Brunswick County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: March 1, 2008
Authors: Shannon Dillmore and Brian Bockhahn

I've placed LiDAR data in the files section of the cohp-yahoo website (areas outlined in red 174 feet). These are in jpg format, which is in some cases lower resolution than the pdf files I have. The pdf files were too big to upload to the yahoo group site, so if you plan on visiting these areas and would like pdf files, let me know. In most cases the contours are overlaid on a composite satellite photo/USGS topo map.

For this one, it's easiest to take US 17 south from Wilmington. From here proceed about 6 miles to a sharp right onto NC 87 (a.k.a. Maco Road NE). Take this about two miles, where a dirt road will head east. This is the dirt road north of the high point. If you reach a radio tower, you've gone too far.

We first tried approaching from this dirt road north of the highest area but a wide water-filled ditch blocked our way and we didn't like the look of the thick brush. In fact, the brush looked awful from all directions. We drove about a quarter mile south of a couple of dwellings on the west side of NC 87 and parked in a pull-out.

We walked north along the road for a bit then entered some sparse woods north of a house. The woods got progressively thicker until we hit some very nasty thorny brush about 550 feet south of the purple contours. This was easily the worst bushwhack I've ever done much worse than Chestnut Knob. There were blackberry bushes, other thorny vines and a very high density of devil's walking stick. We had to essentially tramp down a path for the dog, who was not happy at all about the route we were taking. Brian led the whole way and Shannon tried to improve his path so his dog could comfortably follow. W e certainly noticed that we were gaining elevation and reached a stand of pine trees. This certainly seemed to be the highest area and there was no question that it's natural we questioned if anyone had ever been here. GPS-derived waypoint here is (34.21441 N, 78.09367 W).

We really didn't want to retrace our steps, so we bushwhacked west towards the road and took our chances with the roaming dogs. This bushwhack was also miserable but it was shorter by about 100 feet, which made a lot of difference. Shannon had about 30 cuts on his hands, two on his face, and his long sleeve T-shirt had seen its last day. Brian was smarter and wore a slick fabric jacket. The dog's fur seemed to protect him well against most of the thorns.

This highpoint entailed about 0.3 mile of easy walking and 0.2 mile of bushwhacking. We didn't stop to rest and it took us a full hour and a half to do this county.