3. Greensboro

Granted, there’s not much a city can do about its elevation at this stage in the game, but it’s something worth measuring — and anything that can be measured can be ranked. The highest spot on Greensboro should be the intersection of Elm and Market streets, which clocks in at 829 feet above sea level. It’s the lowest in the Triad, but still high enough that a few inches of sea rise shouldn’t bother Greensboro a bit.

2. Winston-Salem

The big cities of the Triad were designed so that their main intersections are at the highest point, allowing the rest of the city to unfold like water runoff in the spring. The main intersection in Winston-Salem, on North Main Street between Third and Fourth streets where the old courthouse takes up a full city block, rises 944 feet above sea level.

1. High Point

High Point got its name by virtue of its elevation, which on Main Street by the railroad tracks rises 954 feet above sea level. It’s not only the highest spot in the Triad cities, but was also the highest point on the North Carolina Railroad between Raleigh and Charlotte in 1859, the year the tracks came through. Main Street was formerly the old plank road between Fayetteville and Winston-Salem, so the intersection created an important point of commerce in the state.


  1. A few corrections for High Point:
    1. Elevation at Main St where it crosses the railroad tracks is 940 ft., per USGS benchmark
    2. The North Carolina Railroad ran between Charlotte and went past Raleigh and ended in Goldsboro
    3. The Fayetteville and Western Plank Road ran from Fayetteville and went past Winston-Salem and ended in Bethania.

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