Houston County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: September 9, 2007
Author: G. Sexauer

From La Cresent, MN I took Hwy 16 and turned right onto County Road 21. I drove about 11.25 miles and turned right on County Road 9. About 2 miles later, I took a left on Looney Valley Road. Another 1/4 mile later I took a left turn on Hanson Valley Road, 1.07 miles later turn left on Traff Drive (Bob Schwab wrote "Truff"). Finally, I drove to the end of the road where there is a long driveway with a big cement house on the left side a little way up the hill.

There is tons of damage around these parts still after the flood about 3-4 weeks ago. The bridge on Traff Road was in horrible condition with ruts of over a foot deep. A lot of other places on the way around bridges had gravel connectors put in to connect with the road. The stream that follows the road also went over the road in some low spots.

When I got to the house where the highpoint is, their driveway became the creek for the storm and could not be driven, with 3 foot trenches in the peat-dirt. Water was still sitting over a foot deep in places. Jackie is still the owner of the house and was nice enough to let me up to the highpoint. She said that the construction workers are working on bigger things now and can't come to fix their driveway yet. Two landslides also came down from the ridge where the highpoint was, into their field where some horses roam.

She showed me a path up at the edge of the woods and it is a newly-bulldozed trail (less than a year old, I'd say) up the side of the ridge. Some State Forest signs were in the woods too but I think the trail and highpoint are still on Jackie's land. At the top, you have to go a bit off the trail to the north-north-east and I found what appeared to be the highest point on a piece of ground next to a stump. If you got the right spot there is quite a view through the trees and I suppose you could see the whole panorama if you came when the leaves were off the trees.

After I got down to my car, I realized I didn't keep a hike time but it was something between 30-45 minutes round trip. From my car it was 500 vertical feet to the highpoint.