Highpointers Foundation Projects – Midwest Region
Indiana – Hoosier Highpoint2011 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $1,400
The Highpointers Foundation has provided funds for signs leading visitors to the highpoint from the local road. These signs, developed by the Renaissance Signs firm of Gonic NH, employ theft-resistant bolts to deter vandals. Previous work by an Eagle Scout is being supplemented by new improvements from the Foundation, including a bench, and possibly a picnic table and info kiosk to come.
Iowa – Hawkeye PointAn ongoing project (2009 –> 2018) - Amount of financial assistance to date: $13,000
The Highpointers Foundation is committed to provide funds for a major renovation at Hawkeye Point. There has been active work to foster a relationship with both the private property owners, and the local Osceola County government. In 2007 an agreement was reached whereby the Sterler family, owners of the farm for many decades, would donate the actual land at the highpoint to the County, and would sell the remaining several acres of the surrounding farm houses to the County. This agreement was realized in April 2008, and the County now has taken possession of the highpoint. County agencies will occupy the building on the location to help offset the purchase price, and state funding is being sought to assist in a visitor center.
The Foundation has committed to assisting with this process. An informational kiosk has been built near the highpoint, and the old license plate display is on the back side of it. A flagpole has been erected. Five tall posts have been erected with 10 signs on each, indicating the distance and direction to other US highpoints. Major landscaping around the highpoint and the house has been completed. Much of this has been paid for by the Foundation. An 18-foot high observation platform has been built around the old corn silo.
The highway which passes close by to the west of Hawkeye Point was recently upgraded to a major 4-lane highway, and the corridor now draws a substantially higher volume of traffic than in years past. A visitor center would bring many in for a stop. A seven acre plot of wooded land immediately north of the highpoint has been purchased from the state of Iowa Highway Department for a campground as well, and initial development occurred in 2011-2015. Brush has been cleared, and gravel laid for camping and RVs. A bathroom with showers and a picnic pavilion was completed in summer 2015. Weary travelers can now find a place to stay next to the highpoint, perhaps one of the few locally owned highpoints in America where overnight visitation is allowed this close to the actual highpoint. The Highpointers Foundation provided the majority of funds to acquire and develop this acreage.
The Highpointers Foundation also helped to memorialize Hawkeye Point Foundation Creator Kirk Grau, who passed away in 2013. The Foundation also funded the creation of the 50 state mileage markers that are mounted on five posts and denote accurate distances to the other state highpoints.
Louisiana – Driskill Mountain2012 –> 2018 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $1,700
The Highpointers Foundation has provided two benches for visitors, one at the highpoint and one at a view site. In cooperation with the land owners, we have placed an information kiosk at the highpoint. The LA HP owner reached out to the Club for assistance due to concerns over visitor Safety. Some hikers had been straying off of the road onto alternate paths, and local hunters were not expecting this. The HPF provided signage advising hikers to stay on the trail, and to wear Blaze Orange during hunting season in late Fall. The signs were installed in January 2018.
Michigan – Mount Arvon2011 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $3,400
The Highpointers Foundation provided funds for a new register mailbox to be placed at the summit area, along with custom trail signage and a new summit sign. This was placed in the Fall of 2011. Theft-resistant bolts were used to discourage vandals. With additional funds we are now able to provide a new bench, picnic table, etc. We reached an agreement with the local authorities to place a bench at the recently cleared view spot, located a hundred yards north from the highpoint. In the fall of 2012, trees were cleared in a sufficient arc and depth to clearly see Lake Superior to the North, and the bench was placed facing the lake. The Foundation has supplied the local chamber of commerce in L’Anse with decals, magnets, and stickers for visiting tourists.
Minnesota – Eagle Mountain2011 and 2012 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $1,700
The Highpointers Foundation worked with the USFS and local historical societies to
renovate the famous plaque imbedded in the summit boulder on Eagle Mountain. This operation took considerable
skill on the part of Highpointer Club volunteers. The original installation company, still in
business, advised on how to clean the plaque and remove about 60 years worth of decay and erosion. The plaque looked
like new at the end of the summer of 2012. Foundation funds were used to complete this expensive work.
Missouri – Taum Sauk Mountain — The Jakk Longacre Glade2010 –> 2016 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $500
The Highpointers Foundation is working to make additional improvements at the Jakk Longacre Glade. This pleasant viewpoint was donated by Lori Longacre, daughter of the late Jack “Guru Jakk” Longacre, who was an inspiration to all highpointers until his death in 2002. Jakk lived near this point, and was proud to be the highest resident of the state of Missouri. His home was about two miles from the summit of Taum Sauk Mountain along County Road CC. Jakk frequently walked across the road and out to this viewpoint, occasionally even sleeping on an outcrop to watch the stars from there. The Club created a parking lot here, and improved a path to the viewpoint. Extensive surveying was required to legally accept this property, all provided by Club volunteers. Sign posts have been erected, displaying custom signs for each of the other 49 states, depicting the distance and direction to each highpoint. The Foundation provided a bench for visitors, which was placed in 2012. Visitors to Taum Sauk can stop here en route to the highpoint for a picnic lunch. A replacement sign was installed in 2016.
Nebraska – Panorama Point2010 –> 2018 - Amount of financial assistance: $10,900
The dirt lane leading to Panorama Point became rutted in inclement weather,
and the landowners asked visitors to refrain from driving around the mud puddles.
The Highpointers Foundation provided funds for several loads of gravel to help resolve this problem,
and this work is still in progress. In the summer of 2016, the Foundation commited to enabling the 1.2 mile access road
to be completely bladed, and the dozen low spots filled with gravel and recycled crushed concrete.
This should reduce the annual snow and mud closure days from over 40 to less than 10.
In 2018, the road repairs were completed to the summit.
North Dakota – White Butte2014 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $8,000
In 2018, the Highpointers Foundation secured an easement that
Ohio – Campbell Hill2017 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $1,100
A sponsored bench was placed near the highpoint in 2017.
South Dakota – Black Elk Peak2013 –> 2018 - Amount of financial assistance: $9,400
The Highpointers Foundation provided funding for labor and materials to help with a major tower building reconstruction. The old stone lookout was deterioting badly and in danger of being closed. Now, flagstone steps have been replaced as well as windows and doors. We also funded a beautiful stone bench halfway up the trail at the boundary of state and federal land. Summit hikers can pause here with a view of the summit, and this point could be an end goal for some visitors who would be challenged by the rough wilderness hike to the summit. Additional interpretive signs will be installed in 2018, funded by the Foundation. We have created a second stone bench, and that installation will take place in Spring 2018. This bench is along the alternate Trail #4 to the summit, near Little Devils Tower and the Cathedral Spires, with a nice view of the summit and stone tower.
Wisconsin – Timm’s Hill2007 and 2012 - Amount of financial assistance: $3,100
The Highpointers Foundation provided funds for a mailbox register for visitors to sign when hiking Timm’s Hill. A register mailbox was placed in August 2007. A replacement mailbox was needed and placed in 2012. A bench was also installed in 2012, along with numerous signs. The original wooden trail map signs were decaying, and were replaced in 2012, created entirely in vinyl plastic. Wisconsin HP club liaisons Doug and Mary Urban visited Timm’s Hill to admire the new register and bench.
SummaryAmount of financial assistance to date in the Midwest Region: Over $60,000
The Highpointers Foundation has raised over $275,000, and has invested more than $170,000 at 32 US state highpoints, the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, Colorado, and for the USA-wide program of Highpoints movies.
Future projectsPossible future projects to assist privately and publicly owned state highpoints in the Midwest Region are being considered at: IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MO, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD and WI.
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List of the US State Summits