Buckingham County High Point Trip Report

Spears Mtn - USGS BM (1,604 ft)

Date: February 26, 2001 (revised September 2001)
Author: Michael Schwartz

Spears Mountain is the site of a long-abandoned military communications site, with a concrete road to the top that is still gated. Several dirt roads lead to the summit area from different directions, and I used the northern approach, which can be driven within 200 yards of the summit in a high clearance vehicle. There may be other, better dirt roads passable to passenger vehicles, but I did not have time to explore them all. The dirt road north from CR 607, west of the concrete road, may offer a shorter and easier approach. There are "no trespassing" signs on the concrete road and at the summit that are obviously relics of the communications site. As of May 2001, AT&T owned some 312 acres that included the summit complex, and the land and all facilities on top were up for sale. The realtor, Bill Overacre (804-832-1100, ext/328) (bill@overacre.com), informed me that he did not have the keys to the property. Even though all sensitive equipment has long since been removed, he must get AT&T to let him in each time he wants to show the property to a prospective buyer. I was informed by another interested party, who had a contact at AT&T, that the site had provided communications for the national command authorities, possibly in the event of emergency relocation, which would account for the high security of the facility. It supposedly opened in the 1960s and closed in the 1980s.

Approach: From the Buckingham-Appomattox County line, take US 60 east 2.8 miles, turn left onto CR 604, pass CR 607 junction at 4.2 miles, turn left onto CR 606 (state park sign) at 6.3 miles, cross bridge at 8.4 miles, and take the second dirt road left after the bridge at 9.0 miles. I was able to drive another 0.9 mile, to a crossroads, with room to park, after which the road became steep, rutted, and muddy. I estimate it to be about one mile short of the summit. 4WD is not required, but high clearance is. Hike south to the first knob, with microwave towers, descend, then climb again to the summit area. Just before the top, see a fenced berm ahead, at which point the main road bears left. Continue straight ahead on a lesser road, which deteriorates into a footpath the last 100 feet to the berm. After reaching the double fence line, follow the fence to the left, and then right toward the paved road and the entrance gate to the site. Drop down to the paved road and follow it to the gate. The site is still completely enclosed by a tall chain-link fence. If one could gain admittance inside the fence, a short scramble up the grassy hill to the huge, billboard-style antennas on the very top would be required. The spectacular 360 degree vista from this isolated summit extends many miles from the Blue Ridge to the eastern flatlands.

Editors note: Suggest contacting the author for details of possible access problems.