Advice for multi-highpoint trip this fall ?

Advice for multi-highpoint trip this fall ?

Joined: June 20th, 2004, 7:42 am

May 11th, 2008, 5:49 pm #1

I'm taking my family to Ohio for an autumn wedding and am planning on tacking on another 8 days to
drive to 9 state highpoints with them...we're planning to do PA, MD and WV then driving south to tackle VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and KY in that order...we're not in a big hurry, taking 8 days to do these leisurely, enjoy some sites and return to Columbus 8 days later...am wondering if we're taking on too much? Is there a more preferred order to do these 9 other than the order I have laid out? Any imput would be welcome...

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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

May 12th, 2008, 1:19 pm #2

It should be easy to accomplish and not too rushed with 8 days. Many, many things to do. If you want ideas e-mail me.
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Joined: August 2nd, 2001, 8:13 pm

May 12th, 2008, 1:37 pm #3

I'm taking my family to Ohio for an autumn wedding and am planning on tacking on another 8 days to
drive to 9 state highpoints with them...we're planning to do PA, MD and WV then driving south to tackle VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and KY in that order...we're not in a big hurry, taking 8 days to do these leisurely, enjoy some sites and return to Columbus 8 days later...am wondering if we're taking on too much? Is there a more preferred order to do these 9 other than the order I have laid out? Any imput would be welcome...
You might want to look through my highpointing trip reports on my WWW site. We hit all of those, but in a couple of different trips because of how we were planning family vacations and what other places we wanted to go.

PA/MD/WV are reasonably close together but WV is a bit of an adventure to find. (Moreso for us because we ran into a road closure the summer we visited there and had to wander around finding an alternate route up to the highpoint.)

VA is pretty much a full day hike, so count on that much time. The rest are drive-ups or nearly so. TN and NC are likely to be socked in by clouds...NC has been both times we were there, as was TN when we did that trip. If you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway down to NC, you'll have a beautiful but s-l-o-w drive especially if it's foggy (in the clouds).

We had thought we could do NC/SC/GA in a single day but when you start to drive those mountain roads, you find you don't make the sort of time you could if there were Interstate highways from one HP to the other. The three are clustered nicely but the roads meander all over the place from one to the next. We ended up adding NC into a second trip because we never made it up there when we did GA/SC.

I would say what you have planned is aggressive but doable...
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Joined: January 24th, 2004, 8:34 pm

May 12th, 2008, 8:37 pm #4

I'm taking my family to Ohio for an autumn wedding and am planning on tacking on another 8 days to
drive to 9 state highpoints with them...we're planning to do PA, MD and WV then driving south to tackle VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and KY in that order...we're not in a big hurry, taking 8 days to do these leisurely, enjoy some sites and return to Columbus 8 days later...am wondering if we're taking on too much? Is there a more preferred order to do these 9 other than the order I have laid out? Any imput would be welcome...
If you're fairly new to highpointing, there's a tendency to want to add to your total fast, but what are you racing towards? You're not going to be the first to do this.

I'd recommend cutting this trip in half. Pick four or five and don't try to do nine in eight days.

Here are some suggestions to make more out of a few hps:

There's not much to add to PA-MD, although with a few variants, you can do a short hike to the PA highpoint instead of just driving there.

When you head south, you've got some real mountains to climb. Why not climb them instead of just driving to them?

WV we did as an overnight hike -- 20 miles roundtrip. You could do it as a long dayhike. The lack of a reasonable day hike here is surprising, but we couldn't make that work for us. We got the maps at the seneca rocks vistors center. I'd guess you can get them online now (I didn't even know there was an internet back when I went there). It's a buggy hike, or at least it was in May 1993, when I did it. This was my first highpoint as a purposeful highpointer.

In Georgia, we hiked up the trail from the road in the valley (it was 12 years ago and I don't remember the details). It was something like a 3500 foot elevation gain -- just a great dayhike.

We did VA as an overnight backpacking trip and really enjoyed it.

For NC, we spent one night camping at the trailhead (blackwoods campground) and another in the woods on the mountain. Its only 12 miles round trip, so you could do it as a dayhike, but we wanted to camp on the mountain.

In TN we did a three day thirty six mile loop that went over the highpoint. I also went back years later with my three year old daughter and walked up the short paved trail. If you've never been to the Smokies before, do more than just drive through.

In each case it's beautiful country, and in GA-NC-TN, the developed area around the actual highpoint is the least interesting part of it.

In my personal opinion, KY and SC are ugly highpoints that are fine to do as drive-bys.

