern end of Main Street and jog north and east to where the road swings north again (at the corner of N Lake and E Lake). This is the southern reach of a large contour (area 4) that runs north to old 160th Street (this road has virtually disappeared east of Prairie Avenue). The high ground is fairly obvious in the tiered bean and cornfields to the east, and you can clearly discern the "cut" made by old 160th Street. Another contour (area 5) continues north of 160th Street, crosses 155th Street, and reaches east across Quail Avenue. Drive north on Prairie, then east on 155th Street to Quail Avenue and the BM Dalby site (1302 feet), but the buildings and BM are gone now. South of 155th the area is mostly planted in beans, while north of the road is hay/pasture. Return to the corner of Prairie Avenue and 155th Street. Go west 0.2 mile to a yellow house (#2529). A Mr. Kirby (or Derby) lives here. A neighbor was visiting with him when I stopped in and it was the neighbor who talked with me at some length (out in the yard) about high spots in the county. He gave permission to visit area 6, which sits in the cornfield immediately north of the house. Drive east to Quail Avenue, turn left and go north 0.4 mile. To your left in a fenced pasture is a smallish area (7). Continue north to the intersection with 150th Street. Turn right and go almost 0.5 mile to a field access road that diagonals northwest. Ask at the house (with the horses in the front yard) for permission to walk back on this path which crosses a small spot (area 8) in the hayfield behind the house, and continues to the eastern side of a larger area (9). The western (corn) side of area 9 can be explored by hiking north from 150th Street, or east from Quail Avenue (there are trees on the dividing line that splits this area). Drive north on Quail Avenue about 0.25 mile from 150th Street. Park near a single grain bin on your right. From here, hike east to explore the cornfield portion of area 9. Next, hike west into the bean field roughly 0.4 mile to two small spots (areas 10 and 11). Continue north on Quail to the half-section line and park here. There is field access to the west on this corner and a No Hunting sign. The field to the north is CRB land (conservation restoration) and itís a lot more fun to hike in than a muddy bean field. Area 12 is about 0.5 mile west on the half-section line.

five small areas in the northern part of Gravity Quadrant

Return to the corner of Quail Avenue and 150th Street. Drive west on 150th for 1.5 miles to Oregon Avenue and N-52 (dirt). Turn right and go north 2.5 miles to the center of section 16. Park here, cross the fence and hike west-southwest about 0.4 mile to a small area (13) in the bean field. Next, move your car 0.4 mile farther north and park near a gate into a cornfield. Area 14 is just a few hundred feet southwest of the gate.

Continue north to 120th Street and turn right. Go east 1.5 miles to Quail Avenue, turn left and go north 0.2 mile to a posted orange gate (Wallaces Farmer). Since this was a cold miserable day and no one was anywhere near, I hopped the gate, ran west a few hundred feet to the high ground (area 15) and returned to my car in five minutes or less.

From the corner of Quail Avenue and 120th Street, drive west 3 miles to Naples Avenue (a muddy road). Park here at the corner and walk a few hundred feet north to a small high spot in the road. The highest ground for this tiny area (16) is on the left near the trees on the fence line. Next, enter the field at the corner where you parked and hike diagonally southwest across the cornfield to another small area (17) in the pasture behind a fence. There were cattle in this field when I visited, so be careful not to spook them.

eighteen areas in Corning South Quadrant

From the corner of Naples Avenue and 120th Street, drive east 0.5 mile to Newport Avenue and turn left. Go north 2/3 mile to where the road crests in the center of area 18. There is a nice rise here and you definitely feel this is high ground (the road bed is quite high). Thereís a gate on the east which provides access to the cornfield. Continue north to 110th Street and turn left. In 0.3 mile, there is easy access to the bean fields on both sides of the road. Thereís a large area to the south (area 19), and a smaller area to the north (area 20). The southern area is definitely higher. Continue west another 0.6 mile on 110th Street and park along the road. The fence is falling down here which provides easy access to area 21, which is south in the cornfield.

Next, reverse directions and drive east to Newport Avenue. Continue east another 0.2 mile on 110th Street and find a parking spot on the north side of the road (the buildings shown on the topo map are gone). Once again, the fence is falling down, and you can easily enter the bean field to the south and hike a short distance southeast to the contour (area 22). Drive east another 0.6 mile and park near an abandoned farm on the south. A gate to the north allows access into the cornfield (west) and bean field (east). Angle northwest to visit area 23, and area 24 is due north (and northeast) of the gate. Hike south beyond the abandoned farm to a long narrow contour that straddles CRB (conservation restoration) land (area 25). If youíre ambitious, continue hiking south into the field where you will encounter two more areas (26 and 27) about 0.5 mile south of the road. These last two areas can also be visited by parking along Oregon Avenue and hiking west 0.2 mile. After you return to your car, drive east, passing Oregon Avenue and stop at the white house on your left (#2467). I met Mrs. Christensen here. The house sits on a small spot (area 28), however, it is obvious that the contours to the northwest are much higher. On the corner of Oregon and 110th Street is a large brush/debris pile. Drive 0.2 to 0.3 mile north on Oregon Avenue and park. From here, hike west into the bean field to further explore the eastern part of area 24. You can also easily visit the round area (29) to your northwest.

Move your car north to the half-section line and find a gate to the west, and just north, field access to the east. Park here near the crest in the road to explore area 30 which sprawls across the road here. There are bean fields to your west and north, and CRB land to your east. This area is definitely higher than Mrs. Christensenís yard.

