Knott County High Point Trip Report

Date: March 16, 2002
Author: Ken Oeser

From Fleming Neon, take Highway 317 north to Deane. The small road crossing the ridge just southeast of the cohp, from KY1469, is not there anymore. I tried it and the road dead-ended at an active strip-mining area. I could see that there was no road going to the top of the ridge, and the main road went left and around the ridge somewhere else. I then drove to Deane and turned north on KY 7. Just before Beaver Gap, I turned right into Shelby Fork, but the road was posted past the last house, and nobody was home. I returned to KY 7 and turned north and parked at Beaver Gap, just past the Knott county line, in a gravel area on the left side of the road.

Hike up a steep ravine, cross a mining road, then up a grassy slope to the wooded county line ridge. Hike northeast for 0.75 mile, then southeast for 0.4 mile to the tri-county point and Knott county highpoint. Return the same way. This is a tough bushwhack thanks to not only a few blackberry plants, but many grapevines hanging at different levels. There are also many small trees, some of them what I call Devils Club, small trees with thorns in the trunks, but not black locusts. I sneaked up on one group of about 6 turkeys on the ridge. There is a deer trail most of the way on the ridge, but deer aren't that tall, so I wound up stooping to walk under vines a lot on the hike. There are three chimney rock formations along the ridge, each about 10-15 feet tall. I had no view along the way thanks to the rain and low clouds. For comic relief, I decided on carrying an umbrella and jacket rather than a poncho since it had been nice at Letcher county, but it started raining lightly and continued the whole time. The small trees were so close together I couldn't use the umbrella hardly at all, so I got soaked and broke one spoke of my umbrella.

Total distance is 2.4 miles roundtrip, and it took me 2 hours.

I was going to try Floyd county next, which is only 1-2 miles from the Knott cohp, but from Beaver Gap to any access is a long way since the mining road didn't cross the ridge. Instead, I drove up toward Magoffin county's highpoints. I drove along KY 2029 west of Garrett, KY and turned north onto what Delorme lists as Middle Fork Quicksand Creek Road, found it gated and posted after 0.25 - 0.5 mile, and gave up.