Chippewa County Highpoint Trip Report

seventeen areas (1,120+ ft)

Date: November 27, 2004
Author: Mark Ness

Sixeteen of Chippewa County's 17 highest areas are located in a 5-section (1, 2, 11, 13, 14) area in Woods Township, in the northeastern corner of the county. The other is in Section 16. I numbered the areas from 1-17 in a logical vehicle route order, starting with the group of 3 in the northern part of Section 2.

My Approach to the Chippewa County High Point Group: From Kerkhoven, I drove southeast on U.S. Highway 12 for two miles, to unmarked Swift County Road 39 (did have a right turn lane, though). I followed that south for 1.7 miles to the Swift-Chippewa County line road (120th Street Southeast). I turned left there and drove 0.4 mile to the point nearest Area 1, about 340 feet from its top.

Areas 1-3: I walked through the plowed field to the first area via truck tracks, arriving in 3 minutes, then 2 more minutes to area 2, then 2 more minutes to area 3, which appeared to be the highest of the three.

Area 4: This is just 0.1 mile east of the parking place for area 1. It took about one minute to sufficiently cover it.

Areas 5-7: From there, I continued east the 0.5 mile to the next section line. Some sources may show a road that continues east to the Swift-Kandiyohi-Chippewa tri-point but I saw no evidence that there was ever a road there, nor even a trail, so I turned right there and went south, and parked on the roadside 0.2 mile from the T-intersection. It was fairly near the closest approach to area 5. I was expecting a creek or ditch between there and the hill grouping but I could not discern any appreciable waterway. If there was one, it was leveled off or caused to run underground for drainage. I arrived at area 5 in 8 minutes, area 6 in 2 more minutes, and area 7 in 2 more minutes.

Area 8: I returned to my truck after 21 minutes, and continued driving south to the next intersection, taking a left onto 80th Street NE, then another left a mile further on the Kandi-Chippewa Line road. I followed that road north for 0.54 mile, where I parked on the roadside at a point nearest area 8. The first field I passed through was scrub grass, then I encountered a plowed field that had been planted in some crop that I thought was turnips. Area 8 is a prominent hill, having great views in all directions, about 8 minutes from the road.

Area 9: I turned around there and returned to 80th Street. I drove on 80th Street for 1.5 miles to a point 0.18 mile from area 9. The field was deeply plowed and I arrived there in 6 minutes. Like area 8, area 9 is a prominent hill with good views in all directions.

Area 10: I turned around again and took a right onto 160th Avenue for 1/4 mile to driveway 7065, which was near area 10. I asked permission to visit the hill behind their grove and was granted it, after a small discussion. I arrived at area 10 in 5 minutes. It was an obvious HP but not especially significant.

Area 11: I returned to 160th Avenue and followed it south to 70th Street, where I turned right and followed it 0.8 mile to a spot on the road 0.17 mile from area 11. The field was corn, the first part of which had been plowed, then about 100 rows of standing corn, then plowed up to the summit. I got there in 8 minutes, including the time it took to cross all those rows.

Area 12: Then I turned around and drove east to the Kandi-Chippewa Line road (1.8 miles), and turned south for 0.4 mile, where I parked on the west side of a grove in a field road, 0.13 mile from the summit. Parking on the leeward side of the grove allowed me a brief respite from the cold winds that were blowing that day. It was a short walk on the field road to a rock pile, where I crossed a fence and walked through the plowed field, arriving in 4 minutes.

Area 13: I continued south on the county line road and turned right onto S.H. 40 for about a half mile. I parked in a field approach, 346 feet from the summit, a 3 minute total hike.

Area 14: I continued the other half mile to a right turn onto 160th Avenue again. The parking place for Area 14 is about 0.7 mile north of S.H. 40. I parked about 0.17 mile from the top. The field was harvested soybeans and involved a 5-minute hike to the top.

Area 15-16: I got back to S.H. 40 and continued west for 0.15 mile to a field road 0.19 mile from area 15. There was a field worker there who allowed me permission to walk on behalf of the owner. Part of the field was harvested corn, part was standing, part soft and deeply plowed. I walked around the standing corn but the plowed dirt was slow plodding. It took 7 minutes to get to the top of area 15, another 4 minutes to get to area 16, part of which was across the property line to the west. I walked back on chopped corn, which was a lot easier going. Total time for this pair was 20 minutes.

Area 17: I continued west on S.H. 40 for 2.6 miles. This area is in the middle of the section, so would be a half-mile walk from any direction. I looked for a western approach but there was no convenient place to park on the highway, so I turned right at the next intersection, 130th Avenue NE, and drove north for 0.54 mile to an approach 0.48 mile from the top. The field was again soft, plowed. I tried walking on top of the mounds but occasionally slipped. It took me 15 minutes to get to the large grassy area surrounding the HP and an additional 4 minutes to satisfactorily complete the summit. In the summit area were trees, a depression, culverts, rock piles, power lines, but no visible pipeline as the topo map suggests. The highest ground seemed to me to be a small hill near the power line tower on the east end of the summit area. The total hiking time was 37 minutes.

Trip Statistics: 3.5 hours total hiking and driving time.