The Highpointers Foundation
Dedicated to education, support and conservation
of the highest point in each of the 50 United States.
Highpointers Foundation Projects - Midwest Region

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Indiana – Hoosier Highpoint

2011 - 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.


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Iowa – Hawkeye Point

An 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.


Donna Sterler and family
at the Iowa Highpoint

A classic collection of old license plates
is a tradition at the Iowa Highpoint.

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.

Mike Earll at the benches near the highpoint and on the silo deck.

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.


View the Kirk Grau Appreciation Letter

Laura Newman and Sharon Marie Wilcox strike a pose
In 2018, the Foundation sponsored the upgrading of the electric outlets to 50 amps at the adjacent Campground.

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Louisiana – Driskill Mountain

2012 –> 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.


The bench and kiosk at the LA highpoint

Miles Luke and friends at the Louisiana highpoint

Terri Rowe at the LA view point bench

The new trail signs at the shop

The main trail signs in place


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Michigan – Mount Arvon

2011 - 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.


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Minnesota – Eagle Mountain

2011 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.

In 2011, the Foundation procured a large 50 Flags Poster commemorating the tragic events of September 11, 2001, and shipped it to the USFS Tofte Ranger Station near Eagle Mountain, MN. The poster is on display in the ranger station visitor center for passersby to view. These posters were given to the owners and managers of all 50 state highpoints in 2002 on the anniversary of 9/11. The poster for Minnesota was misplaced, and the Foundation was able to come through with a replacement.


Old

Refurbished!   State Pride!

HPF directors Stony Burk and Al Dempsey
at Minnesota’s refurbished Highpoint plaque

The replacement 50 Flags Poster for MN


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Missouri – Taum Sauk Mountain — The Jakk Longacre Glade

2010 –> 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.



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Nebraska – Panorama Point

2010 –> 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.

The Foundation also provided funds for several signs along the gravel county roads leading to the highpoint. These signs assist visitors in their travel to the highpoint and, for safety, warn of the bison herd in the area. The signage also indicates proper conservation of the access roads and asks visitors to respect the owner’s request for a nominal donation upon arrival. It is too dangerous for visitors to walk the last mile to Panorama Point if the bison herd is in the pasture near the highpoint, so the Foundation is working with the landowners to make improvements to the cattle guard encountered en route to Panorama Point. Bison can jump a single cattle guard, and a double cattle guard is needed. To completely resolve this issue, the Foundation is negotiating for a tall bison fence around the access road and the highpoint. In 2014, the Foundation placed a plaque and bench at Panorama Point. The bench faces southwest so vistors can enjoy the view of the distant mountains.


It takes a double-wide cattle guard to stop bison

The first mile of the road has been improved.

After a mile, the road turns north.
Note the puddle.

The old sign at the turn. Note the bison.

The NE highpoint area with new gravel.
The highpoint monument still needs work ->

Lidy Van Schie on the NE summit area bench.

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North Dakota – White Butte

2014 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $8,000

In 2018, the Highpointers Foundation secured an easement that
provides permanent public access to the North Dakota Highpoint.


An ammo can register was placed on the summit
in 2014.

Valerie Naylor enjoying evening light
at the North Dakota Highpoint.

The road out to the actual trailhead.

The trailhead

Valerie Naylor with the new iron ranger.
The old mailbox is on the right.

Dave Covill collecting the old mailbox.
It was removed from the parking area.

Daryle signing the easement agreement.

Mary Dennis and Daryle signing the
easement document.

Overview of the Access Easement.

Closeup of the Access Easement.

Aerial View of the Access Easement.

Dave Covill at the summit after the signing.
To view the ND Access Easement, click here.

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Ohio – Campbell Hill

2017 - Amount of financial assistance: roughly $1,100

A sponsored bench was placed near the highpoint in 2017.


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South Dakota – Black Elk Peak

2013 –> 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.


Craig Renkert enjoying the new SD bench.
Craig did a traverse over Denali in 1977,
now he’s visiting easier state summits.

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Wisconsin – Timm’s Hill

2007 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.


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Summary

Amount of financial assistance to date in the Midwest Region: Over $54,000

The Highpointers Foundation has raised over $170,000, and has invested more than $120,000 at 31 US state highpoints, the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, Colorado, and for the USA-wide program of Highpoints movies.


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Future projects

Possible 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.
  • Illinois – Charles Mound – Open dates information sign, bench
  • Indiana – Hoosier Highpoint – New signs, kiosk, table, bench, and trail
  • Kansas – Mount Sunflower – New signs, kiosk, and replacement US flag
  • Nebraska – Panorama Point – More road maintenance including around the HP plus a HP info sign
    Small arrows along the roads leading to the HP from I-80
  • North Dakota – White Butte – Trail work, approach road, iron ranger donation device, signs
  • Ohio – Campbell Hill – Information signs on highway
  • South Dakota – Black Elk Peak – Restoration efforts, additional interpretive signs
The Highpointers Foundation Board of Directors always welcomes ideas for other projects at state highpoints.
Submit your project idea!

List of the US State Summits

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