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Illinois Highpoint - Charles Mound - 1235 ft
4 June 2005, around 5 pm.
Back to 2005 Northeast Highpoint Expedition
After departing Hawkeye Point, IA, I drove through thunderstorms across southern Minnesota and Iowa on the way to crossing the Illinois border and reaching the town of Galena. Along the way, I passed a billboard with a large US flag, which read 'Support Ethanol - Support America'. I can work with that! I had difficulty finding the road from Galena to Scales Mound (Stagecoach Trail), so I continued along US 20 to Elisabeth, where I did see a sign for the road north to Scales Mound. Along the way, US 20 passes by an observation tower that offers good views of the area. It was not obvious to me which was the correct driveway for the Wuebbels and the highpoint. I did not see a labeled mailbox or any sign. After traveling 0.3 miles from the last turn on Charles Mound Avenue, as per the Winger directions, I found myself on a small creek, with a driveway on each side of the creek. The closer one (from the direction you came), marked with a blue sign labeled 688, was the correct one. I did manage to start with the other driveway (which led to a house and some other buildings that were visible from the road), and after I reached the house I was pointed in the correct direction.
The correct driveway to the Wuebbels and the highpoint.
Finally on the right path, I opened the gate, closing it behind me, and headed up the unpaved driveway, a mile and a half or so, to the highpoint. Along the way, I got to meet Mr. Wuebbels, who was tending the fields. Just past the highpoint is a sign labeled 'No Trespassing Beyond This Point'. Don't go past this - the actual highpoint is just before the sign, and you don't want to annoy the Wuebbels by wandering into their front yard. There are some lawn chairs and a register at the highpoint.
The highpoint of Illinois, with marker and lawn chairs.
View from the summit.
The Wuebbels' tractor.
Views from the observation tower on US 20.
Access is only the Saturday and Sundays on the first weekends of June, July, August and September, during daylight hours. The highpoint is basically in the front yard of the the Wuebbels and access is restricted to the first weekends of June, July, August and September. The Wuebbels have been very generous in permitting access. However, due to vandalism and unruly behavior they have prohibited access to "tourists" although they have kindly permitted "legitimate" highpointers to have access. You must contact them at their office in Galena IN ADVANCE at (815) 845-2625. You will also have to park on Charles Mound Road at the entrance to their home and walk the mile and a half to the summit. Do not bring dogs. Open access dates in 2005 are: June 4 & 5, July 2 & 3, August 6 & 7, September 3 & 4.
Highpoint Adventures, Charlie and Diane
Winger, Colorado Mountain Club Press, 2002.
Highpoints of the United States, Don W. Holmes, University of Utah Press, 2000.