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Joined: January 24th, 2004, 8:34 pm

May 12th, 2008, 8:41 pm #5

the campground we stayed at before climbing mt mitchell is Black Mountain Campground
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

May 13th, 2008, 12:47 am #6

I'm taking my family to Ohio for an autumn wedding and am planning on tacking on another 8 days to
drive to 9 state highpoints with them...we're planning to do PA, MD and WV then driving south to tackle VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and KY in that order...we're not in a big hurry, taking 8 days to do these leisurely, enjoy some sites and return to Columbus 8 days later...am wondering if we're taking on too much? Is there a more preferred order to do these 9 other than the order I have laid out? Any imput would be welcome...
In November 2001 I flew from Anchorage to Dulles Airport in Virginia and then drove to Black Mountain in KY. I re-visited the KY HP the next morning in better light and then drove to the Mount Rogers Trailhead, hiked to the summit of Mount Rogers and back, drove to Sassafrass Mountain in SC, drove to the Brasstown Bald parking lot in GA, walked to the summit and back, and then drove to Cheaha Mountain, AL. I continued on throughout the south, collecting HPs and four days later I started the morning in Bellefontaine, Ohio, and visited the OH HP, drove to Spruce Knob, WV, drove to the parking area for Backbone Mountain, MD, hiked to the HP and back, and then drove to Mount Davis, HP.

So, these HPs can certainly be visited within 8 days. But your family would have to be pretty interested in visiting these HPs for them to want to accompany you on such a schedule.

I can certainly sympathize with trying to collect as many HPs as possible to maximize your HP count per airline ticket.
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Joined: June 21st, 2006, 11:43 am

May 13th, 2008, 2:53 pm #7

I'm taking my family to Ohio for an autumn wedding and am planning on tacking on another 8 days to
drive to 9 state highpoints with them...we're planning to do PA, MD and WV then driving south to tackle VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and KY in that order...we're not in a big hurry, taking 8 days to do these leisurely, enjoy some sites and return to Columbus 8 days later...am wondering if we're taking on too much? Is there a more preferred order to do these 9 other than the order I have laid out? Any imput would be welcome...
My wife and I also try to do many states in one trip since travel is expensive. We did the same 9 highpoints trip in 2006, but in reverse order. I am amazed by the people who have done 8 highpoints in 24 hours. They must have known the roads well and had no delay problems. We also found that it was difficult to get anywhere fast on the curvy roads in that area. We got held up by a coal truck accident, road closures around Mount Mitchell, and trail closed at Clingmans Dome due to visitor center construction.

Here is a brief description of our trip:
4-08-06 Flew into Atlanta
4-09-06 Visit Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, climbed Brasstown Bald via Jacks Knob Trail, stayed in Blairsville, GA
4-10-06 Climbed Sassafras Mt. via Foothills Trail, climbed Mount Mitchell via Old Mount Mitchell Trail, Stayed in Asheville, NC
4-11-06 visited Biltmore Estate, climbed Clingmans Dome via Forney Ridge Trail and AT, stayed in Asheville
4-12-06 climbed Mount Rogers, climbed Black Mountain, stayed in Norton, VA
4-13-06 visited Hatfield Family Cemetery and Museum near Beckley, WV (my wife is a Hatfield...really), climbed Backbone Mt., climbed Mount Davis, stayed in Seneca Rocks, WV
4-14-06 climbed Spruce Knob, climbed Seneca Rocks via hiking trail, stayed in Seneca Rocks
4-15-06 Flew home out of Roanoke, VA

8 days should be plenty of time to do the highpoints and to relax and see some of the other attractions of the area. I would recommend including Seneca Rocks in your trip. It is a pretty area. Have fun!
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 1:04 am

May 13th, 2008, 6:29 pm #8

I'm taking my family to Ohio for an autumn wedding and am planning on tacking on another 8 days to
drive to 9 state highpoints with them...we're planning to do PA, MD and WV then driving south to tackle VA, NC, SC, GA, TN and KY in that order...we're not in a big hurry, taking 8 days to do these leisurely, enjoy some sites and return to Columbus 8 days later...am wondering if we're taking on too much? Is there a more preferred order to do these 9 other than the order I have laid out? Any imput would be welcome...
Sounds like a great family trip! It is certainly a doable plan with some breathing room for side trips. As Steve Gruhn had mentioned, visiting KY and VA together is a good option since they are so close to each other and one is a drive up. Make sure you send in your Waiver for access to Black Mountain. Also, check the North Carolina websites for current information. Mount Mitchell summit road is only accessible from the north until mid summer due to road repairs from the south. Also,the summit deck is still closed until construction is completed, hopefully mid-summer. Happy Trails and Safe Climbs!
Stony
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Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 5:48 am

May 16th, 2008, 11:31 am #9

It should be easy to accomplish and not too rushed with 8 days. Many, many things to do. If you want ideas e-mail me.
leave your family in Ohio and drive to the Northeast where you can bag Vt,NH, and Maine. Its 12 hr 36' from Columbus to Burlington per Map Quest. You could take your backpack and spend a few days each in the Whites and Baxter!
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Joined: June 20th, 2004, 7:42 am

May 17th, 2008, 6:20 pm #10

I've done all the Northeastern peaks. Most of my remaining highpoints are driveups that I'm hoping to share with family members.
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