Campbell Hill (Ohio State Highpoint)

Ohio

Trip Date: Sunday, July 19th, 2020
Last Updated: Monday, March 22nd, 2021
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.3 miles roundtrip
Time 15 minutes
Terrain A few hills
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly No
Accessible Yes

Highlights

Hike Summary

Named for the original landowner Charles D. Campbell who owned this hill from 1896 to 1937, Campbell Hill is Ohio's highest point, standing at 1550 feet above sea level. What the highpoint lacks in impressiveness and views it makes up for with a solid monument and a general celebration of the place throughout the town of Bellefontaine, as evidenced by "hi-point" appearing in the names of many local establishments -- including the school that owns this property. Just under an hour from Ohio's biggest city, this spot is worth a visit for anyone aspiring to visit the U.S. state highpoints.

Campbell Hill is located on the property of the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center and is not always open to the public. To ensure access, the best time to visit is during the week during daylight hours, otherwise you may encounter a locked gate, as pictured below.

Gate blocking vehicular access on weekends and after-hours

The gate blocking vehicular access on weekends and after-hours

While the vehicular entrance is gated shut on weekends and at night, there is a pedestrian-only gate to the left of the main gate that is often left open, as pictured below. To be safe, you can call the school before your visit so they know to leave the gate open; visit the school's website at https://www.ohiohipoint.com/ for contact information.
A pedestrian-only gate is often open when the main gate is closed

A pedestrian-only gate is often open when the main gate is closed

Once you've entered the complex, you can see Campbell Hill to your right, clearly marked with a flagpole, as pictured below. For the full effect, I recommend climbing the tens of feet uphill.
The menacing climb to the top of Ohio's highest point

The menacing climb to the top of Ohio's highest point

At the top, there are several markers and monuments for you to stand by and take a picture for proof of this summit accomplishment.
The picturesque monument atop Campbell Hill after a rain storm

The picturesque monument atop Campbell Hill after a rain storm

The historical marker at the top explains some Cold War history, as pictured below. In the 1950s, the U.S. government established a base here to identify aircraft as friends or foes as part of the North American Air Defense Command. The base was closed in 1969 and became a vocational school in 1974.
The historical marker for Campbell Hill

The historical marker for Campbell Hill

Although Ohio does have some interesting topography down in the Ohio River Valley and in the Hocking Hills, Campbell Hill is quintessentially Midwestern. The view of sprawling fields surrounded by thick deciduous forest is exactly what you'd expect when you think of Ohio, as pictured below.
The beautifully Midwestern view from the top of Campbell Hill

The beautifully Midwestern view from the top of Campbell Hill

Though it's not the most exciting state highpoint to visit, Campbell Hill is another example of how the goal to visit all the U.S. state highpoints is about the journey and not the destination. Connect with me using the social media links below and share your adventures!



Important Information

While there are no signs explicitly banning dogs, this is private property and it is best to leave your dog at home. The route to the top is fully wheelchair accessible via paved sidewalks and is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. You can visit in any season; however, access is not guaranteed outside of school operating hours so plan accordingly or call ahead to ask them to leave the gate open for you. Visit the school's website at https://www.ohiohipoint.com/ for contact information.

Directions

From the Columbus area, take Interstate 270 to U.S. 33 heading west. In Bellefontaine, take the exit for Sandusky Avenue, then turn right. Shortly on the right, look for the entrance for the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center. Turn right to enter the gate and continue following the main drive until it dead-ends at the top of the hill.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are no publicly available facilities here.

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External Links