Tippecanoe County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: March 17, 2002
Author: Bob Schwab

41 areas (47 per Andy Martin's Book) (830+ ft)

I'd like to thank Andy Martin who patiently worked with me when I questioned how the number of areas reported for this county was established. After several exchanges we determined that the number of distinct areas in this county is 41. Because two different quads cut across several of these sites, portions of these contours extend into both areas and were originally double-counted as a result. What follows is a review of the 41 distinct areas by section number. Please contact me if you intend to visit this county. I would be happy to share some section maps that I have created which locate and number each area.

four areas in section 13-21N-3W of Mulberry quadrangle (830+ ft)

From the intersection of US 52 and Route 28 near the Lincoln Lodge Motel, drive east on Route 28 for almost 0.3 mile and turn left (north) onto a dirt road (unsigned). Cross the old RR grade and find area 1 in the cornfield off to your left. Area 2 is a bit farther north on this same road out in the same cornfield. Continue north to the intersection with 1075 S Road and turn left. Proceed 0.2 mile and park on the side of the road shortly after passing a house. Hike north into another cornfield to a low rise near the northeast corner of the field. This is area 3, and it appears to be larger and a bit farther west than the topo map indicates. Continue driving west another 0.3 mile and watch for the terminus of a row of telephone poles that crosses the cornfield from the south. Hike south along these poles and look for area 4 which is roughly west from the fifth pole south from the road. This tiny spot is no longer prominent due to many years of plowing and erosion. I used my GPS to verify that I was in the right location.

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four areas in section 23-21N-3W of Colfax quadrangle (830+ ft)

From the intersection of US 52 and Route 28 (near the Lincoln Lodge Motel), drive northwest on US 52 for 0.55 mile. Turn west on Route 28, and proceed another 0.7 mile to 975 E Road. Turn left and drive south for 0.5 mile to White Street, which angles to the southwest. Drive down White Street for just two blocks and park in front of the water treatment plant. Areas 1 and 2 are near the corner of Jefferson and White Streets. The water treatment plant sits on area 1, which is the site of the former Clark Hill Auditorium (the old sign remains). The building was torn down several years ago and the yard has obviously been regraded, but the ground here looks higher than the yard surrounding the pink house across the street. The pink house, and the house being renovated on opposite sides of the intersection with Jefferson Street sit on area 2. I think the pink house and yard are higher than the property to the west. What I have a hard time "seeing" is how these two contours are distinct, given the present height of White Street. According to the topo maps, there are two areas here, but your senses may tell you otherwise when you visit.

Drive down Jefferson Street for two blocks and turn right on Main Street. Proceed three blocks and note the grey house sitting on the corner of Main and Fulton Streets. The house sits on a tiny contour (area 3) that is barely larger than the house itself. Continue down Main Street another two short blocks to the corner of Main and Park Streets. Area 4 begins at this intersection and reaches diagonally across the block to the corner of Orange and Pearl Streets. I felt that the highest ground was just south of an alleyway between Orange and Park Streets, near a tan garage. The garage is behind a grey house (11824 Park Street).

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six areas in section 24-21N-3W of Mulberry quadrangle (830+ ft)

The Mulberry Quad shows only the northern half of section 24. Area 1 is the most bizarrely-shaped contour I've ever seen! It is actually a series of contours that have been artificially "connected" by railroad grades and roadbeds, and it takes up almost the eastern half of section 24 (see maps). I visited at least eight different parts of this complicated area in search of the highest ground. The intersection of US 52 and Route 28 is within this area, as is the parking lot of the Lincoln Lodge Motel, but I found higher ground just to the north of where the railroad grade crosses US 52. I parked here and hiked north into the cornfield where I walked on several bumps and gentle mounds. Don't be confused by the sawdust piles to the east of the pallet shop, although the ground underneath them is another part of area 1. I also found higher ground by walking in the fields to the southwest of the US 52-Route 28 intersection (which is still a part of area 1).

Area 2 is a small spot in the field directly south from the intersection where Route 28 leaves US 52 and heads west. Park right at the intersection and hike out into the field., heading toward the lighter-colored soil, which seems to cap several of the contours in this part of the county.