Another 0.35 mile north is yet another area (31) that straddles the road. Continue north to the county line (Adams-Taylor Street) and turn left. There are two more areas immediately south of the road (areas 32 and 33), 0.2 miles west of the intersection. Two gates here allow access into adjacent fields. Thereís another area (34) just south of the road in the hay 0.15 mile farther west. Go east 0.3 mile from the intersection with Oregon Avenue to the last area in this cluster. Thereís a gate here (No Hunting) and the area (35) is south of some bins and a barn.

eleven areas (including spot elevation 1305 feet) in Lenox Quadrant

Continue east on the county line (Adams-Taylor Street) for 2.2 miles to Rockwood Avenue. Turn right and go south 0.5 mile to a post on the half-section line. Park here and hike east into the cornfield (no fences, easy access). Area 36 is southeast about 0.15 mile, and area 37 is 0.4 mile east. Return to your car and go north back to the county line. Continue east 0.8 mile to just beyond a pink house. Park in a pull-in on the south, and hike 0.15 mile south into the bean field to area 38. This field is very flat.

Continue east on the county line road for 1.2 miles to Route N-64. The last half mile or so youíll be driving on the northern edge of a very large contour (area 39) that runs south for almost 2 miles and on which half the town of Lenox is built. At the intersection, thereís a gate on the east which provides access to the large flat field that runs south toward Lenox. Drive south on N-64 about 0.25 mile and park off the road. There is a jog in the fence to the east which is close to where spot elevation 1305 is located. This area has been altered somewhat since the topo was produced and thereís no sign of an airstrip anymore.

Go south to the town and turn left on Van Buren (J-13). Turn right on Main, drive south and turn left on Iowa, then go left again on Locust, etc. Have fun wandering around exploring this town. Higher ground within area 39 may exist in the vicinity of Temple and Ohio near the water tower. When you find these streets, drive east to circle around two small areas on the east side of town. The spots (areas 40 and 41) are between Temple and Ohio and can best be seen from Ohio Street near the Sunrise Apartments (I walked up and down the sidewalk on Temple and couldnít really detect anything). Find the intersection of Ohio and Oak. Go north on Oak (turns to a dirt road) to Van Buren (J-13) and note the classic old brick house north of the intersection. The house sits on a small spot (area 42) and has an unusual brick silo to the east. Jog west and turn right on Lakeshore Drive. As the road goes north, youíll notice it rise up as it crosses area 39 near a brown house. After you pass the house, watch for a field access point on your left. Youíll need this to get around the trees and through the fence that blocks you from a small remnant area (43) west of the road and east of area 39. Continue on Lakeshore Drive which has some nice lakes, a park and a golf course. Continue northeast on a dirt road from the golf course entrance to Utah Street. Turn right and go south almost 0.5 mile and park. Hike into the cornfield to your right (west) to a small area (44) and continue southwest into the adjacent bean field to two more areas (45 and 46). All of these small remnant areas are low in comparison to area 39.

eight areas in sections 3/9/10-70N-34W

From Lenox, go south on N-64 to Route J-20. Turn right and drive west on J-20 for 9 miles to Route 148. Go north on Route 148 for 2 miles and turn left onto 110th Street. Drive west 0.6 mile to a gate and park. This area (47) spills across the road but is mostly contained in the bean field to your north. Continue hiking north to the southern reach of a large boomerang-shaped area (48) or you may prefer to follow the half-section fence line north (east side). This area supports both beans and corn and has definite rise within the contour line. The northeastern reach of this area can be explored by hiking west from Route 148. Continue west on 110th Street to Jerico Road. There are some abandoned buildings here and a church. Park at the church and enter the cornfield to the southeast to visit area 49. Next, cross the street and hike into the cornfield to inspect five tiny contours (areas 50-54) that are strung out 0.75 mile to the southwest. None of these spots has any rise to them in comparison to the previous three areas.

sixteen areas along Forest Avenue

Return to the intersection of Routes 148 and J-20 (130th Street). Drive west 5 miles on J-20 to Forest Avenue. Turn right and go 1 mile north on Forest to the intersection with 120th Street near an abandoned farmhouse. Park here and walk west on a muddy road to the crest. Area 55 straddles the road here, and is higher than the smaller area (56) to the south in the yard behind some barns and a house (I visited this yard, but no one was home). There is another small area (57) in the cornfield across the street but it is also lower than area 55. Continue north 0.25 mile and park on the 1/4 section line. Hike west along the fence line a short distance to a contour (58) which reaches into the corn and hay fields on both sides of the fence. From here, you may want to hike directly north for 0.15 mile to visit a tiny spot (area 59) in the hay. You can also return to your car, move farther north to the half-section line, and hike southwest from a gate into the hayfield. Just north of the half-section line is another small area (60) that straddles the road. As you continue north, there are two more tiny areas (61 and 62) just west of the road in the cornfield. At the intersection with 110th Street go left if it isnít too muddy, otherwise park and hike west to the road crest. There are two areas here, one to the south (corn) and one to the north (beans). The southern area (63) is higher than the northern area (64), and appears higher than the four "remnant" areas (59-62) to the south, and two small "remnant" areas to the north (areas 65 and 66). From area 64, keep walking north-northwest 0.3 mile to visit these two "northern remnants". Return to your car and drive north 0.5 mile to the half-section line and park. The fence is down here so you can walk west into the bean and cornfields with ease. A short distance west is a fairly obvious area (67) and southwest another few hundred feet is another smaller area (68) in the bean field. From area 67, hike northwest 0.3 mile to another obvious contour (area 69) in the cornfield. Continue northwest toward the power lines to a final tiny spot (area 70). These last two areas can also be accessed by going north on Forest to a gate just west of Tim Greyís house. Enter the field and go southwest to area 69, then northwest to area 70.