Cape Horn is an unusual mountain with a rather unusual name. No one apparently knows for certain how this name came to be. One of the many theories is that the moniker is derived from the mountain's resemblance to Cape Horn in South America. Regardless, the name has been around for nearly 200 years. It appeared on Philip Carrigain's famous map generated in the year 1816.
The arcing ridge known as Cape Horn, lies within a public parcel of land known as the Cape Horn State Forest (CHSF). A large portion of the ridge and its eastern slope lies within the CHSF, as does the southern half of its western slope. The highest point (2,040 ft) is near the northern end and is located on private property, just outside the CHSF boundary.
Cape Horn is Jurassic in age, dated at 182 million years old. In geologic terms, it is classified as a ring dike which was formed by an upwelling of molten magma in a conical-shaped fracture in the Earth's crust. There's a very brief online video which explains this process in simple terms (click HERE).
Also, there is an excellent scientific report about Cape Horn that is available online (click HERE). This report contains many interesting photos and diagrams.
There are two points where the CHSF property meets a public roadway. One is along Lost Nation Road, and the other is along Page Hill Road. A few years ago in July 2010, I launched a hike to Cape Horn from Lost Nation Road. However, on my most recent trek in early November 2013, I began my hike from Page Hill Road at the Corridor 5 Snowmobile Trail. Both of the aforementioned treks were done entirely on public land within the boundary of the CHSF property. And, both included a bushwhack component.
For the 2010 trek I began by following what is perhaps an old logging road until it petered out, and then I bushwhacked the remaining distance to the top of the ridgeline.
For my recent 2013 adventure, I followed the Corridor 5 Snowmobile Trail for about a mile to the point where it crosses Dean Brook on a bridge. About a tenth of a mile after the trail crossed the bridge, I began an eastward bushwhack through open woods to the southern end of the Cape Horn ridgeline. Getting up onto the ridgeline involved a moderately steep climb. But once there, it was pretty laid-back with easily navigable ups and downs through a park-like setting of open woodlands comprised of a mix of hardwoods and conifers.
With such a long introduction, perhaps it's time to present a few pictures! I'll begin with a map which shows key features such as the boundary of the CHSF, some of the surrounding roadways, etc. (Click on this map to enlarge it.)
|Map showing Cape Horn State Forest and nearby surroundings (CLICK TO ENLARGE)|
The next photo shows Cape Horn as viewed from the snowmobile trail.
Earlier in this report, you might recall that
it was speculated that Cape Horn might have gotten its name because of its resemblance
to Cape Horn in South America. Shown
below is a photo that I grabbed from the Internet which shows the South
American version of Cape Horn. Perhaps
there is a certain similarity between these two places!?
Cape Horn as viewed from the snowmobile trail
|Photo from Internet showing the Cape Horn located in South America|
Besides the view of Cape Horn, the snowmobile trail also provides a nice view of mountains in the Pilot and Pliny ranges.
The next photo shows Dean Brook at the point
where the snowmobile trail crosses over it.
|Mountains in Pilot and Pliny ranges, as viewed from snowmobile trail|
Dean Brook at the point where the snowmobile trail crosses over it
Hutchins Mountain on horizon with portion of Dean Brook drainage in foreground
|A distant view of Percy Peaks from a ledge along Cape Horn's ridgeline|
|Highly-zoomed image of Percy Peaks as seen from Cape Horn|
|Photo taken July 2010 from a ledge near Cape Horn's North Peak|
|Scene of contented cows grazing, as seen while en route to my Cape Horn hike|