Britton Hill Trip Report
Lakewood Park, 06/12/15
Britton Hill in Florida has the distinction of being the lowest of the State Highpoints. At only 345 feet above sea level, it's lower than many buildings in Miami, but it is the highest point of natural elevation in the state, and as such, one to be visited on our tour of their highest points.
We visited Britton Hill on our way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Austin, Texas. While a little out-of-the-way, it let us see a few places of the country we haven’t yet been to, including the Gulf Coast. From Pittsburgh, we drove south through the Appalachians, stopping for a few minutes at the New River Gorge Bridge, before continuing through Virginina, Tennessee, Georgia and eventually to Alabama. Our destination that evening was a campsite at Open Pond Recreation Area in the Conecuh National Forest. It was a long day, but the kids did great and after passing through several rain and thunderstorms, we arrived around 8:30.
The only problem was the I had misjudged the amount of daylight the area gets, and by that point it was pitch black. We drove around the pond, found a campsite, set up our tent in the dark and put everyone to bed. It was warm and humid, so we took a gamble and left the rainfly off the tent. Instead, we got to look at the stars, listen to the bullfrogs and see the sun rising over the pond the next morning.
From the campground, it was only 30 minutes just across the Florida border to Lakewood Park, home of Britton Hill. The park itself is simply a turnoff from a county road south of the town of Lakewood, and features a small monument, along with restrooms and a picnic pavilion. We spend a few minutes wandering around, looking at the area and monument, before taking a few pictures with our children. Quite fortuitously, a local husband and wife showed up just as we were doing so, and offered to take our picture together.
The area around the highpoint is forested, with some pastureland, and the day was still very humid and hazy from the storms the previous night. We didn't stay around very long, so after congratulating ourselves for another successful ascent, we loaded up the car, found our way to I-10, and drove another 700 miles to get to Austin that evening. As we were leaving, I commented to my wife that the highpoint experience was a little underwhelming, but it did give us a reason to explore a part of the country we hope to come back to.