Pocahontas County Highpoint Trip Report

Date: October 10, 2004
Author: Ken Oeser

We found the BM at Thorny! Purists may think we're the first to truly ascend this highpoint, but I think good faith is enough and who knows if the benchmark is truly the highest in the contour with the thick tree cover here. To find the benchmark, follow the main road to a large gravel parking lot just north of Snowcrest condos. Turn left to the back of the parking lot, and either park at the back of the gravel lot or take the gravel road another 200 feet to the gate mentioned in other reports. This is marked at the Cheat Mountain hike/bike trail. My GPS indicated this gate is 0.34 mile from the benchmark location.

We followed this road to a split, both of which go west and rejoin. Soon after, the main trail veers left and slightly downhill, while a grassy road goes more south. Follow the grassy road about 100 yards to the crest of the road. A faint trail on the right was visible, with some flagging about 75 feet into the woods. This pink flagging was on some trees, in the center was a small metal rod, and about a foot away a benchmark with triangle in the middle but it didn't have the name "Thorny" on it, nor did it have an elevation above sea level, either of which would have been nice.

For the knob southeast of Mace Knob, we followed Fred Lobdell's route to the cleared ridge then took a mountain bike trail along the ridge about 200 yards to the highest area along the ridge, about 80 feet south of the bike trail in thin woods. We didn't see the orange pipe mentioned by Fred. This point was 20 altimeter feet higher than where the bike trail enters the woods and is at longitude 80° 0' 15" W. There seems to be more than 8 feet of gain in this contour but it's hard to tell where the borders are. It wouldn't surprise me that, if surveyed, this would be the highest point in the county.