Ascent of Britton Hill on 2016-06-07

Climber: Bill Peterson

Others in Party:Kelly Peterson
Date:Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Britton Hill
    Elevation:345 ft / 105 m

Ascent Trip Report

My wife, Kelly, and I visited Britton Hill today, June 7, 2016, after vacationing with friends at Fort Walton Beach, Florida. I knew our trip would put us near Britton Hill, so I was excited about this the whole time we were on vacation. I'm a novice, but I enjoy the trip reports here and I think it's neat that this "peak" is considered significant even though it's the lowest in the country.

As we neared the area, there were road signs pointing the way to the high point, as others have written. As another reviewer wrote, this is indeed a different part of Florida. This is not Miami, Orlando, Naples or Tampa. It is truly old South here. Lots of Confederate battle flags could be seen along the way -- especially above I-10. The saying is true that the farther north you go in Florida, the more Southern it is.

There were three parking spaces at the park's main lot -- one handicapped and two non-handicapped. A car with a handicapped tag, instead of parking in the one handicapped space, was double parked in the two non-handicapped spaces! I told Kelly, "The story of our lives!" We never park in handicapped spaces, so we parked along the semi-circle drive that leads into the park. We didn't see the driver of the car with the handicapped tag. The windows were down, which gave us a bit of an uneasy feeling out here in the middle of nowhere.

Right away we saw the monument that indicates the elevation of Britton Hill, and it was very exciting. We took pics of it and made a selfie. I'd read here that the actual high point is in the woods, so I went on the trail nearest the monument. I didn't think it was a good idea to stray too far onto this trail at this time of year with snakes and all. And the Beware of Dog sign on the fence of the property that adjoins the park spooked me a little. So I turned back to join my wife who I'd left alone with that empty car with the handicapped tag.

As I turned back, I heard voices. A young couple had come for the same reason we had. My wife had retreated to the car because she saw the driver of the handicapped car at a picnic table and it had unnerved her. As I came out of the woods, my wife got out of the car. We talked to the young couple and learned that they are freshly minted graduates of the United States Military Academy. They are not married but are apparently very close. They are travelling around before beginning their assignments in the military. "We love what we do," the young man said. God bless them.

We saw the register in the holder by the restrooms. It was soggy for some reason. The first entry in this register was dated around October, 2013. (I wonder what happens to previous registers.) The register we signed today is a spiral notebook and the pen provided has pink ink. We also saw the bulletin board with high point articles and publications on it. We signed the register and then gave it to our new Army friends to sign. He embellished it with some funny low high point lines similar to -- but not nearly as funny as -- John Griffith's classic report. We took a picture of them and they took a pic of us.

Reading the reports tonight about Britton Hill, it appears that the trail I should have taken to reach the true high point was actually behind the picnic bench where the guy driving the handicapped car was sitting. I guess that will have to be on the next trip. There will likely be another trip since we really enjoyed Fort Walton Beach.

This is my second state HP. I visited Clingmans Dome in my home state of Tennessee sometime in the mid-'90s. But this trip was just as enjoyable. Plus, in my current physical condition, this might be the only high point I could successfully conquer right now!
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Kelly and I happy to be at (or near) the Florida high point! Thanks to the young USMA grads for the pic (2016-06-07). Photo by Bill Peterson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:1 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Mostly sunny

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