By Geoff Agombar
Local Journalism Initiative
Throughout our region, mountain ranges lumber gently across the horizons. Just outside Danville, one such peak thrusts up like a rogue wave. Its silhouette resembles that famous Japanese woodblock print by Hokusai of a mountainous wave about to crash down on a boat full of rowers. It is known simply as the Pinacle.
For generations, families have climbed the long back slope to reach the rugged lookoffs at its crest. It is not a large mountain, so it is the leisurely half-day excursion with a moderately challenging scrabble in the final few meters. Clifftop vistas offer stunning views in all directions. It is a treat in any season, but especially during the autumn flush.
In recent years, this local tradition has exploded. Streams of vehicles rush in on weekends as soon the leaves change. The municipality had begun advertising the Pinacle as a tourist attraction. Geotagged panoramas and selfies posted to social media combined with pandemic cabin fever have only accelerated the trend.
But the Pinacle stands on private land. Overuse and abuse have led the landowner to a difficult decision to close the site to the public.
“We really don’t want any drama or tension,” explained the landowner’s son by phone, wishing to keep their names private. “At the same time, we have to protect what’s ours. Gates and signage will be going up soon.”
For full story and others, subscribe now.