Hertford County Highpoint Trip Report

19 unnamed areas (95+ feet)

Date: February 10, 2008
Author: Fred Lobdell

participants include Brian Bockhahn and Fred Lobdell

The majority of Hertford County's 19 HP areas lie in farm fields, so tackling this one between late fall and early spring is best. Maps and a GPS unit are mandatory. Some of the areas are impacted by the construction of US 158 Bypass, a 4-lane divided highway, not shown on current editions of the topographic maps. Also not shown on current topographic maps are most of the field roads we encountered. We were able to cover all the areas in 4 hours or less. Relief is VERY subtle in most of these areas. We estimate that there was a total of perhaps 2 to 3 miles of walking, mostly in farm fields, with total elevation gain for all areas in the low double digits. We use the numbering system used by the map links.

If you're thinking about doing this county, an e-mail to Brian will bring you three Powerpoint maps, instead of having to download and print eight or ten maps.

Area 1: This area straddles Route 1180 about a quarter mile north of the "new" US 158 Bypass. We parked at a sandy field road (not shown on the topo) on the east side of 1180 and walked out into the field on the west side of 1180. There was no obvious high ground, so we wandered for a time and then invoked the Rule of Schweiker.

Area 2: We drove east on the above-mentioned field road to the vicinity of a lone tree. The base of this tree appeared to be the highest ground in area 2.

Area 3: Route 1182, which passes through area 3, is shown as connecting routes 1163 and 1180. However, the constructiuon of Bypass 158 has resulted in the eastern end of 1182 now being a dead end, so this road must be accessed from 1163 on its southern end. We drove north on 1182 about a half mile to where there is a small grove of cedars on the west side. We felt that in and around this grove was the high ground in this area.

Area 4: This area straddles route 1163. There are some cedars on the south side surrounding the poorly maintained cemetery shown on the topo, and this is the highest ground in this area.

Area 5: We parked near the large building shown at the intersection of routes 1163 and 1180, and walked across the road into the field on the southwest side of this intersection. We thought that the high ground was near the middle of this area.

Area 6: There is a field road going north of route 1163, due south of area 6. This road is gated and posted at the northern edge of the farm field, before it passes through some woods. If one were able to walk this road, it appears from the map that it would be a round trip hike of about a mile to get to this area and return. There is a small wooded area within area 6 that appears to contain the highest ground. It also looks possible to access this area from the east, where no postings were visible from the road.

Area 7: The north side of this area has been truncated by the construction of Bypass 158. We parked on the shoulder and scrambled up the embankment, which seemed to be the highest ground remaining in this area. We also crossed the right-of-way fence to wander a bit in the adjacent field.

Area 8: This area has been entirely removed during the construction of Bypass 158. Route 1179 is shown on the topo as curving east to intersect NC 11 on the west. This intersection has also been destroyed. Route 1179 now intersects US 158 directly.

Area 9: This area, formerly on the north side of route 1179, has been truncated by construction. The highest point is at the top of the highway embankment, and is clearly lower than area 7 on the south side of 158.

Area 10: From areas 7, 8, and 9, above, we drove south on NC 11 to the first left turn south of US 158. We turned left (east) here and went to the second driveway on the left (shown on the topo) where we turned north. We felt that the high ground was at the base of a power pole about halfway up this driveway.

Area 11: This large area lies south of area 1 and has had its northern lobe truncated by Bypass 158. We found a field road that took us back into the field along a drainage ditch (shown on the topo). From this vantage point we had a good overview of most of the area. We continued on this track to the edge of the woods shown on the west side of this area. The woods edge seemed a foot or two higher than the open field. Relief within the field itself was minimal. We also drove around to the northern lobe on route 1182. (See discussion of this road under area 3 above.) After inspecting the area from this direction, we concluded that the woods contained the most likely high ground.

Areas 12 to 15: For these areas, we drove south on US 258 from its intersection with 158. The second left turn is a sandy road leading to these four areas. This sandy road goes south, then turns left (east).

Area 12: A short distance past the two houses shown in area 13 (see below) we found a field road going south into the field. We drove this road about a quarter mile back to where there was a lone tree on our left (east). The base of this tree, or the nearby field, is the high ground in this area.

Area 13: We returned to the sandy east-west road mentioned above. The two houses on the north side of this road are still there, and are occupied. Area 13 straddles the dirt road, but the high ground appears to be on the south side around an old shed.

Areas 14 and 15: For these areas we parked a short distance before the dirt road took a sharp turn to the south and walked north-northwest into the farm field, using GPS units to locate ourselves. There appeared to be slight rises in the right places for these two areas.

Area 16: We returned to the 158/258 intersection mentioned above and took 258 (also Business 158 here) south and east into Murfreesboro. About a third of a mile west of the intersection of Bus. 158 with routes 1300 (north) and 1160 (south) there is a dirt track going north. We went north about 0.1 mile to a dirt track on the right (east) side. We turned right and passed south of three houses (rather than the two shown on the topo). Neither of these dirt tracks is shown on the topo. There is a sharp little rise that is highest at the west side of the middle house. We found the homeowner to be quite friendly, and he had no problem with our walking around in his yard.

Area 17: This large area has been developed since the topo was made. We drove through the western lobe on route 1166, and from there it seemed that the cemetery behind Meherrin Church might occupy the high ground. We drove into the church parking lot, which seemed to be doing a good business on this Sunday morning, and back into the cemetery. There were a couple of spots in and near the cemetery that seemed to be candidates for the high ground in this area. The large area north of the church, which shows as an open area on the topo, has now been developed with houses and additional streets not shown on the topo. We drove south from the church, passing one stop sign before turning left (west) at the second. Shortly before this street turns north there is a patch of woods, perhaps an acre or two in area, on the left (north) side. We wandered in these woods, standing on several areas that seemed significantly higher than the nearby road and yards. This wood lot may contain the true high point of Hertford County.

Area 18: This area straddles what appears to be Murfreesboro's main street, which is US 158 Business, running east-west through town. Near the west edge of this area on the north side of the street is a pullout into an empty lot, which is a convenient place to park. The street sits slightly lower than the land on either side. We thought that under one or another of the trees in the yard of the house on the south side of the street was the highest ground, and was marginally higher than the yard of the house on the north side. The house on the south side had the advantage of being unoccupied and for sale as of this writing.

Area 19: From area 18 (above) we went east on US 158 Bus. to the fourth street on the left, which should be North Wynn St. In the DeLorme atlas, this is shown as Vaughan Cr. Rd. further north. Turn left (north) on N. Wynn and go about a quarter mile or a little less, crossing another east-west street in the process. The large structure shown near the south end of the contour no longer exists and has been replaced by two large houses. Likewise, the house shown as just south of the 88 on the topo is not there. There is a long driveway going due east from N. Wynn. We drove the driveway to a slight rise and parked. The highest area seems to be along a tree line a couple of hundred feet south of the driveway and several hundred feet east of the street, and almost due north of the water tower. The entire northern half of this contour is a farm field, currently planted in winter wheat and looking as flat as the proverbial pancake.