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Pinnacle of Indiana in Wayne County

The wind is known to blow briskly at the highest point in Indiana.

West Facing ViewAt an elevation of 1,257 feet about sea level, it is hidden in a woods, a short rise above Elliot Road, northwest of Bethel in Wayne County. Marked by a cairn of field stones supporting a wooden sign that once bore a stapled-on message, the highpoint gives birth to tiny white spring flowers amid the peaceful rustle of the trees.

Robert and Marjorie BegemanThe greatest climb to the point is the one made over the stile into the woods. The United States Geodetic Survey says the point's latitude is 40 degrees, 0 minutes and 1 second North latitude and its longitude is 84 degrees, 51 minutes and 4 seconds west.

Property owner Kim Gobel gets at least 20 calls a year asking permission to visit the site and more stop by without permission. One visitor who asked for and received permission, thanked Gobel by sending her fresh peaches from his home state of Georgia.

Kevin WilliamsonRobert J. White, a farmer who lives nearby, finds people on his doorstep once or twice a week searching for the highpoint. "It's just a solid stream in the summer from different states," White said.

White and his family have been photographed at the point for a book about state highpoints. A log book for guests, supplied by Highpointer Club members Robert and Marjorie Begeman of Indianapolis, is stored in a wooden cabinet on a tree to the left of the stile. Inside the cabinet, marked "Registry," is an ammunition storage case, housing a plastic bag protecting a notebook and pen.

Between December 8, 1996 and April 29, 1997, more than 25 people signed in from California to Maine. Many noted the weather as "windy." Some mentioned how many highpoints they had visited and others remarked on their travel plans for the day.

Dale Matheson of Portland, Oregon, wrote: "It's after dark and I have no flashlight. I hope you can read this." Another visitor remarked that he stopped on the way to his sister's wedding.

One of the more interesting entries, which may have been submitted in jest, came from the "Randolph County Highway Department" which claimed that its members had come to return the highpoint to Randolph County "where it was stolen away by the rebels in Wayne County..."

Some visitors to the area may not realize the highpoint is in the wooded area west of the roadway beyond some hay rolls and discarded field stones, because a witness post and marker of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey are to its east.

This article originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. 1997 issue of Outdoor Indiana.
Reprinted by permission from the author, Rachel Sheeley Muzzillo and Outdoor Indiana.

Links of Interest

Highpoint Map

View Highest Point in Indiana in a larger map


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Did You Know?

Wayne County, Indiana is home to three universities. Indiana University East, Earlham College, and Ivy Tech Community College as well as two seminaries, Earlham School of Religion [Quaker] and Bethany Theological Seminary [Church of the Brethren].