Clarke County High Point Trip Report

Date: May 8, 2002
Author: Dale Millsap

Two general areas need to be visited to claim Clarke County.

First General Area (2 areas on Blue Ridge (1,920+ ft)): This area is located at the tri-county intersection of Clarke, Warren, and Fauquier counties. While there is a point elevation in the vicinity, it is several hundred feet from the tri-county intersection and therefore outside of Clarke County. This one is a big fat liner, with lots of thick brush.

Take exit 13 off of I-66 and go south a short distance to SR-55 (John Marshall Highway). Set the odometer to zero at this intersection. Turn left (east) onto SR-55. At 0.5 mile turn left (north) onto SSR 638 (Freezeland Road). Pass under I-66 at 0.7 mile and continue uphill and around. At 1.6 miles bear right (north) to remain on SSR 638. At 4.3 miles take note of the entrance to the Wildlife Management Area on your right. At 5.9 miles there is a small dirt road on your right that will take you to Blue Mountain, the highpoint of Fauquier County. You must continue ahead on SSR 638 to mile 6.3, where SSR 638 bears left (there is a large yellow sign with a black arrow pointing to the left) and down the mountain. At this point, leave SSR 638 and continue straight ahead on the old fire trail road. At mile 7.9 drive past Deer Path Lane on your right. Continue straight to mile 8.0 and turn right on a nearly invisible two-track. This two-track curves up to a very small clearing where a car might turn around. Park here.

Straight ahead you will see a strange wooden structure with a green roof, about 12 x 12, open on all four sides, with the wood rotting, on top of the highest point around. This is not the tri-county intersection. The Clarke/Warren County line shoots in from the northwest, intersecting the Fauquier County line about 250 feet along the ridge line to the north of this wooden structure. There is no definite outcrop, no marker, not even a trail. The ridge line is broad and not well defined. I used a hand-held GPS to get as close as possible, and then I covered a lot of ground to be sure. There are thick thorns in the area - don't you dare wear shorts to this one! There are homes nearby, accessible from Deer Path Lane.

Second General Area (2 areas on Blue Ridge (1,920+ ft)): From US 17 about 1 mile northwest of Paris, turn north on SSR 601 (Blue Ridge Mountain Road). There are many branch roads, but stick to the main ridge line road. At 2.8 miles, pass a gated road. You might park here and walk the road to the high area, or you can continue another 0.1 mile to a communications tower on the right and park. A short trek into the woods puts you inside the 1920-foot contour, but it is broad and undefined. There is a home at the end of the gated road, and the property lines are not clearly marked. I felt that the highest ground in the area was just south and west of the road, but I covered a whole lot of ground to give it my best effort. Also, the county line makes a crazy little S-curve, perhaps to follow property lines, so the actual location is a bit tough to pinpoint. A GPS is helpful, with a few points preprogrammed to show the changes in direction of the county line. I found no BM. This area is also the high area for Loudoun County.