Oregon County Highpoint Trip Report

eight areas - including 1,088 ft spot elevation (1,080+ ft)

Date: October 6, 2007
Author: Bob Schwab

I agree with Bob Packardís April 2007 report in which he found there are eight areas in Oregon County (not seven, per Andy Martinís book). What follows is a quick review of the eight areas and my additional comments about them.

one area 2 miles northeast of Cull (1080+ ft)

Drive east on US 160 from West Plains or west from Alton on US 160 to the intersection with Route JJ, which is close to the western county line. Turn south (opposite Route JJ) and watch for a white house on the left in 0.15 mile. If someone is home, get permission to park in their yard, cross the fence to the west, and wander in the grassy field with small trees. If no one is home, drive a bit west on Route 160, find a parking place near a gate, cross the fence and hike south. There really isnít room to park along the road near the white house if no one is home (which was the case when I visited).

one area 1.5 miles southeast of High Hill (1080+ ft)

Some of the roads on the map are no longer usable from the south and east. From Birch Tree, drive south on Route 99, then west on Route MM to the intersection with Route T. Turn south on T for 0.3 mile to a gate (posted) on the right that enters the woods. The path meanders west, then south about a mile to a knoll in the woods.

six areas near the county's NW corner (1080+ ft)

From the intersection of T and MM in Shannon County, drive north on T to TT and turn left. Follow Route TT west about 4 miles to County 693 and turn left (south). Drive south on CR 693 about 2 miles and note the gated, stone entrance on your left to some classic, fieldstone farm buildings. Continue south to an intersection with an unnamed road going west (spot elevation 1080). Park here and hike south-southwest across the field about 0.25 mile to the area just south of the county line. This is the westernmost area of the cluster of six.

Return to your car and continue south on the dirt road to the county line. Check out the small extension of the 1080 foot contour on the east side of the road, which just barely enters Oregon County. I think this is the eighth area for the county that Andyís book may have missed. Itís difficult to climb the steep bank to this small area and the narrowness of the road makes it impossible to park along this stretch of road. In reality, itís not the county highpoint, so you may want to skip it but a purist will make the effort since itís so close to the road.

Continue south along this road (CR 443 in Oregon County) as it bends left (east), then bends to the right (south) at spot elevation 1028. I stopped at the house on this corner and had a good conversation with the Kilgore family. After looking at my maps, they told me that the areas I wanted to visit are all owned by a large farm that was at one time part of the Doanís (Pills) estate. They told me I should contact the farm manager, Bill Raney, who manages the farm for the current owner who lives in Florida. To reach the Raney residence, I retraced my route back up the road to the spot 1080 intersection and turned left (west). At Route W, turn left (south) and watch for the second visible house on your right (roughly 1 mile down the road, the mailbox says Raney) which is set back from the road on the west side. Bill wasnít there, but Paula Raney was home and she not only gave me permission to visit the highpoints on the farm but she also unlocked the gate at the stone entrance and guided me across the farm roads to the easternmost area which has a large barn sitting on it. The highest spot within this area seems to be north of the barn, and appears to rise about 7 feet above the 1080 contour line. Driving back toward the farm entrance, I stopped at the spot 1075 intersection along the farm road and parked. I crossed the gate and hiked southwest down the slope and up the other side to the spot 1088 site on the county line. There are old wooden posts and a gate of sorts on the fence line very close to the spot elevation site. A path descends south into the woods which you can follow to two smaller areas farther south, or you can drive around and park at the bend in the road near the Kilgoreís house and hike north into the woods to get these last two areas. My conclusion is that spot elevation 1088 right on the county line is probably the highest area in the county, with the easternmost area north of the barn as the runner up.

Be sure to contact the Raneyís for permission if you intend to visit these sites.