Schuyler County Highpoint Trip Report

114 unique contours (1,000+ feet)

Date: November 10, 2007
Author: Bob Schwab

I understand that Dick Ellsworth completed this multi-contour county some time ago, so this is not a detailed devirginization report but just a brief synopsis of my five visits which allowed me to finally finish it off.

Andyís book mentions 117 contours but in reality there are only 114 unique contours above 1000+ feet (two quad overlaps between Greentop and Queen City, and one quad overlap between Coatsville and Lancaster).

LANCASTER QUAD - one area in section 22-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

From Glenwood, go south on Pheasant Run Road for 0.75 mile and turn left (east) on Missouri Avenue. Park at the blue gate and hike north into the bean field. This contour has rise!

two areas in section 15-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

From Glenwood go north on Route M approximately 1.2 miles to a junction with a mailbox with Kiemer on it. Turn right and ask for permission to wander in the weedy field south of the farm. There are two small contours in this field.

four areas, one very large in sections 9/16-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the Kiemer mailbox, go directly west, across Route M onto a dirt road that leads to Glenwood Junction. The road cuts through a large contour that was planted in corn with a few beans this year. Once the crops are harvested, you can see all the terrain. I thought some of the highest ground was over near the old railroad right of way and north out in the cornfield. Parked at a pink and orange gate and wandered north, east and south. Go south on Route 202 0.5 mile and turn right on Hays Street. Drive to first house (olive green) and ask permission to hike north, south and west. Park at blue gate to explore southern arm of large area and also to access two smaller (and lower) contours to the northwest. Seems to be more high ground north of gate in pasture. From Hays Street (Route 202), drive north on Route 202 for 1 mile to the Junction Bend Farm and ask for permission to check out the small contour west of their farm in the pasture.

eleven areas in section 8-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

Continue northwest on Route 202 just a short distance to a yellow house on the left which sits on a small contour. Across the road is a field access path that crosses the old railroad and provides a way to visit a small contour in the field to the north. Park in the field access and visit the yellow house, then hike north, then hike along Rte 202 a short distance to check out the rise (man- made?) that sits between the highway and the old railroad line. Drive 0.5 mile farther west to a white house on the south side of the road. Their driveway bends north next to a small contour out in the grass near spot elevation 995. Continue west 0.25 mile to a drive on your left (south) to an abandoned place which sits on a slightly higher contour. Continue just a bit farther west to Snively Road on your right. Turn north and watch as you cross the railroad right-of-way for a mowed path going southeast. Supposedly, this path crosses over a contour but it looked pretty flat to me. There is another small contour out in the fenced pasture to your east, which you can access from the road. Continue north on Snively a bit and park near the buildings (house is gone) to explore the small area to the east in the pasture and the larger area in the cornfield to your west. Return to Rte 202 and continue west about 0.1 mile to a field access on the south, which leads to two more small contours out in the cornfield. None of these contours seem to have much gain, when compared to the wavy terrain found back near Glenwood Junction.

fifteen areas in sections 5/6/7-66N-15W in Lancaster Quad (1000+ feet)

Continue west on Route 202 to Red School Road and turn right. Park close to the intersection in a field access path going north into a hay field. Hike north into the field to visit the first contour and also investigate the small rises between Route 202 and the railroad right-of-way, both north and south of Red School Road. Cross Route 202 and find an access point to the cornfield and contour west of Route 202. There are three other insignificant areas in section 7 that are best accessed from Route F. They will be mentioned again briefly when I review the section 7 Coatsville Quad areas later in this report.

Drive 0.3 mile west on Route 202 and park in a field access to the north. There is a barely perceptible rise to your south, along the edge of the old railroad right-of-way. There is an obvious rise out in the grassy field to the northwest but the property is posted.

