Branch County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: April 27, 2007
Author: John Hasch

0.0   BP Gas Station on M 49 in Reading MI - drive south.
3.8   Intersection with Montgomery Road - turn right (west).
6.3   Intersection with Long Lake Road - turn left (south).
7.2   Intersection of McCallum and Main Street - Montgomery Fire Dept - turn right (west).
8.3   Railroad crossing - enter Branch County.
8.5   Intersection with Kelley Road - turn right (north).
9.6   Intersection with Haight Road (branch County) a/k/a Poats Road (Hillsdale County) - continue north.

10.2   Intersection with Copeland Road - turn left (west).
10.3   Park to the right just before crest in the road.

After my experience in Hillsdale County [see report], I enjoyed unwinding on the drive to the next county west, Branch County. I also received the added bonus of being closer to home, so the drive back took less time than expected.

The eastern approach has no easy way to get there because the county roads do not continue east and west for great distances. Several turns are required from Hillsdale no matter what route is chosen.

As I made the final approach on Kelley Road, I was impressed by the hilly whiteness of the region. Each farm field was an up and down bumpy landscape and the whiteness must be attributed to the prevailing crops (wheat/straw?) that have formerly been planted here. The bumps grew higher as I approached the CoHP.

Like Mike Schwartz, I parked at the side of Copeland Road just before it crested. This made an easy trailhead to the HP due north in the field. I took an easy hike north through the field stubble to the farthest high bump, which was actually a bit farther north and almost due west of the home shown on Kelley Road on the topo map. From here, I returned southwest on a course for the home on Copeland Road. I reached another good rise and my relative altimeter reading here was 1111 feet. Back at the car in about 0.4 mile and ten minutes for the round trip, a RAR there read 1079 feet.

It was my pleasure to find that Copeland Road continues due west for 8.7 miles to the I 69 exit ramp in Kinderhook MI. From here, it was an easy trip back home after successful summits of two Michigan counties.