Charles Mound, Illinois

State Highpoints
State Highpoints
Distance: 1.2 miles
Summit Elevation: 1,235 feet
Elevation Gain: 100 feet
Access: Paved
It's crazy to think that the highest point in Illinois is below the height of the Willis Tower (Sears Tower). Located far from Chicago, Charles Mound reaches a height of 1,235 feet, 800 feet lower than the elevation at the top of the Willis Tower. From the summit of Charles Mound, there are views of rolling hills into Wisconsin, just 1,300 feet to the north. The property owner only allows visitors to walk the property 4 weekends a year on Saturday and Sundays. The first full weekend in June, July, August and September are the only times you can visit. That is 8 days a year....which makes this highpoint one of the more difficult to obtain! There are no exceptions to this. The highpoint is at the far end of the property owners home, so don't go hiking past the high point. This highpoint ranks 45th in order of elevation.
Get yourself to Scales Mound. From the north end of town, follow Charles Mound Road 1.3 miles to the gated gravel road. Use a map, it is not signed. At one time, you could drive up the private gravel road to a old farmhouse to start but now access seems to start at the paved county road. During permitted times, the owner puts a sign out saying to park and foot traffic only.
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Gate at the county road
The first half mile
The second half mile
If gate is open, park at this point just below the top
Nice views along the way
Summit sign
Register between the summit chairs
Views from the top of Charles Mound
Looking over to the property owners home
USGS benchmark
Views from the top of Charles Mound
Above: Topographic map showing area from Scales Mound to Charles Mound