Jo Daviess County Highpoint Trip Report

Charles Mound (1,235 ft)

Date: January 13, 2007
Author: John Hasch

I left home last evening with an ambitious agenda of wanting to see the following 9 high points: Charles Mound (IL), Rib Mountain (Marathon County, WI), James Lake Ski Lift (Taylor County, WI), Timms Hill (WI), Pearson Hill (a mere inches below Timms Hill in Price County, WI), Mount Whistlesey (Ashland County, WI), Lookout Mountain (Lincoln County, WI), Sugarbush Hill (Forest County, WI), Kent Lookout Tower (Langlade County, WI).

I left somewhat spontaneously because most factors were right. I had a 3-day weekend with Martin Luther King Day, I soon would be buried in CPA tax work, I had planned the trip to my satisfaction, and my wife was accepting the trip. I had put off traveling to northern Wisconsin for most of my life. I had wanted to return ever since I went there on a church youth choir trip years ago. The weather had previously been clear, little snow was on the roads and ground, and no snow was expected. Why NOT go?

So, I threw together a lot of contingent supplies in case my car broke down somewhere in the wilderness. I was not expecting long hikes from the car; destinations were selected based on short expected hikes or direct drive-ups but I was still going into the Wisconsin wilderness, so I had better be prepared in case I found myself in need. Cars and people would probably be few and far between. I left at 10:16pm. I intended to drive through the night to get to the Charles Mound area at sunrise. I could rest when I got to the area.

Well, I arrived at Charles Mound just after sunrise at 8:10am. I had been in the area for a couple hours before then but I had a difficult time finding some of the roads in the dark. I had good directions, I thought, but the roads in this very rural part of Illinois are winding and not well marked. I subsequently found that my driving instructions were faulty, and they had me going in the wrong direction at one point in the Charles Mound and North Carr Road area. I finally found Charles Mound Road, traveled to the western end in Scales Mound, and backtracked 1.3 miles to the main gate.

The sun rose around 7:55 am, and when I got to 688 W. Charles Mound Road, I could see I was obviously at the right place. Shortly beyond the gate was a sign that read, "Charles Mound Closed Today".