Poquoson City Highpoint Trip Report

Dates: March 14-17, 2004
Author: Chip Clark

It took me three separate trips from Williamsburg while on TDY to conquer the wild environs of Poquoson City (pronounced "poh koh' sun".) Okay, maybe not so wild. The area has been extensively developed since the maps were produced so many of the contours were unexpectedly easy to visit, though oddly some others were more difficult. I started in the most easterly side and worked my way in a clockwise arc. There may be more efficient ways of hitting these points, but I didn't have a single, large block of time.

Poquoson East Quad: two small areas plus one manmade benchmark Proceeding East on Route 171 (Little Florida Road). Take the first left just past Poquoson Middle School (shown as the High School on the map). The road will bear right, and eventually end at a small baseball field. The southernmost of the two points is gone, leveled to provide the outfield. The northernmost point is in the light woods just north of the field, littered with trash. I then returned to the middle school, but could not find the BM. At 11 feet, it was likely embedded in the concrete wall outside the main entrance, but may have been surfaced-over at some time in the past.

Newport News North Quad: six areas, three on the line with York County. From the previous quad, proceed west on Little Florida Road, and turn left onto Smith Street. The first area appears to be along a row of large pines between #13 and #15 Smith Street. Continuing further south on Smith street, the next area may be beneath the very beautiful house at #31. No one was home as I tried to find the highest ground. I then proceeded west to the larger contour at the junction of Little Florida Road and route 172. I parked at the Food Lion. Some wandering is in order. I thought the northwest corner of the contour seemed highest, though it was at the very edge. You'll just have to wander about enough to satisfy yourself in this heavily developed intersection.

I then proceeded west on 171, and took my first left, which is in York County. I parked near the end of the cul-de-sac. I spoke with the Criners who owned the property near the end, and they said I was welcome to wander about. My first target was the southernmost of the three liners. I tracked via GPS coordinates, and eventually came to a large, deep ditch running east-west through the woods. Eventually I found a place where someone had thrown some boards across and emerged into a new development. Eventually I found the point behind #100 Treis Trail. I then proceeded northwest through the woods and found the next point near a sawmill in an area of thick brush and downed trees. Finally, I worked northward and met Gene Bowman. His uncle owned the land on the York County side, and although he didn't have a problem with me being there, his uncle would. He asked me to approach from Little Florida Road, which I did. No good landmarks, just GPS coordinates to note from Topozone.

Poquoson West Quad: 29 areas (Note: Andy Martin's book had "only" 27). A very rich area for possible cohps. From Little Florida Road, I turned right (north) on Yorktown Road, and parked on the left on what looked to be an abandoned gas station. But that's not the place to park. Although there are three contours on the same latitude nearby (approximately NAD83 76° 24'N) the land is more open now. Proceed a little farther north, and turn right at the sign for the Victory Christian Center, and park at the end. The highest point of the first area appears to be a little north of the big dirt pile in the field, just inside the woods. Then proceed east along the northern edge of the large cleared field (you'll want waterproof boots). At the far end of the field, an ATV trail winds north and east. I found the hp of the second contour near a large oak tree. I then continued eastward to the next point using the GPS and found the third point to be a low rise in the woods northeast of a boggy area. I then returned to the Victory Christian Center parking lot. From there I tracked due north through the briars to the next area but found a better way. Return to Yorktown road, take a right, then your next right to the Bayside of Poquoson Convalescent Center. The fourth area is in the pine woods just south of a pond with a fountain. The fifth area can be found by following the grassy area behind the building, east of a second pond, just in the woods near a large oak tree. For the sixth point, further to the northeast, find an ATV trail leading that direction from the northeast corner of that pond. Use a GPS to guide you to a tangle of large oaks and brush near a large puddle. That was the end of my day for March 14, 2004.

