Rock Island County High Point Trip Report

Date: December 23, 2001
Author: John Mitchler

Don't bother with this county if you don't plan to complete Illinois. In fact, don't even bother reading this if you aren't completing Illinois. Several cohp's have taken me more than two days to do (like Rainier, Granite, and Gannett). I didn't expect these two to be added to that list!

Basic description: Located in northwest Illinois just south of the Quad Cities, this multiple-area county is located in flat corn country. The town of Reynolds will serve as your base of operations; it has gas and a tavern but no motel. Only visit this area after crops are harvested and the ground is not mud (prefer frozen).

How to get to Reynolds: From I-280 Exit 15 in the Quad Cities, take First Avenue west 1.1 miles into Milan, and turn left (south) onto US67. Go south 7.8 miles to CR NN (176th Ave.) passing IL94 at mile 4.3; or from the south at IL17 in Viola, take US67 north 9.7 miles to CR NN. From the intersection of US67 and CRNN, go west on paved roller-coaster CRNN for 5 miles to IL94, then south 1 mile to the curve in Reynolds.

Note these 3 key reference points in town:

1) IL94 curve is Front/Main St. (park here at the memorial flagpole)
2) one block south of IL94 curve is intersection of 180th Ave. and 220th St. (180th/220th)
3) Longbranch Tavern at IL94 & Williams St. a block west of IL94 curve.

Lay of the Land: The high ground extends east-west for several miles east and west of Reynolds along the county line. The east-west county roads are 180th Ave., 170th Ave. etc. The north-south county roads are 220th St., 210th St., etc. The county line road is 180th Ave. and IL94 on the east side of Reynolds is 220th St.

1 disqualification: The high area in section 33 is a manmade and should be noted so in Andy Martin's book. It's a Jumbo. What's that? In Illinois, the underground coal mines generated waste rock, and these gob piles tower above flat countryside, usually along rail lines. The gob pile in section 33 is the Sherrard Jumbo and climbing it reveals shale and coal particles. I spoke to a nearby resident who gave me the name and location of the pile's owner. Someday, I may write a guide to Illinois jumbos, which will no doubt be a top priority list for Andy Martin to complete. To reach this feature, go east from the intersection of US67 and CRNN for 3.5 miles on paved CRNN, and then right (south) on paved 63rd St. for 1 mile to the wooded jumbo on your right (east) at the Mercer-Rock Island county line.

I numbered the true candidate areas 1 through 13, east to west along the county line.

five Areas of Rock Island - East of Reynolds

Area 1 is a large area in the southeast of section 32/33. From 180th/220th, go east for 2.1 miles to 240th St., go north 0.25 mile and park. Walk west in the field, zigzagging along high ground watching for possible highest rises, eventually turning south to meet 180th Ave. just west of Barber's farm. The Barber's are a friendly couple who operate the Outbak Kennels there at the farm.

Area 2 is a small area in southwest of section 32, and is 1.3 miles east of 180th/220th.

Area 3 is a small area in southeast of section 31, and is 2.0 miles east of 180th/220th.

Area 4 is a small area in south-central part of section 31, and is 0.8 mile east of 180th/220th. As with all these liners, the land slopes north away from the county line so that the highest ground appears along the county road.

Area 5 is a large U-shaped area in southwest of section 31 immediately east of Reynolds, and is highest 0.3 mile (in front of the farm house) and 0.1 mile from 180th/220th.

three Areas of Rock Island - Within Reynolds

Area 6 is in the southeast part of Reynolds.

Walking Tour of Reynolds #1: Park at IL94 curve and go east into southwest of section 31 (Area 5). High ground seems to be in the grassy area east of the grain bins. Walk south to 180th Ave., then west to 220th Street. Walk north, then west down an alley, then north crossing IL94. The post office seems high. Continue north to intersection of Edgington and Williams which seems high.

Area 7 is in south-central Reynolds.

Walking Tour of Reynolds #2: On IL94, go west to Madison St., turn left (south) one block before you reach the county line (Perryton St.) you'll see high ground.

Area 8 is on west side of Reynolds.

Walking Tour of Reynolds #3: From IL94, go north on West St. to Edington St., go east a block and park at the Funeral Home on (yes) Cemetery Street. Walk back west on Edington to West and then south noting that the two homes seem to be on high ground. Turn around and go back to the Funeral Home, and walk north of it which seems to be high. Walk east along Edington St. to the school.

five Areas of Rock Island - West of Reynolds

Area 9 is a large area in southeast of section 36 on west edge of Reynolds. IL94 curves slightly south to rejoin the county line, 0.7 mile from the IL94 curve. Park here. It seems high ground is in the lobe to the northwest of IL94, and immediately north of IL94, and to the far eastern edge of the area between Perryton St. and IL94.

Area 10 is in the southeast corner of section 35, and is 1.1 miles from IL94 curve. High ground seems to be on the west lobe of this area.

Area 11 is in southeast of section 35 and is large U-shaped area. High ground seems to be 1.2 miles and 1.4 miles from IL94 curve.

Area 12 is a small dot in southeast of section 35 and does not seem to have relief.

Area 13 is in southwest of section 35, and is 1.6 miles from IL94 curve.

Summary: There is no way to tell which area is highest, although the folks at the tavern seemed to be the highest. I will bet big bucks that Area 12 is not the true HP and is the only area that doesn't need to be visited. I get the "feeling" that I'm highest at Areas 1, 4, and 9 (east edge), and really high at Area 5 (in front of the house) and Area 11 (east end, along 180th).