Scripps Foundation-funded improvements are almost complete
By Peter Jensen 2017
Poor High Point! A good number of trees have died here in recent years, victims of the drought, and the old railing made of peeler poles was usually in a state of falling-down disrepair. But this trail is finally on the “come back.”
Thanks to a generous grant from the Scripps Family Foundation last year, and the hard work of a private contractor joined by park maintenance and Docent crews, a new railing and bench are in, and the Reserve’s service crew is started on re-vegetation of the trailhead beside the road leading to the original Guy Fleming House.
The High Point handrail may shock some of you at first. For starters, it’s brand new, so the galvanized pipes stand out visually. Weathering is expected, and this should mute the raw-looking newness a great deal. We are told that the railing may be painted at a later date to blend it into the landscape (if necessary). State Parks officials specified galvanized pipe for longevity, affordability and to meet State Park railing standards.
The handrails extend overall efforts to meet the needs of not only some of the Reserve’s ADA (American Disabilities Act) services, but also as a nod to those visitors who are ambulatory but a little shaky when it comes to climbing steps and navigating uneven surfaces. Obviously no one will attempt High Point in a wheelchair, but the railing is an important aide to elderly and less-nimble visitors who need something to grip when climbing or descending steps—and High Point has many.
At the top, several young trees are doing well—the next generation is taking root amidst the fallen giants of the past. And a new full-circle cedar bench now welcomes climbers who’d like to sit a spell and appreciate the view as well as catch their wind. Docent Ingo Renner designed it, and the Docent Society’s indefatigable work crews installed. Not far away, you’ll find one of the park’s 1933 U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey reference marks, a reminder that this is surely a “High Point” of importance.