Lyon County High Point Trip Report

three spots (670+ ft)

Date: June 21, 2003
Author: Ken Oeser

Jon Mann, Alexandra, and I had previously visited the BM area, but returned with resolve to finish the issue.

From Black Hawk intersection of KY93/KY276/KY139 at the tri-county intersection, about 0.5 mile south of exit 56 on I-24, we followed KY139/276 south for 0.8 mile, turned right onto KY276 to mile 4.2, turned right onto KY778 to mile 4.8 and turned left onto High Point Drive. We followed this to the end of the road at the small cemetery on the right. At this point there is a gate to a farm straight ahead, and we heard from the man in the house on the left that the owner doesn't want people on his farm. To the right is an open gate and field just past the cemetery and a fence line. We talked to the owner of this field and gained permission to hike on his land. For the second time we couldn't find the BM, although the USGS site said it is about 18 feet from some trees in the fence line. The grass is too high to find anything. The highest point in Lyon county here seems to be about 100 feet from the cemetery and gate, just past a small pond on the left side of the open gate. From this first area we hiked down the field/ridge and into the woods keeping a northwest bearing, crossed the creek at the bottom, walked downstream 200 feet, then hiked west up the ridge on the other side. This land has been planted in pines, so hiking isn't too bad. After 200 yards or so, we came to a narrow clearing going up the ridge, and found that there was a faint gravel road under the grass. This gravel road improved, and we followed this up the ridge, past one road coming in from the right, and continued to the second highpoint spot, where our road intersected a very good gravel road. My altimeter confirmed that we were at the right spot, and the highest point seems to be on the road or right on the shoulder of it. From the first area to the second is 1 mile.

For the third area, we followed the good chert gravel road south, watching the topo very carefully in case we needed to bushwhack at some point. This road goes down to a saddle, up a first knob, back to a saddle, then up the 660 elevation knob, southwest to another saddle, then up to a road split. The topo shows the ridge splitting here, so we took the left fork and followed this ridge down to a saddle, then back up to the third highpoint area which is located 20 feet to the left (south) of the road at the edge of the woods. From the second area to the third is 1 mile. We returned the same route since much of the walking was on good roads. The second and third areas showed higher by my altimeter both ways, and the contour line barely touches at BM Leitch, so that spot likely isn't as high as these two.

Near the third area, I saw a red something on a tree near a grassy road off the main gravel road, and walked over to investigate. The sign said Westvaco on it, and stated 'Foot travel only.' The man living left of the first area thought these spots might be on Westvaco land. Since Westvaco has a Wildlife Management Area on the Ohio River, we speculate that this is also one, but it isn't marked on my 1997 DeLorme. To get more information, I hiked southwest from the third spot along the road to see which direction it went, but after several hundred feet it ended in a grassy loop with gated dirt roads going right and left. If someone could find the road system into this area, this whole county could be a drive-up. Looking at the second spot where the main road comes through, I would guess that it comes up from McNabb Creek, and my DeLorme shows a road coming south from Lamasco about 1.5 miles and crossing McNabb creek. These roads are shown to end about 1.5 miles north of the second area, but the good road definitely goes that direction. Like Scott County in TN, the hard work has been done and a good gravel road found, now somebody needs to take that next step and drive up.