Highpointers: Climbing to D.C.'s Top Spot
Granted, mountaineering may not be the first sport that springs to mind when someone says "District of Columbia," but for highpointers--a great subculture of folks who make it their life's mission to reach the highest points in each state of the union--the District has long been a gap.
Mt. McKinley is certainly more challenging, Maryland's Backbone Mountain in Garrett County can pose some access issues, and Virginia's Mt. Rogers features wild ponies, but every state and even the Last Colony has a summit, and Washington's happens to be at Fort Reno in Northwest.
Glover Park resident Robert Hyman--who has reached the pinnacle of 47 states--and several other climbing enthusiasts, with a big assist from local land surveyors, have now marked the District's exact high point with an official National Park Service high point marker. You can find it yourself by following the directions on the link, or if you're a GPS nut, its coordinates are 38.95198 North and 77.075922 West.
I can't say I was exactly winded when I found the marker. And maybe the walking stick, canteen filled with water, pack full of snacks, and multiple layers of clothing were a bit much. But there it was, at all of 409 feet elevation. Lovely brass marker, still golden. Nice spot. Bit of a view, um, all the way to Wilson High School, a block below.
(The view across the river to Virginia is blocked; how can that be, you ask, if this is the high point? The marker goes on the highest naturally occurring spot, and just west of that is a somewhat taller piece of land that appears to be part of the fort after which this park is named--a man-made addition that doesn't count. It does, however, if you walk around to the western side of the incline, provide that expansive view of Rosslyn. Hey, what do you want for 409 foot elevation?)
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