Preston County High Point Trip Report

one area on Backbone Mtn (3,400+ ft)

Date: June 20, 2003
Author: Ryan Richardson

The highpoint has basically been bulldozed and replaced with a windmill farm. Apparently when Ken and Alexandra Oeser visited in October 2002, the construction was still in its early stages.

I parked alongside US 219 at the usual spot for hiking the Maryland HP, hiked the mile or so to the state highpoint, and then followed the directions from Michael Schwartz's trip report (in reverse) to get to the Preston County HP. This was made much easier by the fact that I had my GPS with me, and as my goal I used the center of the 3,400+ ft contour from the Topozone map. As a result of it being a fogged-in day, I did not see the gigantic windmills until I was about 100 yards from them. Using my GPS, I determined that what used to be the 3,400+ ft contour is now a wide, flat, gravel road presumably used to service the windmills.

The highest point remaining appeared to be a rock outcropping on the border of the National Forest, next to the northernmost windmill. Since this was my first visit to the HP, I am not sure where the original HP was. Whether this is still the (true) highest point in the county is unclear, since the map shows that there is a 3,360+ ft contour about 0.6 mile northeast of the 3,400+ ft contour. My GPS does not report elevations accurately enough for me to make this determination.

By the time I hiked back to my car, the sky had started to clear, and the windmills were clearly visible from US 219 as I drove south.