Chemung County Highpoint Trip Report

spot elevation 1/2 mile north of Smith Corners (1,914 ft)

Date: September 11, 2005
Authors: Sue Ann Miller and Frank Price

We offer some corrections and adjustments to previous reports. From 414 going east on Post Road, instead of turning left at the unsigned 3-way intersection with Martin Road, continue STRAIGHT then take the sharp left as Post Road does. The unpaved track that runs north from that junction was blocked, locked, and posted by the Zelka Hunt Club of nearby Big Flats, NY. After a sharp left, you will pass the new house that Bahantka mentions (mailbox 363). At 0.55 mile from the 3-way junction you are between two yellow turn warning signs and can park on the roadside near where a Fortuna Pipeline right-of-way (ROW) crosses the road.

Nearby woods and the ROW where not posted, so we walked west up the steep ROW to ATV paths up top and near two older oak trees at the northern edge of an old clearing that can be seen on the topo. This is not the HP. West of where you should turn, and over the height of land, the ROW joins the north-south pipeline at an above-ground junction that is heavily posted and blocked with orange plastic fence.

Follow a very obvious ATV path north from the old oaks going along the ridge (corn cobs scattered in the road) and before long a bit of high ground comes into view from which a large, multi-branched ancient maple grows. Hunters have put a platform in this elder tree that grows out of the apparent HP. There was no signage or posting to tell who is clearing underbrush and developing an extensive hunter camp around the HP, but we are guessing it is the Zelka Hunt Club. We walked all around and then north on continuing paths to confirm our assessment that this was the highest area. There is no open view from the wooded summit.

This was a short easy walk on unposted land. Considering the hunt club activity we wonder how long the lack of posting will last and we certainly would not come here in hunting season. There is clearly a lot of regular traffic up on that ridge but not on this sunny Sunday afternoon.

Changes from earlier reports: There was no "ATV gouge running straight uphill" beyond the road edge and wonder if 5 years earlier what Michael Schwartz saw was in the pipeline ROW. There are many new houses along this road but none on the steep slope below the HP.