Return now to Red School Road and drive east 0.25 mile to a farm to get permission to enter the pasture/alfalfa fields and visit three small contours on the ridge northeast of the barn. The southernmost area seems to be the highest of the three in my opinion. Turn west and then go north on the Coatsville Cemetery Road for about 0.6 mile to where the road bends and starts to climb. Park here and hike west up into the cornfield for 0.4 mile or so to a contour near the center of section 6. Now return to Red School Road and drive east for 1 mile to a dirt track going north. Take this dirt track (in good weather) for about 0.4 mile and park on the left near the road crest. Hike northwest (stay up on the ridge) through fairly open bean fields to two small contours.

COATSVILLE QUAD - seven areas in sections 6/7-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

Return to Route 202 and drive west to the junction with Rte Z. Find a place to park and hike west into the cornfield to claim this contour. Next, drive east on Route 202 and turn south on Route F. As you make the turn south, stop at the white house (# 116) and ask permission to visit the contour west of their home and the two small contours east of the highway in the pasture. There are gates both north and south of their house to provide access to the bean field to the west and there is a gate on the southeast side of the road which provides access to the two spots out in the pasture.

Continue south on Route F just past Gospel Ridge Road and find a field gate on your right. Park here to check the contour that crosses the road (bean field west, corn field east). Thereís a second contour just south and east of this spot next to the highway in the corn field. From this area, you can hike east, circle a small wet spot, cross over the northern tip of a larger contour and continue east into the corn field to visit one of the insignificant contours I mentioned in the Lancaster Quad section 7 write-up. Continue south a bit and stop at the Kirbyís to get permission to thoroughly explore their large contour (corn, north; pasture, south) that spills onto both sides of the road. Those other two insignificant contours mentioned earlier (in the section 7 Lancaster Quad report) can be accessed from the Kirbys by hiking due east for about 0.4 mile.

four areas (including spot 1004) in sections 12/13/18-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

From Kirbys, drive north on Route F to Gospel Ridge Road and turn left. Drive southwest for 0.65 mile to a tin shed and a gate to the south. This grassy contour is pleasant and affords a direct view south toward the blue water tower which sits near spot elevation 1004. If youíre adventurous, consider hiking from here toward the blue tower. Most of the trip would be along the spine of a very large contour. Return to Route F and drive south for almost 0.9 mile to a dirt road going right (west). Follow this road west for 0.3 mile to spot 1003 and park. You can further explore this area from here. Obviously, you should also drive down and park at the blue tower. From here, you can see that most of the area east of the highway is lower. There is also an access path that goes west from the tower along the edge of the woods. Ask at the house with the pond nearby about hiking west on the path to visit two more small contours in the woods. Hike west about 0.25 mile, then go southwest another 0.25 mile or so into the woods. The larger contour seems to be a bit higher. Since the 1004 spot elevation is actually for the Route F and Whitlow Road intersection, Iíd estimate the height of the land near the water tower is around 1007 ďdizzyingĒ feet.

LANCASTER QUAD - seven areas in sections 18/19-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the Route F and Whitlow Road intersection (spot 1004), drive east 0.5 mile on Whitlow to a gate on the north. This gate provides access to the eastern part of the large contour that intrudes from the west and also is a place to hike north for 0.4 mile to a small 1000+ contour. Continue west 0.1 mile to the bend in the road and find another access gate which you can use to visit another contour that extends northeast out into the pasture. Make the turn south and find a place to park along the road. Hike to the center of the large cornfield just east of the road. There is some rise here in this contour. Continue south to the intersection with Hickory Mound Road , and turn left (east). Go 0.3 mile to a white house owned by Luther Ford. If you get his permission, you can park here to visit the large contour in the cornfield north of the road. Check for the two centers where the highest ground is found.

Return to the intersection of Whitlow and Hickory Mound Road and note the grey house on the southwest corner. It sits on a tiny contour. Continue south on Spider Road and find three more contours at the next three bends in the road, each about 0.1 mile apart. The first is near a white trailer, the second is in open grass, and the third is a fenced pasture that seems a bit lower than the other two. There is a gate access to this third area south of this spot along the road.

