Ascent of Elkhart Hill on 2011-12-06

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Date:Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Elkhart Hill
    Elevation:771 ft / 235 m

Ascent Trip Report

My son, Marshall, and I had finished a successful trip peakbagging Iowa and Illinois state highpoints and we were driving home. We noticed that our route took us right beside the Logan County highpoint, so even though it was after 8:00PM, we decided to try to bag Elkhart Hill in the dark. We were going to approach the hill from the west, but we ran into a private drive. Instead we drove around to the north and discovered an old cemetery which had roads leading toward Elkhart Hill. At the far end of the cemetery was a sign reading, "An Illinois Nature Preserve - Elkhart Hill Grove." It wasn't until we returned from our climb that we read the rest of the sign and found that the last sentence read, "Entrance to this private preserve is by permission only." I don't know what we would have done if we had seen that message BEFORE the climb. Anyway, with ignornant bliss, we hiked the .3 mile wide trail to the summit in the dark and even located the summit benchmark. There were also two old tombstones on the summit with one reading, "Died Nov. 25, 1859." Of course, we could not see any summit view because of the dark, but we did see lights from a nearby house to the NW a few hundred feet away, which worried us because we were lighting up the area with flash pictures and it would have been easy to see our activity from the house. Fortunately, we returned to my car undetected and wished we could have done this climb in the daytime. It seemed to be a very pretty, interesting place.
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