To visit areas 3-6 in this part of section 24, go south on US 52 about 0.15 mile from the Route 28-US 52 junction (near Lincoln Lodge Motel) and pull off to the right where three barns sit fairly close to the road. As you pull in, notice a drive that goes off to the right and winds into some trees where three grain bins are located. I drove all the way to the bins and parked. This pleasant woods is the site of area 3. From here you can hike west into the fields to visit areas 4, 5 and 6. I stopped at a wooden post which marks the center of section 24 (which is also in area 6) and evaluated the relative heights of the surrounding contours with my hand level. The woods shown on the topo map was removed over 20 years ago, according to the locals.

Before you leave this area, you may also want to consider hiking south into the field and visiting areas 4 - 10 in the Colfax quadrangle portion of section 24. You should also hike south from the three barns to visit area 3 in the Colfax Quad before leaving this area.

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fourteen areas in section 24-21N-3W of Colfax quadrangle (includes one 833 ft spot elevation)

The Colfax quadrangle represents the southern half of section 24. The area numbers I'm using were assigned on my maps (which I'll share if you request them). Given where you were left in the previous description (at the section 24 center post in area 6 of Mulberry Quad), it seems prudent to hike south, making an elongated oval in the fields to take in several tiny areas which lack prominence (areas 7, 8 and 9) as you head for area 10, which is north of a residence. Once you arrive at area 10, circle around to the east, heading back north across the field to visit areas 6, 5 and 4 respectively. All of these areas are lower (per hand level checks) than the larger areas 1 and 6 that originated in the Mulberry Quad portion of section 24). When you return to your car near the grain bins, drive back to the three barns and park. Hike south on a grassy path across the field toward a wooded area. On the southeastern corner of this "woods" is the contour for area 3. The highest point is near a large tree with rocks under it. There is also fairly high ground on the northwest corner of this woods near an old abandoned barn, but this contour is a part of that mega-area 1 that was mentioned in the Mulberry Quad part of section 24.

Turn south on US 52 from the three barns and turn right at the next intersection. This intersection is 0.8 mile south of the US 52-Route 28 intersection near the Lincoln Lodge. Proceed west for about 0.3 mile to the intersection with 1000 W Road and find a place to park. The 833 ft spot elevation site is right in the middle of this intersection, which is in the middle of area 1. Area 1 also extends to the southwest into section 25, where the highest spot may be, just to the west of a barn in a grassy area. If you hike due north from the intersection into the field (take your compass or GPS to stay on track) you will arrive at area 2, which is on the county line and is almost connected to area 1. Hand level checks verify that area 2 is lower than area 1.

Drive west on the road (now called 1200 S Road) for 1 mile to a trailer and garage owned by Rod Hodgen (10030 E 1200 S Road). Rod farms the southwest quarter of section 24 and the northeast quarter of section 25, so getting his permission to wander the fields is important. He granted me permission to visit his property as long as I promised to be done before he started planting this spring. From Rod's home, go back east 0.2 mile to several large grain bins on the north side of the road. This is area 11 and the highest spots appear to be northeast of the bins.

To visit areas 12-14, drive west on 1200 S Road, past Rod's home to the intersection with 975 E Road. Turn right and go north until you get to the water tower on the eastern edge of Clarks Hill. Consider parking either at the water tower, or in the yard of a repair shop just north of the tower. Hike east across the fields, staying south of an obvious fence line. When the fence line ends, you have arrived at area 14, which is a tiny area that straddles the section 23/24 line as well as the Mulberry/Colfax Quad line. Area 14 has a few trees and a rock, a corner post, and has some prominence, but area 13 to the southeast is less distinct. Area 12 was larger and more prominent than the topo map indicates.

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ten areas in section 25-21N-3W of Colfax quadrangle (with four 832 ft spot elevations)

From the intersection of 1200 S Road and 975 E Road, drive south on 975 E Road for roughly one mile as the road bends to the left, then back to the right. The large farmhouse (12619 S 1000 E Road) and barn on the left is owned by William Scanlon. He farms this quarter section and he granted me permission to wander his property. Area 1 consists of a bizarre collection of three areas connected by an old railroad grade. Mr. Scanlon's house sits on a portion of this area, but you will want to walk east on a farm path from his barn to the railroad grade to check out the other "wings" of this area. You can continue to hike east to access area 10, but I chose to include it in a loop field hike that I did several weeks later.

