Charles Mound – Scales Mound, Illinois - Atlas Obscura
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Scales Mound, Illinois

Charles Mound

This family driveway also serves as the highest point in Illinois. 

While the highest natural points of many US states are in parks or other protected areas, the highest point in Illinois is at the top of a family’s driveway.

At 1,235 feet above sea level, Charles Mound is the highest elevation one can reach in the state of Illinois. The northwest corner of the state is in a unique geological region called the “Driftless Area,” in which the land was not covered by glaciers during the last Ice Age. The resulting area is a uniquely eroded plateau cut with deep river valleys.

The owners of Charles Mound, Wayne and Jean Wuebbels, graciously allow access to interested visitors on the first full weekends of the summer months and Labor Day weekend, only (not including Labor Day itself). All other requests will be denied. These dates are posted at the Highpointers’ Club website. The Wuebbels ask that visitors follow these three rules while on their property: 1. Come during daylight hours on the specified dates; 2. No parking up the driveway - please leave vehicles near the gate and walk the 1.2 miles on the driveway to the marker area, and please do not crowd the road as farm equipment may need to pass; and 3. They can’t accommodate pets.

At the summit, the Wuebbels have a marker for the benchmark and chairs so visitors can take in the views of Illinois farm country. They have welcomed guests from all over the world at the top of their humble, if long, driveway.

Know Before You Go

From Route 4 in Scales Mound, IL, turn east on W Charles Mound Avenue, then turn north on Charles Mound Road. Drive to the sign that says "688", park at the gate, and walk 1.2 miles up the driveway to the highpoint marker. Once there, please follow the owner's requests:1. Visit during the daylight hours only on the specified dates.2. Keep your vehicles near the gate, not in the driveway. Also, please leave room for farm equipment to pass.3. And please leave pets at home.