Currituck County High Point Trip Report

Date: February 27, 2001
Author: Michael Schwartz

spot elevation on Three Dunes (67 ft - metric map)

The Mossey Islands quad is an orthophotomap, available on Maptech, but not Topozone. From the Dare/Currituck County line on NC 12, go north about five miles to a gated community, The Currituck Club. The gate was open this date, but permission will probably be required in the future. Take the entrance road to a right at Hunt Club Drive, and follow Hunt Club uphill to a left at Shovler Court cul-de-sac. House #672 sits next to a dune that is the obvious high ground. The lot next to the dune has been sold, so access may get complicated.

Luark Hill (66+ ft - metric map)

The Corolla quad is an orthophotomap, available on Maptech, but not Topozone. This is a most unusual high point, located on the barrier island, 2 1/2 miles north of road's end, reachable by driving on the beach, legally, or on foot.

The paved road ends about seven miles north of the Currituck Club, from where 4WD vehicles may be driven north on the beach another 13 miles or so to the VA border. The 100 feet across soft sand to the hard-packed beach are absolutely impassable to passenger cars, and even 4WD vehicles bog down if they lose momentum. Further complicating access is that the last mile of the paved road passes through a private community, Ocean Hill, with NO parking available, and aggressive towing in force. The short area past the private community and before the end of the road is also a very strict tow-away zone.

I parked at the Corrola Garden Center, just before the private community, with permission. The owners are long time residents and were quite pleased to have someone from NJ visiting their high point. I'm sure they would welcome future highpointers. They advised me, as did other locals, that Luark Hill is known locally as Penny Hill. Luark is an old family name in the area, but no one I spoke to was familiar with the dune's being called Luark Hill. Two different locals also said that Penny Hill is a shadow of its former self, much of it having blown toward the bay side in the past 25 years. A favorite pastime in the old days was to get drunk, drive a pickup truck up Penny Hill, and either drive or roll down.

Approach: From the Ocean Hill entrance to the beach entrance is about 0.9 miles. It's about another 2.5 miles to Luark Hill. Hiking on the beach, with nice hard sand just above the strand line, is delightful. Wild horses roam the area, further adding to the ambiance. The hike to Luark took about an hour from the garden center. Many huge homes are springing up along the beach, and access is only going to become more difficult. Next to Luark, the signed Munson Lane cuts through the dunes, and passes two large houses under construction. The dune is very obvious, bare, and much larger than anything passed along the way. Hand leveling toward the house and estimating from there, I estimated the dune at no higher than 50 feet. There is plenty of vehicular traffic up and down the beach, even in the off-season, so I quickly bummed a ride back to my car. Fred Lobdell visited this county 3-4 years ago, and from his notes, it's apparent that development is increasing rapidly. Anyone wanting to visit this unique high point while access is still relatively simple should do so soon.