To visit area 2, return to the intersection of 1200 S and 975 E Roads. Drive east on 1200 S Road for 1 mile, turn south and go another 0.5 mile to where the woods stop on your left. The area to your immediate right (west) is part of area 2, which is strung out along the edge of this road for another 0.5 mile. The ground is fairly high out in the cornfield, and also in an area 0.3 mile south, along a path that heads toward a wooded area.

From where you've parked (0.5 mile south of 1200 S Road, opposite to where the woods stops on the east), hike west into the field. Cross a drainage ditch and continue west toward some large high-tension lines. Turn south where the electric lines cross the center section line, and in about 500 feet you will arrive at area 10, which has a spot elevation of 832 feet. Head due north for 0.25 mile and you will visit area 8, which according to my hand level checks, seemed to be the highest spot in the center of the field. Hike west to area 7, which is identified by the lighter-color of the soil. Return to area 8 and hike east, crossing over area 9 on your way back to your car.

Drive north to 1200 S Road, turn left and drive west just 0.2 mile before parking along the road. Hike south into the field, heading toward the lighter-colored soil to find the highpoint of area 3. From here a hand level check shows that area 8 to the south is higher, but the areas north of the road are about the same.

Continue driving west on 1200 S Road to the first house and buildings on your left (11051 E 1200 S Road). The folks who live here rent the property from Rod Hodgen's father, but they were friendly and didn't mind my brief visit to their yard (area 4). Areas 5 and 6 can be visited by hiking mostly south into the fields from here. Even though area 5 has a spot elevation of 832 feet, I felt it was lower than area 8. Areas 6 is definitely lower than area 8, and is hard to discern due to plowing and erosion.

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two areas in section 36-21N-3W of Colfax quadrangle (includes one 837 ft spot elevation)

Drive east on 1200 S Road to the county line (1000 W Road) turn right and go south for 2 miles. You have arrived at the southeast corner of Tippecanoe county, which has a spot elevation of 837 feet. Area 1 extends from the southeast out into the field to the northwest, and reaches up to include the farmhouse on the west side of the road. Area 2 is 0.5 mile north of the county corner, right next to where the old railroad grade crosses the road. Orrin Davidson owns both of these areas, and he lives at 9670 W 450 S Road (the road to the east from where the railroad grade crosses the county line). The house located in area 1 has friendly owners, but I didn't get their name. After looking this area over extensively, I've concluded that the highest spot in the county is probably in the cornfield, just west of the road and south of the house. An 840 foot contour line is very close by in Clinton County. Given the spot elevation in the southeast county corner, and the likelihood that the land is maybe a foot higher as you go out into the field and go north toward the house, I'm quite sure this ground is higher than anything you'll encounter in the fields to the north.

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one area in 32-21N-5W of Wingate quadrangle (833-ft spot elevation)

From the intersection of US 231 and Route 28 just north of Romney, drive west on Route 28 for 6.25 miles to 625 W Road. Turn left and go south for 2 miles to 1300 S Road. Turn left and go east for 0.5 mile to where the road jogs right. After the jog, the road will jog left near a house, but continue south on a dirt drive that continues south up the knoll to the Sugar Grove Cemetery. The spot elevation 833 feet is in the center of the cemetery, and is surrounded by stones that date to 1830s and include Revolutionary War veterans. This was by far the most pleasant site to visit in this county. Nice moderate views from the hilltop.

In summary, it took me about two months of week-end effort to obtain the permissions, wait for the weather to cooperate (the fields to dry out [or freeze up]), and actually field-inspect these sites. A hand level is an absolute necessity and you'll want to take the best maps you can get. A GPS unit and/or compass are also needed to give reassurance that you're in the right place, even when you don't see the things you expected. Highpointing in muddy corn and bean fields is not going to be easy, so don't attempt this one unless you're really serious about Indiana highpointing.