top of page

Survey Marks

Have you ever looked at someone and thought "You really need a hobby?" 🤣 Well, I'm sure I've been on the receiving end of that sentiment many times, but I've never been short of hobbies. Granted they've changed over the years, and many were signs of the times such as my 'old school' ASCII text-based computer Bulletin Board System (BBS), which started with a dedicated land-line and a 2400 baud modem that boasted games, discussion groups, and file downloads from a large CD library, but I digress. 

I came around to recovering (finding and photographing) Survey Marks as an offshoot of my hiking activities. Many of my hiking challenges needed 'social proof' that I reached the summit, one of the best forms of proof was to take a photo with the survey marker at the summit. These are most commonly 3" brass discs mounted in the bedrock or a boulder at the highest point of a peak. The more I found, the more intrigued I was with their origins, needless to say, one thing led to another, and now hunting for survey marks has become my latest hobby. 

The hobby has two components that really interest me, the first is simply the hunt, while there are likely millions of survey marks scattered across the United States, and many are very easy to locate, others pose more of a challenge. The second aspect that I enjoy is once I've recovered a mark, is to research its history which often takes me down a path of learning about a particular region and the people that live(d) there. So adventure and education, a win-win for sure! 

bottom of page