Discussion from McGrain and Currens (1978)

Lewis County is a highly dissected upland area in northeastern Kentucky. The topography is hilly to mountainous. On the western edge of the county, the topography is typical of the Outer Bluegrass, but elsewhere it expresses the characteristics of the Highland Rim. Ridgetop elevations generally exceed 1,000 feet, and expanses of flat land are few. An exception is the Tollesboro area, where broad upland flats are developed on resistant rock formations.

The Ohio River marks the northern border. The lowest elevation in the county is 485 feet, the normal pool level of the Ohio where it crosses the western boundary. Elevations along the valley floor are about 520 to 540 feet.

Local reliefs of 300 feet or more are common in many parts of the county, and slopes are steep. The greatest local relief is 2 miles west of Garrison, from Round Top (1,220 feet) on the bluff overlooking the Ohio River down to river level (485 feet), a difference in elevation of 745 feet.

The highest elevation in Lewis County, 1,400 feet, is a knob near the Lewis-Fleming County line about 2 1/2 miles south of Petersville. Elevations in excess of 1,300 feet are present along the Lewis-Fleming and Lewis-Rowan County lines, where they follow a drainage divide between Kinniconick Creek and Licking River. Eskalapia Mountain, a prominent high area southeast of Tollesboro, attains an elevation of 1,200 feet.

The elevation of Vanceburg, the county seat, is 525 feet. Other elevations in the county are Burtonville,
790 feet; Charters, 583 feet; Concord, 526 feet; Firebrick, 580 feet; Garrison, 535 feet; Head of Grassy, 716 feet; Kinniconick, 686 feet; Petersville, 830 feet; Stricklett, 720 feet; and Tollesboro, 816 feet.

The 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle maps that cover the county are shown, by name and by index code (Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet) on the index map.

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