Highland County Highpoint Trip Report

spot elevation (4,546 ft)

Date: April 30, 2005
Author: Don Desrosiers

The various map sources for this area show different things, none of them complete. Topozone and the Monongahela National Forest map may be your best bets but getting the Maptech topos and Hightown VA/WV quads (at radford.edu) would be helpful. In combination, they are correct. Even the directions for the Elleber Knob BM have a 10 mile error. Don't go over Bald Knob unless you want to. It is a substantial and unnecessary bushwhack.

From the intersection of US 250 and CR 640 in Hightown, stay west on 250 for 7.4 miles and turn left onto gravel FS 1681, signed for Elleber Knob. If you get to the state line, come back 6/10 mile. At 7.6 miles, turn sharply right. At 9.5 miles, cross the one-lane bridge and begin an ascent. At 12.4 miles there is a field and the gravel road from Watering Pond Knob (on the left). At 12.7 miles, park at the Forest Service (FS) gate.

Walk up the gravel road to the 2nd time the road curves to the right. Look for a very faint old road that heads left (southwest) toward the fence and the FS 948 sign. If you get to a small stock pond on the left, you missed it. If you get to the stock pens, come back to the stock pond.

Trail 948 is wide and grassy, descending about 200 feet to the 4150 spot elevation south of Bald Knob (which actually isn't bald, although it does have a receding hairline) and another wide trail (984A?) coming in sharply from the right. Go up the ridge through the grassy area, getting most of the climb out of the way. Follow some sort of faint trail along the ridge for about 1/3 mile through the fairly open woods to the HP. Found and repaired the cairn.

If I were to do it again, it should be about 2-1/4 hours round-trip. It takes longer if you argue with your compass.

They get lots of snow up here (still saw a few pockets), so you cannot go too early in the season without skis. We tried this one in late March and were stopped by 6 inches of snow with more coming down.