Marie McAden



Take in the beautiful upcountry at Sassafras Mountain's new overlook

Posted 12/2/2010 12:21:00 PM
Sassafras Mountain — South Carolina’s highest peak — just got a new overlook, allowing visitors a safe vantage point to take in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

From the platform, which sits just shy of the 3,560-foot high peak, you can see from Whiteside Mountain in North Carolina down to Lake Jocassee and Lake Keowee all the way to Lake Hartwell in South Carolina's beautiful upcountry.

Part of the 33,000-acre Jim Timmerman Natural Resources Area at Jocassee Gorges in Pickens, Sassafras Mountain can be reached by car from Interstate 85. Take Exit 21 and drive north on U.S. 178 to the town of Rocky Bottom, just before the North Carolina state line. Look for F. Van Clayton Highway (a local road). Drive about five miles up a long hill to the parking lot on top. The summit is an easy 100-meter walk away.

The Department of Natural Resources has future plans to build a bigger platform at the top of the mountain with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

“The long-term goal is to have an impressive structure atop the mountain similar to Mount Mitchell in North Carolina or Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which will permit long-range views in all directions from the top of Sassafras,” said Mark Hall, DRN wildlife biologist and Jocassee Gorges manager.