On the next day, I had a small amount of time after class. I returned to Yorktown Road, and took a left onto Westover Road. The seventh point appeared to be in the backyard of the brick ranch at the east corner of the Westover/Carriage Hill junction. I then proceeded south on Carriage Hill, which turned west, took a right, then a right at the second cul-de-sac. That eighth point appeared to be between two houses at the end of the cul-de-sac. I then tried to proceed north to the two twin areas with a latitude of NAD83 76° 24'30" N, but it was obvious the streets had changed, and it was getting dark.

I returned on the 17th of March, around 1 pm, with a goal of finishing Poquoson City and returning to the hotel in time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my classmates. Returning to the point where I was two days before, I parked at the corner of Dryden and Riggens, and I found the ninth area to be at a pine tree behind #34 Riggens. Just to the east, I found the 10th area to be in a raised field in the backyard of #24 Dryden.

For the next cluster of areas, I returned to Yorktown Road, and parked at the Emmaus Church. Area #11 was just east at the corner of Yorktown and Emmaus Road. Area 12, straddled by Yorktown Road, was west of the church and seemed to be near a large oak at #785 Yorktown Road. Area 13 was due north, on the gravel driveway just in front of #795 Yorktown. From there, I tracked across backyards and through developments to area 14, which was between houses near Rogers lane. I then returned to the church and struck out northeast to area 15, in the backyards and gardens of several houses. I liked the point for #15 at the fig trees near the red shed at #845 Yorktown Road. Walking eastward, I found my favorite candidate for the HP with area 16. Not because of decisive elevation, but on or near the point was the biggest southern magnolia I had ever seen -- it must have been four feet thick at the base. I also talked to the homeowner, who knew he lived on high ground. I then got my car, proceeded north on Yorktown, and took a left on Hunts Neck Road. I then took a left onto Valmoore, and parked on the right side of the road near a very small cemetery. Area 17 was just to the right in the tangle of brush near the cemetery. Area 18 was a little west of 17, on the south side of Valmoore, in the light wooded area. Valmoore continues farther than indicated on the topo, area 19 is on the south side of the road west of the previous point. For area 20, north and a little west of the previous point, I followed open area behind houses along a ditch, and emerged at the end of a gravel cul-de-sac of a paved road. The point appears to be behind a dirt pile at the end of the cul-de-sac. I followed the road eastward to the larger contour along Hunts Neck Road, which has several new streets. The highest point of this area 21 appears to be at the maple tree with a rope swing behind the brick house at the end of Dixon road.

I then walked southward along Hunts Neck, passed Valmoore, and just west of the junction of Brown's Neck and Hunts Neck, found area 22 behind #29 Hunts Neck, in a yard strewn with toys. Back to the car, I continued north on Hunts Neck, and turned right onto Pasture Road. Eventually, turn left onto a road leading northwest and park just before where the road jinks a little right. Park, then walk the gravel driveway to a boat launch at the end of the inlet of water. Point 23 is right there, or along the berm. Back to Hunt's Neck, take a right, and park on the corner of Robert's Landing near a large blue house. Area 24 is on the right side of Hunt's Neck, either at the pine tree emerging from a mulch volcano on the south side of the picket fence, or maybe in the front yard of that house.

Back to Hunt's Neck, continue northwest, take your first left, and park along the wooded area on the corner. The area shows as cleared on the topo, but is now 40 foot pines and scrub. Once you get through the fringe briars, it is easy to walk around in the woods. The HP of area 25 is somewhere in there. Back to Hunt's Neck, headed back southeast, to a left turn onto Brown's Neck Road. Area 26 seems to be on or near #31 Bennet Farm Road, near the Winnebago. You may have to do some fence hopping to satisfy yourself. Back to Hunt's Neck Road, now south, turn left onto Poquoson Road, then right onto Hudgins Road. Park at the Young Kwang Presbyterian Church on the left. Area 27 seems to be near a woodpile at the back corner of a lot north of #92 (I couldn't find an address on the little house). For area 28, I went across the street, through a farmer's field, and followed rising ground to a dirt road near a new, open shed. I proceeded westward through backyards and woods to the final area, though it would have been easier to walk along Hudgins and Route 172. The final area, #29, was either at the large oak tree at #544, or in the field near the FTD florist.