Alexander County High Point Trip Report

Date: December 8, 2001
Authors: Jon Mann and Ken Oeser

These two nearby areas on Bass Hill are easily combined with Pulaski County. From the northern Pulaski area, continue west on Lake Road for 1.9 miles to IL 127, at the small town of Mill Creek. Turn south on IL 127 for 3/10 mile to the Union/Alexander County Line. Turn right (west) on County Line Road. Follow County Line Road for 2.1 miles to Whitney Hollow Road. Turn left (south) on Whitney Hollow Road, following the good gravel road for 2.3 miles to Bass Hill Road (which is shown as a double dotted road on the topo). Bass Hill Road is gated right after the junction, and the road signs were knocked down. There were two locals parked at the gate who said that a mining company had put the gate up to keep hunters out, but they went back there all the time. The northern most area is on Forest Service land, and I have placed a call to the Shawnee National Forest asking if the road should be gated, or if there should be public access. The road goes to the site of the long gone Bass Hill lookout tower.

We hiked up the road (which would be easily driven by a sedan) for 1/2 mile to the first area, which has a radio tower next to it. The solid road shown on the topo doesn't exist (or faintly does) anymore. The high area is open field. We then followed the road 1/4 north to the second area, which is encircled by the road. The highest area is in an overgrown bramble that cover the footings of the lookout tower. The altimeter showed this area to be about 10 feet higher than the radio tower area.

If you go on a weekend, you are not likely to encounter anyone from the mining company that owns the land, and locals told us that they use the area - the mining company just doesn't want hunters on the property. The other access road shown on the topo also passes through private land. The only way to access the highpoint, which is on National Forest land (the northern area of the two is in the NF, and is the higher of the two areas), and stay fully on NF land the entire route, is to hike cross-country from the county road that is 3/4 mile to the north.