Mercer County High Point Trip Report

Buckhorn Knob (4,069 ft)

Date: October 8, 2000
Author: James F. Brown

I was unable to access this peak from the south. The USGS map shows an old logging road from Virginia Route 61 up Buckhorn Branch. The road I found was named Buckhorn Road. Although this sounded promising, the owner of the property through which the road ran was not at home. I drove westward to US-52 and north on it 3 miles to Dry Fork Road.

This road is 1 mile or so south on US-52 from Exit 66 on I-77 in Virginia. I took Dry Fork Road, a good paved road, east up Dry Fork, approximately 5 miles to the abrupt end of the payment. There was a steel pipe gate on an old "jeep road" shown on the USGS topo at about 2680 feet. To the right side of the paved road was a fenced staging area of Gilginia Company's property, which showed obvious signs of recent logging operations. Several "No Trespassing" signs were posted on the fenced area, but nothing so apparent on the pipe gate. A person could easily walk around the gate.

It being a Sunday and no active operations apparent, I parked my car back down the public road 100 feet. I jumped on my mountain bike and cranked up the old jeep road, a mixed dirt and gravel logging road that with one switchback led about 3 miles to a saddle at 3600 feet. From there a side road to the left continued up the less steep southwest ridge that divides Giles and Bland Counties. I continued up this about another mile and a half to the end of road. With my GPS unit in hand, I dropped my bike in the brush and bushwhacked through fairly open brush to the summit. There I found a USGS benchmark with the name "Buckhorn 1934" in very good condition. It was in a rhododendron thicket near the edge of a rock cliff to the north. For those of you collecting tri-county points as well, this point qualifies for double duty. It also is the southern-most "4000-footer" in West Virginia. I made a quick descent on my mountain bike via same route.

Coordinates [37 17' 33" N, 80 58' 49" W]