QUEEN CITY QUAD - two areas in section 33-66N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the US 136 and 63 intersection, drive west on US 136 for 1.3 miles to Hayshed Road. Turn left and go south 0.85 mile to a field access on the west side of the road opposite Kirbys. This contour is inside a fenced hayfield with a single oak tree not far from the highpoint. Continue south on Hayshed Road another 0.1 mile or so and find another contour to the east in an unfenced hayfield.

six areas in sections 8/9-65N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the intersection of US 63 and Route P drive west on P for 1 mile to a field lane going south. Drive south on this lane to two contours out in the alfalfa/hay field. The buildings are gone. There are two other tiny insignificant spots approximately 0.5 mile southeast which do not need to be visited. Continue west on Route P about 0.75 mile to Bethel Road. There is a large white tank on the corner of this contour which extends north along Bethel Road for about 0.1 mile. The bean field on the west side seems to be quite flat. Note the small contour to the southwest of the intersection. The house is gone, only trees and junk now sit on this spot.

fourteen areas in sections 16/17-65N-15W (1000+ feet)

Drive east on Rte P for 0.4 mile to Prairie School Road and turn right. Proceed south about 0.5 mile to where the road crosses the railroad right-of-way. Note the field access to your left. Park here and explore the field which contains the contour on the northeast side of the railroad. Also note that the old railroad cut has created a separate, distinct area on the southwest side. Continue southeast maybe 0.2 mile to a small fenced contour on your right in the grass. Continue southeast a bit farther to an obvious field access to your left that crosses the railroad right-of-way. Park here and hike north, east, and south to explore this large contour. Hike 0.5 mile east to visit a second contour and note the tiny area to the south on your way back to the car. This easternmost contour can also be approached from the east if you get permission from the white house 0.3 mile up Caboose Lane.

Once back to your car, continue south to the white house on the corner of Prairie School and Poachers Road. This home sits on a separate contour created by the railroad cut. This contour spills south into pasture. Ask the owners for permission to wander around and also to visit the contour west of Prairie School Road near their home. Park at the gate.

Continue south on Prairie School Road to where the road makes an abrupt turn right. The hay bales on the corner are sitting on a contour. Continue west and south through two more twists in the road to a tiny insignificant contour out in the pasture to the south.

Return to the intersection of Prairie School and Poachers Road and drive east on Poachers Road for maybe 0.15 mile to the old railroad way. Park here and hike down the right-of-way about 0.35 mile to visit a significant contour on the southwest side of the railroad way. You may prefer to continue southeast down the railroad to visit three smaller contours, two east and one west of the railroad way, or you can drive around to the intersection with Caboose Lane, then go south for about 0.3 to the Sidwells. If they grant permission, hike west through an access gate to visit these contours. The Sidwells told me that a large wind farm is likely to be installed in this area in the near future, which should make access to some of these contours a bit easier.

five small contours in section 21-65N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the corner of Poachers Lane and Caboose Road, drive south on Caboose for 0.8 mile to Winner Avenue. This intersection is on part of the mammoth contour that covers much of Queen City. Note the wind gauge tower to your east, which the power company erected to assess the wind generating potential of the area. There are five relatively insignificant contours in the pasture along the south side of Winner Avenue. Drive west on Winner for 0.5 mile to the end of the road and ask at the farmhouse for permission to follow the farm lane south to the three westernmost of these small contours. The other two areas are about 0.1 mile or less south of Winner Avenue.

one huge contour covering Queen City (in sections 21/22/27/28/33/34/35) (1000+ feet)

