Madison County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: November 8, 2004
This is the second part of my trip of Jackson and Madison County HP bagging trip. After leaving the
Jackson County HP and getting back onto KY 1912, I went back towards U.S. 421. After getting there,
I turned left and about 300 feet up the road was Burnt Ridge Road. Turning left, I continued onwards to the
red iron gate on the right mentioned in Levi Foust's trip report. His directions are generally spot-on in
getting to all three areas mentioned in his report too.
After getting to Area 1 (the one with the two small contours in it), I wondered around on both of them and
concluded that the westernmost of the two was about a foot or two higher, by virtue of the small hump that
formed its highpoint.
Climbing down the hill and back onto the ATV trail, I continued on to Area 2 on Bear Mountain itself.
Between Area 1 and Area 2, you will arrive at the saddle. Don't be surprised if it seems like you are
dropping a couple of hundred feet in elevation. Just keep your eye on the prize! The area around the saddle
is generally the worst part of the entire trail but not really that terrible.
Right before you get to the summit of Area 2, look to your right (east) and you can easily see Pinnacle Knob
(the one that's so popular with hikers from Berea College) and Pilot Knob, a major landmark in Central
Kentucky along the old Wilderness Road (and looks exactly like photos of the one in North Carolina).
At Area 2, the summit appeared to be at the base of a large beech tree. Nothing in the way of markings or
features there. Continue on about 300 feet up the trail to Area 3.
At Area 3, there was a small blue and white ribbon tied around a small tree branch. I looked down and
covered in leaves was the greenish BM set in a small concrete block. It said "Berea 1928/1951" on it.
I uncovered the leaves from it. An attempt at hand leveling seemed to show that the Area 3 was slightly
higher than Area 2, so you can most likely rule that spot out as being the highest point in Madison County.
I couldn't get a good enough look at the ground from Area 3 to #1 to determine which one exactly was higher
but my gut tells me that Area 3 is the HP of Madison County. I definitely want to come back here one day.
It's just too bad that this mountain is very unappreciated, as I had the whole thing to myself.
Author: Estus Hibbard