The azaelas were in bloom as we looked across Driskill Cemetery to the summit. Below is the monument to Bonnie & Clyde
Driskill Mountain, Louisiana, 535 feet
Bienville Parish, northern Louisiana
11 miles south of Arcadia
Latitude 32 degree, 25 minutes North; Longitude 92 degree 54 minutes West
We climbed Driskill Mountain on April 1, 1999.
The climb of the country's third lowest state high point (only Florida and Delaware are lower) was more fun than we expected. The dogwoods and azaelas were blooming. We were followed by puppies and the summit register told of romance (the couple met on Rainier, got engaged on Hood and married on Mauna Kea -- this was their 14th peak together).
We drove out from Shreveport on I-20, exited in Arcadia on State Route 147, turn south on 797 and ultimately on Highway 507 (which offered a pleasant view of the mountain which was burst up out of the fog). We were to see only one car the entire time we traveled from Arcadia to the summit parking area.
We parked at the Mt. Zion Independent Presbyterian Church, a red building, with outhouses next to the road (and fire ants made you question how important it was to visit them), and the Driskill Cemetery (full of course with the Driskill clan). No road signs proclaim the significance of this spot.
The Driskills still live around the mountain and I am told the peak was named for James Christopher Driskill who moved here in 1859 and owned the land. The Mt. Zion church is known locally as the "Driskill Church."
We walked down the red clay road, past a radio antenna into the woods, bearing left. If you proceed straight you go up the "false summit." Many accounts on the summit log report of people getting lost. The trick is to bear left and go downhill at a gate which forks the road. A short distance later a sign points the way to Driskill Mountain.
The trees around the tower had been cut. As we traveled further in the area, we were to run into many logging operations.
This is private property but no signs were posted and highpointers are welcome.
The summit itself sported a small rock cairn, a regististration book in an olive metal box. A church flag was taped to the tree. A blazed trail headed north and downhill from the summit passing a geographic marker but it didn't look like the classic USGS marker.
After finding my Magellan GPS coordinates to be remarkably close in elevation and longitude/latitude, I accidentally left the device the summit while taking pictures.
From the summit we proceeded 10 miles on 507 to Culbertson's Grocery at State Route 154. Mertha Culbertson, a kindly woman, told stories of Bonnie & Clyde. Lots of people in these parts knew the outlaws (including Mertha's father).
Mertha says the outlaws knew several people to the north in Gibsland.
Six miles north of the station on 154 is a simple granite monument noting the spot where the outlaws were killed. Folks have chipped away at the monument and the spot was littered with beer cans and porno magazines.
The duo is big name in these parts. The radio told of the annual Bonnie & Clyde Days celebration in Arcadia.
From here we headed on north on the road to Hope, Arkansas.
Driskill Mountain is the lowest state high point west of the Mississippi. Louisiana is so paranoid about its low elevation that hurricane escape route signs stretch all the way to the Arkansas border.