Freestone County High Point Trip Report

Date: January 8, 2003
Author: John Garner

Central East Texas county, on I-45 halfway between Dallas and Houston. Andy Martin's book lists two points, Pilot Knob (BM, 604) and Burleson Hill (BM, 608). I would be satisfied to get only Burleson, but trip report below hits both. If you do only Burleson, this would be a fairly easy grab if you are traveling between Dallas and Houston (less than an hour). If you get locked inside the hunting lodge at Pilot, it might take a bit longer.

Burleson Hill (608 ft)

From I-45 midway between Dallas and Houston, exit #189, SR 179. Head east on 179 for about a mile to the town of Dew (you can stop at a store a buy a Mountain Dew to drink if you like). Turn left at a junction with Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 489 and SR 75, and continue past a stop sign immediately after your turn (stay on FM 489). Continue east on FM 489 for 2.4 miles past the junction with TX 75. See hp bump on left, and turn left onto CR 461 just before the bump. Drive about 100 yards; watch for a small overgrown gate on the right. Park along the roadside there.

Climb through or under the gate, and bushwhack uphill to the top. Find BM Burleson to confirm the top. The top is about 0.1 mile from the road and about 125 feet higher, mostly through heavy, brambly brush and trees. No views. Wear long pants - many thorn bushes. No signs posted against trespassing.

Pilot Knob (604 ft)

Get this one only if you are a purist, or want to see if you too can get yourself locked inside a private ranch. It is also a small bump about 150 feet above the surrounding terrain.

To access, take U.S. 84 exit off I-45 in the town of Fairfield. Head east through town, passing SR 75 along the way (if you are coming from Burleson Hill, you can drive north on SR 75 instead of going back to the interstate). At 7.2 miles east of the US 84/TX 75 intersection, turn left (north) on FM 1364. Follow this to its end 1.2 miles away at a four-way intersection. Continue straight ahead on CR 240, now dirt. At 2.4 miles from the end of FM 1364, reach another junction. Straight ahead see large gate and sign saying "Hodge Podge Lodge". If gate is locked, park and walk. If gate is not locked, PARK AND WALK.

Go about 0.4 mile north of the gate on the gravel ranch road, and see the hp bump to your left. Climb up the moderately steep slope to the top; find BM Pilot at south end of small clearing on top. From the end of the county road, it's a total of about a half mile, with a gain of 150 feet.

Be aware that this is a serious hunting lease. During my frantic travels crisscrossing the place trying to find a way out, I counted at least 20 deer stands. A DEFINITE no-no during hunting season, unless you'd like to eat lead.