Polk County Highpoint Trip Report

Tryon Pk

Date: August 3, 2006
Author: Roy Wallen

Access to Tryon peak from the northeast is now blocked by a new, large house. The property straddles the access road, with a large house on the right (north) and a large garage with apartment on the left. The access road is gated, locked, and heavily posted. We spoke with the owner who was working on his new house. He is a contractor, paid quite a bit for the location and wonderful view, and was not agreeable (at all) to anyone passing along the access road - and therefore through his property - to the highpoint. The inability to gain access was in spite of a great deal of Covillizing.

Undaunted, we drove back down the mountain and sought access from the west. We found that it led from the intersection of I-26 and route 108. From here, head southwest on 108 to Howard Gap Road which is on the right after Old Howard Gap Road (which works as well). Turn right and follow Howard Gap Road for 2.8 miles to Indian Mountain Road. Turn right, cross over I-26, and then right again until you reach the entrance to Mills Mountain development. There is a sign about access through this development limited to homeowners and visitors. We followed the main road, carefully avoiding private driveways, to the end at a turn-around.

To the right of an electrical box, there is a path that leads into the woods, downhill slightly, and arrives at an old road, quite overgrown. However, this overgrown road could be driven for quite a ways if the entrance could be found. Exiting at the road, make note of where you left the woods for your return. Proceed up this road, which is shown on the topographical map, for a couple of miles to a clearing with several chimneys and old foundations. Walking through this old settlement, you will find a water tank with a faint road leading behind it. Follow this weed-infested road uphill, steep at times, to the towers at the top of Tryon Peak. There is an old lookout tower on the top which affords great views, including a view of the access road to the east where we were denied passage.

Return the way you arrived.