Bertie County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: January 7, 2007
Author: Shannon Dillmore

This county wasn't as bad I as initially thought it would be. Very little of the area was posted, the large contours had a lot of visibility, and the landowners were friendly. Hunters' stands abound here, though, and many of these high points are in crop fields, so I would strongly recommend doing this one in winter and outside hunting season.

To do this one, get to the town of Kelford. From Raleigh, I took US 64 east to US 258 north to NC 308 south - a two hour drive. Areas are numbered as shown on the cohp website.

Areas 8-9: Immediately after crossing the railroad tracks in town, I took Black Jack Road about a mile west-southwest to an elbow in the road. A dirt track continues to the southern contour. Crossed an abandoned and recessed railroad bed to the northern one. The northern area is posted but you're only on this land for about ten seconds.

Areas 1-3: I headed back to Kelford on Black Jack Road then turned left back onto NC 308. Immediately after crossing the abandoned RR tracks, I turned right onto an unsigned paved road (this is shown as a dashed road on the topo map). The pavement ends at a house where about ten dogs are kept in a fenced area in the front yard. A friendly, elderly man gave me permission to explore the area. I continued on foot to the RR tracks shown on the topo map and headed northwest following these into a cotton field. It's immediately clear that area 2 is higher than 3 and the track near area 1 doesn't match the map, although the hill is apparent as you stand in area 3. I walked around until satisfied, which didn't take long. The rises were pretty well defined.

To avoid property issues, you could also access this area from the Kelford Quick Stop on NC 308 and follow the track the opposite way from that described above.

Area 4: This one is much easier than it looks. I took NC 308 north from Kelford, for about a mile or so to a right on Teaster Shack Road. I followed this a couple of miles to Tyler School Road and turned left. Very quickly, I came upon a small cemetery in a sparse grove in the middle of a crop field. A track leads to the cemetery and I parked here at the junction with Tyler School. It's obvious upon reaching the cemetery that this area and areas within twenty yards are the highest in the contour.

Area 6: Continued north on Tyler School road for about 1.5 miles. At a pronounced left turn, a dirt road heads east (shown as a dashed line on the topo). It being early and the road soaked from recent deluges, I parked my 2WD and walked the 1/3 mile or so to the obvious rise in the road. The high point seemed to be right by the red chimney attached to a house on the north side of the road.

Area 5: Turned around and headed south on Tyler School Road about 1/4 mile. A couple hundred feet past a red house east of the road (not shown on map) is a dirt track heading straight for the spot elevation of 103 feet. Got permission from the owner of the house (and his rambunctious dog) and explored this area. The highest area is probably right of the track in the cotton field and I did a fair amount of wandering here. The woods to the north of the track comprises very dense brush but there are some paths into it. I walked the perimeter of the brush and entered it at several places but I seemed to descend slightly as I entered the brush. There may be an area or two of interest in there but probably no more.

The open area at the east of the contour was clearly lower than other spots, so I didn't explore it much.

Finally, the woods to the south have some high spots as well. I spent about an hour in here, having walked about 300-400 yards south of the forest-field border. I must say that after getting 40 or 50 yards deep in the woods, I was clearly at a lower elevation than the cotton field and time is better spent hitting the highest spots in the woods that are close to the field. I also walked the perimeter of the forest near the county border and went into the woods a few times here but didn't find much.

Area 7: I returned to Teaster Shack Road and turned left (northeast) to a four- way intersection with Horace Vick Road. I turned left here and proceeded south for a mile or so, passing a solitary blue house on the left. The cotton field with the high area is south of the house but the occupant does not own the land. He gave me free rein to explore the area, which is approximately 200 yards east of the road.

I returned to my car satisfied but exhausted after about 100 feet of total elevation gain during the morning.

This county would probably take about 2-3 hours to complete properly but isn't too difficult.