Big Stone County Highpoint Trip Report

Dates: November 14 and 27, 2004
Author: Mark Ness

It took me two attempts to complete Big Stone County. The high points are located in Sections 15 & 22 of Big Stone Township (4 hills in a line), section 7 of Artichoke Township, and Section 2 of Malta Township. I completed points 1-4 and 7 on November 14, and points 5-6 on the 27th.

approach to the group of 4 hills

Upon entering Big Stone County from the south on Lac Qui Parle County Road 7, I took CR 15 north to U.S. Highway 12, turned right, then went north on U.S. Highway 75 for 5 miles to C.R 10 (paved), and drove east on C.R. 10 for 1/8 mile to the road crest. I parked on the road crest and numbered the four hills from south to north. I spent 16 minutes exploring this group.

Area 1: I hiked up to area 1 on the south side of CR 10. From the top, it looked shorter than Area 2, just across the road.

Area 2: I crossed over to area 2, and confirmed that area 1 is lower.

Area 3: This seemed shorter than area 2, but area 4 seemed higher than area 3.

Area 4: When I got to area 4, I concluded that it was higher than area 3 and about as high as area 2.

approach to Areas 5 and 6

On my first visit, I was somewhat unprepared for this pair since I had not programmed the coordinates for either of them into my GPS (set for WGS 84). What I had was a topo map (NAD 27) with the midpoint between the two hills in its center. From the group of 4, I continued east on C.R. 10 for 6.18 miles to C.R. 21. I turned left (north) on C.R. 21 for 1.82 miles, then right (east) on gravel C.R. 8 for 2.8 miles. When I arrived at the point on the road nearest area 5, I was disappointed to see that it was covered with standing corn. Not having a clear idea of where either area was, I decided to come back at a later date and try it again with coordinates pre-programmed.

Area 5: On my second visit, I approached from the north, from Minnesota State Highway 28 west through Johnson, and south on C.R. 21 to C.R. 8. Then I parked on the road side and quickly ascended area 5, an 11-minute hike there and back. It was a cold wind after a recent snowfall, but at least the corn was gone.

Area 6: Then I drove around to the east and south, arriving at a wide field approach on the other side of the road from area 6. I walked through the plowed corn field for 6 minutes, then crossed a barb wire fence into a field of harvested soy beans, and continued 5 more minutes to the top of area 6.

Area 7: I visited this area, on a farm, on November 14. From my aborted attempt to summit areas 5 and 6, I returned west on C.R. 8 to C.R. 21, going north 6 miles to gravel C.R. 56 (C.R. 4 goes west), and turned right for about 1.5 miles (I overshot the driveway and had to turn around) into driveway number 65592. I knocked on the door but received no response. The highpoint area is to the north and east of the house. I walked around as little as possible and drove away -- less than 5 minutes out of my truck.