USA County Highpointing
August 9, 2019 12:37 PM   Subscribe

The County Highpointers Association provides descriptions of 3,143 county highpoints in the USA. It tracks members' journeys to visit as many as possible and you can read narrative reports about visits to the highpoints: lowest state highpoint in America in Florida or the highest in Alaska. And here's a charming one about trying to find and visit the true highpoint in the urban county of Arlington, Virginia. (Don't forget to read the FAQs and rules.)
posted by skynxnex (24 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
While I get that many web sites haven't updated their design in 20+ years, I am unable to tell the difference between the regular site and the "text only" version.
posted by Melismata at 12:44 PM on August 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

the highest point in nebraska was mentioned in a recent front-page post about the most boring tourist traps in america.

i can think of few tasks more tedious than driving around nebraska seeking out county highpoints, all of which (presumably) are exactly like panorama point except even more boring.
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 12:45 PM on August 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

As a resident of Harris County, Texas, I find this whole idea hilariously empty.
posted by uberchet at 12:56 PM on August 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Hah! I am amused, because as I read the first sentence and wondered "huh, wonder where the high point in my birth county is" and then I got to the end of the paragraph. I was born in Arlington, Virginia.
posted by tavella at 1:07 PM on August 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

so is there a convenient list by state somewhere in that text dump?
posted by kokaku at 1:31 PM on August 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, it's slightly more concrete than those who take pictures of themselves on major map lat/long intersections ...
posted by scruss at 1:42 PM on August 9, 2019

Fun fact: New Orleans is so flat that in the 1933, the Works Progress Administration built “Monkey Hill” in Audubon Zoo for local kids to enjoy, which was for a long time the highest point in the city, to show kids what a hill was like. It's "summit" was measured at 27.5 feet above mean sea level (m.s.l.).

That Untapped Cities article goes on to note that
Although Monkey Hill is the most famous hill in the city, the current highest point is actually “The Mountain” in Couturie Forest Arboretum in City Park.
The climb is underwhelming. Not only does it take 30 seconds to ascend, once you are at the top, the forest blocks the view of the surrounding area, so you can’t tell how high you are.
Whichever you want to consider the highest point in New Orleans symbolically Monkey Hill or actually The Mountain the only choices are artificial hills. The city has no natural hills or mountains.
Highpointers, previously: To join the Highpointers club, just keep climbin' -- looking at state and country highpoints, not down to the County level.

Also: The tallest points in Florida: more than Disneyworld.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM on August 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

It appears that Bill Jacobs has seen highpoints you people wouldn't believe.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:54 PM on August 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh my god, I don't remember how to use the original Internet. I just stared in horror.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:09 PM on August 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

This is great, and I see I've bagged at least one by accident.

But what about the lowest points? (Non-subterranean.)
posted by joeyh at 2:25 PM on August 9, 2019

The first person to reach all the summits in my state had a website (on, but it's down. And, for a moment, I thought he might've passed away--because, I mean, this does not seem like a young-person hobby. And so I was feeling a little melancholy.

But, when I found him on LinkedIn, it turns out that not only is he very much alive (and, after consulting, it looks like he probably switched ISPs some years back), but I've actually met the guy once, years ago, when our professional lives briefly intersected. So, now, I'm feeling a little delighted.
posted by box at 2:28 PM on August 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

Cook County’s Highpoint is a grassy field in the suburbs, surprising no one.
posted by mai at 2:30 PM on August 9, 2019

Cook County’s Highpoint

That's where they got that Picasso?
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:41 PM on August 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ah, yes, 45 ft above sea level, so high. I'm not worried about global warming at all.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:46 PM on August 9, 2019

Virginia has cities that are independent of any county, so they list high points for those too. Sometimes their borders change due to annexation. Due to this, my tiny home town has at least two different high points listed.
posted by joeyh at 3:06 PM on August 9, 2019

Alexandria's is right by a Boundary Stone.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:46 PM on August 9, 2019

Arlington's is very close to the Northwest 1 Boundary stone as well, about half a block. Also, I took a streetview journey, and consulting both Arlington trip report 1 and 2, it appears that it is here. And that the owners of the property have very kindly arranged their landscaping and fence so that people are free to hop onto the high point. How courteous of them!
posted by tavella at 3:54 PM on August 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

The highpoint in Fairfax County Va is on Pinnacle Drive, clever. I've driven past that hundreds of times and had no idea, but it makes sense that there's a water tower and antenna tower there.
posted by peeedro at 6:46 PM on August 9, 2019

so is there a convenient list by state somewhere in that text dump?

Yeah, I am also having a very difficult time trying to find out where the actual information is.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:32 PM on August 9, 2019

Wow, that is....that is some web design!
(It's not a great list, but if you click on a state on the extremely brightly-colored map, you can then click on your county of interest and get it as part of a whole list of counties.)

I am unreasonably delighted, mind, to learn that I grew up about five blocks from the highest point in Philadelphia county.
posted by kalimac at 7:45 PM on August 9, 2019

Rhode Island's state highpoint was difficult to bag for many years, because the cranky guy who owned the land wouldn't let people visit it.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:47 PM on August 9, 2019

Interesting. It appears that Mt. Hood’s peak is in both Hood River and Clackamas counties, obviously making it the high point in both counties as well as the state. Lived here my whole life & never knew the mountain was in two counties.
posted by peep at 9:52 PM on August 9, 2019

In the FAQ

6. Pre-bagging

(did not expect a kinky site)
posted by sammyo at 7:06 AM on August 10, 2019

MetaFilter: unable to tell the difference between the regular site and the "text only" version.
posted by loquacious at 7:43 AM on August 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

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