Ascent of Putnam County High Point on 2013-05-24

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Willie-Weimaraner Musser
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, May 24, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Putnam County High Point
    Elevation:220 ft / 67 m

Ascent Trip Report

Trip report for the two candidate HPs near each other. Both are easy to access. Go up SR 19 through Ocala NF over cross barge canal and take CR 310 west till you find CR 315 and then head north on it until you reach the non-incorporated area Interlachen and cross SR 20 and begin looking for Flamingo Blvd. Do not expect this "Boulevard" to look anything like a boulevard other than it is nice hard packed clay for much of it. We chose our SUV, boots, and hunting dog for the occasion having studied the arials carefully.

Secondary Candidate:
Parked at intersection of Fern and Akron. The "streets" here are all clay and fairly well maintained but rarely used. This platted subdivision has miles of roads with no houses then suddenly areas with clustered houses. We walked down to the sump on Akron and hiked up to the HP in the road (alternate HP) on Akron. We had our Weimaraner with us who enjoyed running in the sandy clay roads with no people around. Then suddenly at the hilltop where there are some homes just beyond Drew Lane, dogs everwhere. Seeing us approach with Willy, dogs from every yard of every size and every breed (sometimes 3 dogs per house) went off in a cacophony of warning barking guarding the sacred ground. We found the highest ground within the R/W for the secondary HP ( I did not subject my dog to the intimidating warning barking longger than necesssary) and did not attempt to investigate if there were any bumps of ground directly underneath the two large dogs at the fence of the home claiming the crown and returned to the car. We will leave the locating of exact coordinates to those with good GPS equipment and the thirst for adventure to tame defending canines. I poked down a few of the depressions nearby for some extra hiking and excercise along Akron. The area is turkey oak, longleaf pine and lots of wild rosemary shrubs.

Primary Candidate:
Then we moved our car to make a TH at the intersection of Flamingo Blvd and Hudson Tail. The roads are very sandy here but passable. No homes, canines, or people anywhere. There is a field fence on the western property line. We did not ecounter and signs saying "no tresspasing" nor did we spend the afternoon looking for them, so we stepped over a downed strand of wire. There is road along the fence and would have been best route to hike up north and grab the road heading NW to Trotting Pond. I was not interested in a direct bushwhack as I had my wife and dog with me and we wanted to see the ephemeral marsh called Trotting Pond. That also gives the most vertical aquistion of the highpoint and aquistion of highpoint with no gain just feels all wrong to me.

I was impatient and bushwhacked a bearing till we found Trotting Pond. It is a big field of grasses (cordgrass and shorter varieties easy to wlak through) with the water table exposed in a few deep karst depressions and the main body off to the north. The recruitment of immature snd pine and small to moderate diameter of the longleaf pines peppered in the grassy savanah indicates the entire area periodically innundates out over the entire Savanah but only once every fifteen to thrity years to sustain the grasses and kill back all the pines.

After touching water edge we found the main field road (jeep trail) heading NE away from the Trotting Pond area and past the clay mine and circled back on top of the higher contours with some bushwacking. There is some vertical rise and fall along the various trails and roads if you follow them instead of a straigth bushwhack to the top. I attempted a bushwhack at stategic places along the highest contour to satisy I had tromped around on the highest grounds of this large heavily wooded hill.

Between the two hikes we figure we logged in around 2.9 miles and around 260 feet of total gain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:260 ft / 78 m
    Total Elevation Loss:260 ft / 78 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.9 mi / 4.7 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
hot spring day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:225 ft / 68 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 125 ft / 39 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route:various trails and roads and bushwhack
    Start Trailhead:Trotting Pond  95 ft / 28 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:160 ft / 48 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 125 ft / 39 m; Extra: 35 ft / 10m
    Gain on way out:35 ft / 10 m
    Distance:1.3 mi / 2.1 km
    Route:various trails and roads and bushwhack
    End Trailhead:Trotting Pond  95 ft / 28 m

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