Return to Caboose Road and survey the extremely large contour which sprawls to your left. Most of this field and pastureland is extremely flat. Drive south 0.8 mile passing a tall tower on your right, to the intersection with Skeeter Road. Explore open hayfields here to your west and south and fenced pasture to the northeast. Drive east to spot elevation 1002 and the southern field switches to corn. Visit only after the crops are harvested so you can really see how flat this land is. As you continue east, note that the road rises up 2- 3 feet when it crosses the railroad way. I noticed this happens everywhere in Queen City. I drove all around in town, noting the high road banks along Route W in the southern part of town, the bulging lawns in front of some homes, the height of the land at the city park in the center of town where the BM (1003) is located, and I visited the northern reaches of this contour along US 63 but couldnít find the definitive high spot. I wasnít able to find a natural area (the built-up roadbed that goes over the railroad way on 7th Street really is high) that seemed to be much higher than the lawn of the white house on the corner of Main and 6th (immediately south of the park in the center of town).

ten areas north of Queen City in sections 15/22/23-65N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the intersection of US 63 and Route O north of Queen City, drive east on O for 0.6 mile to a blue water tower. Turn north on Bowling Lane , go 0.35 mile to a gate which gives access to a contour in the bean field. At the half- section line (0.5 mile north from the tower), hike east 0.3 mile to a contour in the pasture. Continue north 0.25 mile to Ron Belachikís house. Get permission to park just north and hike 0.3 mile west-northwest into the bean field to another contour. Continue north to Poachers Road and note the house just to the left which is owned by Dave Schwartz (Amish). There is a small contour out in his horse pasture just north of the road. Ask for permission when the horses arenít in the field. Continue west on Poachers Road for 0.6 mile to a mound of stumps/logs/dirt in the trees to the south. This contour has obviously been altered. Cross US 63 and stop at the crest in the road, maybe 0.1 mile beyond. There is an open gate here where you can park and explore the hayfield to the north and the fenced pasture to the south (seems highest here). There is a second (seems lower) contour to the southwest in the fenced field. Return to US 63 and go north 0.35 mile to a white house and farm with a farmerís silhouette on it. The barn actually sits in the middle of this contour, so just driving in and asking will allow you to claim this one. Drive south on US 63 and watch for a field access to your left (east) just south of the Poachers Road junction. Drive in and explore this small contour in the bean field. Finally, continue south on US 63 (1.2 miles south of Poachers Road) to the Schuyler High School on your left (east). The school sits on a contour which has undergone significant alteration. Iím not sure whether this area is still above 1000 feet.

six areas west of Queen City in sections 19/27/28/29-65N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the center of Queen City , drive west 0.9 mile on Route W (7th Street) and find a place to park along the road, just after the mild S curve. Hike north to explore this contour in an unfenced hayfield north of the road. Continue west 0.4 mile to a white house on the right. Ask at the house for permission to explore the northern portion of this contour. You can also visit a second tiny contour which is just north of the main area, maybe 0.5 mile north of the road, but it is a trivial area and not worth the additional effort. Continue a short distance west and turn left (south) at the Tarr Cemetery. Drive up to the corner and park under the tree. There is a gate to the west that provides access to the fenced pasture which covers the southern portion of this contour. Definite rise detected here.

Drive west 0.6 mile from the Tarr Cemetery to a tan house next to a white house on the left. Ask for permission to visit and be sure to hike into the field north of the road. Continue west another 0.25 mile and park at a gate with a field path going north. There is a small (insignificant) contour in this field. Drive 0.85 mile farther west and park near a paved drive with #116 Craft. There is a wooden gate to the SW and the contour is covered with brush and sumac.

three areas in sections 35-65N-15W and 2/3-64N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the intersection of Route W and US 63, drive south on US 63 for 1 mile to Lone Pine Road and turn left. Drive east for 1.2 miles and look for a low contour out in the cornfield to your left. Drive back west 0.9 mile to Slaughter Road and turn left. Go about 0.35 mile south to the crest and try to see the contour in the bean field to the east. Frankly, I didnít see it; the field to the west looked as high or higher to me than this contour area. Perhaps repeated plowing has lowered this one into nonexistence. Return to US 63 and drive south about 0.45 mile to a field lane running west to the old railroad way. Pull off this busy highway, park, and explore this large, odd- shaped contour. Note the railroad right-of-way stays above 1000 feet all the way north to Lone Pine Road. You can also turn west on Route Y and park at the railroad way and walk north to get to this same contour area.

