Clark County High Point Trip Report

Date: November 4, 2001
Author: Bob Schwab

The four high points in Clark County are located on the Knobstone Escarpment, a prominent ridge with a 400 to 500 foot vertical drop on the east side (a big deal in Indiana). Two of the areas are easily accessible by car, while the other two require some hiking and sweating.

Leave Interstate 65 at Exit 19 and drive northwest on Indiana 160 about 4.3 miles as the road weaves through the valley to the Washington County line. Look for a road going to the right (Casey Rd - South County Road) and a gated dirt track to the left. Turn right (north) and almost immediately turn right again on a good gravel road heading east. Drive east on this road about 1.4 miles to an intersection where a communications tower is located. Bear right at the intersection and continue east another 0.9 mile. Along the way you will pass a second radio tower on the left side of the road, but continue until you arrive at a small park with a large lookout tower on the left. This is area 1, and BM 1037 feet is located right under the tower stairs. Climb the tower for a panoramic view of this hilly area in Indiana.

Continue east on the road for another 0.1 mile to some rest rooms and a parking lot on the right. To the south, there is a large picnic shelter with a clear view of the countryside below. The highest spot (in area 2) seems to be near an old concrete support just north of the shelter. I used an intermediate station to evaluate both areas with my hand level, and determined that area 1 was higher than area 2. These areas are located in the Clark State Forest, so access is not a problem, but don't be surprised by the crowds, because the area is quite scenic.

As you retrace your route back to where you left the highway at the Washington County line, you may want to stop at each of the two towers you passed, since the areas near them or north of them represent two of the multiple high spots found in Scott County.

For areas 3 and 4 in Clark County, you need to return to the intersection of Carey Road - South County Road with Indiana Route 160. To the south is a gated dirt track, but there is a parking area that can accommodate about three cars. Park here and begin to hike up the track. Soon you will pass to the right of a camp (posted) and will then ascend steeply up to the ridge. The road/track runs roughly southeast along the ridge, and goes right over the top of area 3 (coordinates [38 deg 33.181 min N, 85 deg 49.982 min W]) about 1.25 miles from where you parked your car.

As you continue east, the track will drop down rather suddenly toward the south. To the east across the gap, you can see the top of a very narrow ridge where area 4 is located at coordinates (38 deg 33.036 min N, 85 deg 49.702 min W). This involves roughly another 0.5 mile of steep down and up hiking, as well as some bushwhacking. Hand leveling was partially obscured by the trees, but I believe area 3 is higher than area 4. I intend to return to this area when snow makes the highest elevations more clearly visible to re-check both areas with my hand level.

An interesting alternate route might be to approach these areas from the bottom of the valley by fording the creek and ascending the steep north face of these hills, but this would involve crossing private property (a farm) and I don't yet know how friendly or understanding the farmer will be toward county high pointers. My original route along the dirt/track ridge to access areas 3 and 4 is all within the Clark State Forest, so there shouldn't be access problems for future visitors. Overall, this is one of the better Indiana high pointing experiences I have encountered.