Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Woodall Mountain, MISSISSIPPI (State High Point #32), 3/23/2019

Woodall Mountain, Mississippi (806'), March 23, 2019.


Mileage: Drive up.

Directions:  US-72 to MS 25 to Fairground Road/Old Highway 25 to County Road 176 in Iuka, MS. Turn onto Woodall Mountain Road. The roads are well signed; the final approach is steep.

This is the third highpoint visited on this road trip (see trip reports for Arkansas and Louisiana).  Yesterday, Sandy and I drove through the farmlands of Louisiana and across the Mississippi River into Mississippi.  We stayed at a hotel in Corinth and got up early to visit Woodall Mountain.

Pretty amazing bridge and view of the river!

Lots of signs. This highpoint is easy to find! 

Though there's history in this area (Civil War battle), the actual highpoint is quite understated.  Woodall Mountain no longer has a tower; just remnants of the foundation remain.

The real excitement is getting there; the last short push to the top is on a steep gravelly road.  Going down this road was fun too.







Foundation posts for the tower are in a fenced in area.

We took a few photos, signed the register, got back in the car and headed east toward Alabama (click here for Alabama highpoint visit).







Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Driskill Mountain, LOUISIANA (State High Point #31), 3/22/2019

Driskill Mountain, Louisiana (535'), March 22, 2019.

Mileage: 1.85 miles RT


Elevation gain: 121' 

Directions: The trailhead to the summit of Driskill Mountain is located in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.  The easiest way to find directions is to Google "Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, Bienville, LA." From Ruston, take US 80-W to LA 507 South; the church (and Driskill Cemetery) is on this road.  Parking is at the church.

The trails described here are on private land, please be respectful of this.

Sandy and I drove the six hours from Magazine Mountain, Arkansas' highpoint (see trip report) to Ruston, Louisiana where we stayed the night. We drove past forests of tall pines adjacent to acres of stripped land.  Logging is big here; we'd pass the trucks hoping they'd stay in their lanes (they did) and the loads wouldn't shift while we did so (they didn't).  

Parking is in the church lot in front of the cemetery fence.  We were the only ones there but by the time we left there were several other cars in the lot; apparently this is a favorite spot for local families.

The church and cemetery.

LOTS of Driskills buried in the cemetery!

Sign is on near the road - easy to spot.

Avoid hiking here during hunting season (Nov/Dec).

I'd read that finding this highpoint could be tricky as the route is not well marked so I brought Don Holmes' highpointing book with me for directions.  

I didn't need it.

Each turn and option was met with clear signage. James Driskill's great great granddaughter Melba had installed signs and painted trees with interesting circles and bands to point the way. 


Gate at the beginning, go through it.

A road walk is first, followed by a slight left turn, all signed.  We opted to get there via the false summit, and return the standard route - 1.85 miles of walking.


The area is pretty wet - my shoes are orange from the mud.

"Designated trail."



False summit route is more of a path; the direct route is old road.

Lots of blazing!

The highpoint is marked with a sign and register (pictured below), along with a large cairn and three chunks of wood with pins in them.  



Pin.

We couldn't find a USGS marker but did find a county marker further down the path (the path continues left of the sign).

County marker.

When facing the Driskill Mountain sign, look left and you will see benches for the overlook of Jordan Mountain - a nice place to rest and reflect. 




Back to the car.

We arrived back at the car before noon, pointed the car east and headed to Mississippi (trip report is here).




Monday, March 25, 2019

Magazine Mountain, ARKANSAS (State High Point #30), 3/21/2019

Magazine Mountain - Signal Hill, Arkansas (2,753'), March 21, 2019.

MileageDrive up and .6 mile hike to summit.

Directions to highpoint: (from summitpost.org) The highpoint is within Mt. Magazine State Park, Paris, AR.  From Little Rock, take I-40W to Russellville, then Route 7 south to Rt 27 south to Rte 10 west to Route 309 north.  The area is well signed.

My friend Sandy and I were in the area and decided to do a highpointing road trip (which included highpoints in Arkansas and three other states).  Magazine Mountain in Arkansas was first on our route. Signal Hill refers to the area on Magazine Mountain where the highpoint is located.  

We rented a car and drove up from Little Rock (about a two hour's drive).  The mountain is a massive plateau seen for miles - we were at least 45 minutes away when we spotted it. We arrived hungry and had a wonderful lunch at the lodge. The restaurant offers stunning views of the Ozark Mountains.   

Entrance to the park
View across from the entrance sign.

The lodge has hotel rooms and a restaurant.

Patio at the lodge - views of the Ozarks.

We didn't spend a lot of time researching our highpoints for this trip and I was a bit surprised that the actual summit is viewless.  

From the lodge, the hike to the summit is .6 miles.

Moderate path up.

Once reaching the top and waiting in line for a photo (busy place), we headed back down to enjoy the views at the lodge.



USGS marker in the center of the summit area.

We'd planned to spend more time hiking around the mountain but simply ran out of time.  On to Louisiana! (Click here for LA trip report.)


For more information on hiking in Mt. Magazine State Park, click here.  And here.