eight areas in sections 33-65N-15W and 4/5-64N-15W (1000+ feet)

From the junction of US 63 and Route Y, go west on Y for 0.75 mile to Northlake Road. Turn right and drive north for about 0.5 mile, park along the road, and hike west through the unfenced bean field to the 1000 foot contour. Continue north to Long Pine Road and turn left. Drive west for maybe 0.4 mile, passing a new house on the right. Park along the road and hike north into a weedy field to visit two moderate contours. Continue west another 0.6 mile. The road will deteriorate but should be ok in dry weather. Turn left (south) and go up the hill for maybe 0.4 mile to two tiny contours on either side of the road (the west side is higher). As I said earlier, this is a very primitive and rough road. There are also two small contours out in the pasture to your right (west). None of these four areas are significant contours. Stay parked here and hike east 0.15 mile or so to the high spot of the northern arm of a very large contour that goes south for almost 1.5 miles (this contour originates in Greentop Quad, so it isnít counted here). Continue south another 0.25 mile as the road improves (this is still Lone Pine Road ) and note the Amish home on your left (Eicher). You can ask here for permission to hike in the cornfield to the east once the crops have been harvested. A bit farther south (less than 0.2 mile), park along the road and hike west maybe 0.15 mile into a pasture with a small contour.

GREENTOP QUAD - seven areas in sections 8/9-64N-15W (1000+ feet)

Continue south to the intersection of West Lone Pine Road and Route Y at spot elevation 1002. Ask at the house on the corner for permission to wander around in the adjacent fields. There are cornfields to the west, both north and south of Route Y and thereís a gate to the southeast that provides access to the horse pasture. All of these areas are part of the large contour running north- south across Route Y. Cross Route Y and drive south on Kiem Road. Use the gates just south of this intersection to explore the middle portion of this large contour and ask at the house on the east side for permission to walk in the weedy grass and pasture to the southeast. Continue south on Kiem to Coon Road and turn left. Drive east for 0.6 mile and park in an open gate. Hike north through weedy fields a short distance to a small contour. Continue north to explore the southern reaches of the large contour. There are two more small contours about 0.3 mile east but they are small and are not contenders given all the other contours that have been visited. These last two areas can also be approached from South Lake Road to the northeast.

Return to spot elevation 1002 at the Kiem and Route Y intersection and drive west 0.5 mile on Y to the Fugate Cemetery. Turn left here and park near a small building. From here you can survey this contour which lies mostly in open fields. Drive a bit farther west and turn south on Pleasant Grove Road. Stop at the large Amish house for permission to wander around in their pastures/fields. Continue south toward a large wrecked building that sits near the southern end of the contour. Watch for two gates providing access to the western fields. With permission, you can park at each one and hike west into the pastures where there are the two smaller contours. The first contour is 0.25 mile west of the first gate and the second contour is about 0.35 mile west in the pasture from the second gate.

QUEEN CITY QUAD - one final area in section 5-64N-15W (1000+ feet)

Return to Route Y and drive west from Pleasant Grove Road for 0.3 mile to a contour which straddles the road and has a tree line along the southwestern edge. Park near a road sign, and visit the alfalfa field to the south and the fenced field on the north side of the road. I thought the north side seemed a bit higher.

This is not a virgin report but is simply a brief review of my experiences as I visited this large multiple-area county. My report bounces back and forth between quadrants because Iíve described these areas sequentially, as you might logically visit them. I hope that this report will make the lot of future highpointers a bit easier if they choose to come to Schuyler County.