Wayne County Highpoint Trip Report

one small area in NW 1/4 of SE 1/4 - section 6-1S-8E (990+ feet)

Date: June 17, 2007
Author: Andy Hatzos

Despite it being less than 20 miles from my home, I had never gotten around to completing the Wayne County high point. It was nearly 90 degrees on the Sunday afternoon I finally made the trip and it was probably one of the least enjoyable high points I've yet to experience.

The high point is inside of Maybury State Park, which is in the far northwest corner of Wayne County. I approached the park from the east, coming in from Eight Mile Road. Immediately west of Garfield Road is the well-marked entrance to the park. There is an entry fee of six dollars to get in. For off-peak times, there is a self-registration area just past the booth where an attendant was working. They have maps at the booth, so be sure to pick one up. At the first intersection, I made a right turn toward the Walnut Shelter. There are a couple of parking lots near the picnic shelter and a restroom facility near the trailhead. I parked here.

In terms of navigation, I decided to mostly follow Bob Schwab's directions, which looked the most straightforward to me. However, due to the fact that the topographic map is entirely inaccurate in regards to the park's current road/trail system, I also made extensive use of aerial photography. I printed off some aerial photographs of the park and these would prove to be invaluable!

The paved bike trail leads south from the restrooms but turns east fairly quickly. A hiking trail, covered in wood chips, heads south-southeast. I continued straight on this trail, careful to stay to the right at another fork. Eventually, this trail comes out at an area with a park map, picnic table, and another paved north-south bike path. At this intersection, another hiking trail heads off to the east. This east-west trail leads to the high point area, and actually parallels the ridge just to its north. The paved bike path does not need to be crossed or traveled on.

I followed this eastward hiking trail for a while and eventually came to the clearing mentioned in Bob Schwab's report. There is a lone coniferous tree in this clearing and it stuck out like a sore thumb on the aerial photography. This proved very useful to me as I was able to use that tree to figure out where I was at in relation to the high point. The clearing was incredibly overgrown though and vegetation was chest-high in places! It would have been extremely uncomfortable to cut through 100 feet of brush -- so rather than walking through the tall grass, I decided to find another route. Here's where the aerial photography really came in handy. There is a faint trail that parallels the ridge to its south -- and this trail is not listed on any maps. It is, however, visible on the aerial photography. I eventually found one of the trail's endpoints at the eastern edge of the ridge. Its western (and preferred) endpoint is along the east-west hiking trail just west of the big clearing.

This small trail heads downhill a bit as it heads southeast and eventually comes upon a very obvious rise to its north. This is the high point ridge. I climbed up the fairly steep slope and wandered on top for a while. The highest area seemed to be on the eastern edge of this hill. The western edge is close enough to warrant a visit. There's another hill along the ridge about 100-200 feet east of what I feel is the high point but it was clearly lower. The high point ridge is bounded to the south by obvious steep terrain and bounded to the north by the aforementioned clearing.

The approach from the small woods trail seemed much easier than coming in through the clearing and I would certainly recommend this route to anyone else attempting the high point. The undergrowth along the ridge was bad enough and it was certainly a bit uncomfortable. Given that, and the fact that flying insects wouldn't give me any peace, this looks like a good candidate for preferred winter ascent.

report with links to photos