Worcester County Highpoint Trip Report

northernmost area (59+ ft)

Date: July 27, 2006
Author: Fred Lobdell


The northernmost of the six possibilities for the HP of Worcester County lies on the north county line, a half mile or so east of Coulbourn Mill Road. Previous claimants of this area have driven up the long driveway located almost on the county line and received permission from the landowner to hike east from there.

I got to the house around 3:30 p.m. and found no one home, so I left and drove around for a while. I looked at a sandy road going into the area of interest from the south, off St. Lukes Road, but it had a chain across it. A small sign identified it as Chesapeake Forest, a part of the Maryland state forest system.

I returned to the house shortly after 4 and found the "lady" of the house home. She was not in the best of humors. Before I could complete my request she said, "No! No! We've let too many of you people back there already. No more!" That didn't seem to leave a lot of room for negotiation. It was a hot, muggy day and I doubt if even a first-class schmoozer like Kevin Williamson could have gotten permission on this day.

Rather dejected, I drove out the driveway and headed for Snow Hill, a few miles southeast. As that town is the county seat, I thought that maybe someone on the county offices might be able to help me, at least to the extent telling me who the property owner was. I also thought I might find a state forest office in the area. I got to Snow Hill and found the county office building about 4:35, and it's a good thing I wasn't on foot because I would have been trampled in the rush as all the government workers swarmed out of the building at quitting time.

Having driven all that distance (in my van, it's about $90 worth of gas for the round trip at today's prices), I intended to take a room in Salisbury and try the county offices again in the morning. I proceeded northwest on MD 12, heading for Salisbury -- hold on, was that a forest service sign? I swung a quick U-turn and drove into the driveway, where I found a man in a vehicle behind the office. He turned out to be Mike Schofield, the forest manager for the Chesapeake Forest. He proved to be a very nice guy. I explained what I was doing and showed him my maps. We looked at his book of forest maps and the tract in question appeared to go north just about to the county line. The road went almost all the way back, too. He gave me his business card and wrote an access permission on the back of it, saying that it was very unlikely that I'd be questioned but to refer any inquiries to him. He even gave me the combination to the lock on the chain, although in the event I couldn't get it to work.

Back I went to the sandy dirt road. As I couldn't open the lock, I hiked back on the road. From the map, it appears to be about a mile each way. It was easy walking until I got to a clear-cut area. At this point I couldn't place myself exactly on the map and so didn't know exactly where to go. I climbed up in a hunter's stand to get an overview of the terrain but that didn't help either. I did find a hump of land but don't know if it was the right spot. Obviously, what I needed was a GPS unit.

So I continued on to Salisbury and took a room at the Days Inn. In the morning I went up to Wal-Mart around 8 a.m. to buy a GPS unit but all they had was units for cars. I asked about outdoor stores and was directed to a Gander Mountain store a short distance away. They didn't open until 9, so I thought I'd kill some time browsing in a nearby Barnes & Noble but they didn't open until 9 either. It turned out that the GM store didn't have the kind of GPS unit I was looking for either, so at that point I gave up on my MD quest for this month and headed south.