Howard County High Point Trip Report

Date: June 9, 2002
Author: Barney Metz

There are two spots required for this county and both are easy access. I used Dan Case's write-up, which was more than adequate. As I was doing these Maryland Counties I came to appreciate Dan's reports very much so.

point 1 - Microwave Tower Site D of the 111th Signal Battalion, Fort Ritchie (880+ ft)

Exit I-70 south on MD-27. You will come to an odd intersection not too long after the Shell station head on the left fork and then take the next left. The first point I visited was the Fort Detrick Microwave tower just off of MD-27. It is a square fenced in area with a parking space in the front. There are some signs there which note: "In case of Emergency-Please contact the Fort Detrick Police Desk 301-619-7114." The Federal Communications Tower Number is 1208357. This is tower is labeled as site D. The sign that Dan mentions is still worn out and on the street side of the fence, the signs I reported are on the gated entrance. I walked around the fenced off area to ensure completion of the point per County Highpointing rule #3.

PLEASE NOTE! There is a Rottweiller at the house on the south-southeast corner of fence. All that separates you and the dog is a gravel road. He came to full guard dog status and had he not been chained, it would have been a very unpleasant predicament. I returned to my vehicle and proceeded to the second point.

point 2 - behind the Mt Airy Full Gospel Church (880+ ft)

The second point is also in conjunction with the Montgomery County highpoint. Head back towards that odd intersection. You will want to get on Penn Shop Road (the intersection) where the light is. Head south for about a quarter of a mile. Take a left into the drive of the Mt. Airy Full Gospel Church. You will need to get up behind the buildings in that parking lot and locate the playground. I thought the area by the church on the lawn might be higher than the playground, but it is one of the situations where I walked the playground and also the lawn. I ended up tramping a considerable amount of area, as it was very difficult for me to tell which areas were higher than the others. I walked around the thicket of trees and also around the large tree by the back parking lot and in the field. With no clear demarcation of the county line I spent a while tramping ground in hopes of stepping on the true high point after a not too long period of time. The playground area is the highpoint of Montgomery County and the trees and the field is the second point for Howard County. It is very easy to see the microwave tower from the church.