Gates County High Point Trip Report

Date: January 2, 2003
Author: Fred Lobdell

General: Andy martin shows the Gates County HP in his compilation as having 16 areas of 80+ feet elevation, 1 area of 79+ that is probably an extension of one of the above areas, and "1 tiny area, possibly manmade" in the hamlet of Gates, of 85+ feet elevation. It is the last area that I visited. After observing the low gently rounded hillock from all directions and ascending to the summit, panting heavily from exertion and lack of oxygen, I . . . uh . . . um . . . don't know. There is no direct evidence that I could see that it is manmade.

On the other hand, the presence of this small mound next to a former railroad right-of-way, and only a few feet from a state highway, is suspicious. There was some gravel, which is not a natural sediment around these parts, lying around on top of the mound, but this could easily have come from the railroad bed. If one were to make an excavation two or three feet deep and gravel were present throughout, I would regard that as highly suspicious, but I didn't do that. Anybody want to visit this area with an auger and take a core sample?

Access: From the intersection of NC 37 with US 158, drive north on 37 about 5 miles to the center of the hamlet of Gates. (This can also be reached by driving south on 37 about the same distance from its intersection with US 13.) If you get to Gates School Road on the west, or Gates Bank Road on the east, you have gone a bit too far. Park at the grocery store on the east side of 37, just north of the HP.

The railroad shown on the topo is long gone, and all traces of the former right-of-way on the east side have been obliterated by later construction but the right-of-way is clearly visible on the west side, and you can align yourself with that across NC 37 to determine your position. The mound in question is quite obvious a short distance south of the parking area for the store and adjacent driveway for a mini-storage unit.

Directions to summit: Walk to the top of the mound.

Question: Did I do the Gates cohp, or do I need to go back and visit all the 80+ areas?