Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finally, a View From the Top of South Carolina

A while back, I wrote about the highest point in South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain.  It is not far from home and the road is an easy, if bumpy, ride to the top.

The only problem has been that there was no place to look off this 3564-foot peak into the distance at the surrounding mountains and valleys.  The trees prevented it.  More than once, I have ridden up there, dismounted, and walked as far as my riding boots would let me, but found none of the breathtaking views I had hoped for.

Well, that has changed.  They have cleared a few trees and other vegetation, and now there is a small platform from which you can see for miles. 

You will note that they also put up a discrete little sign to let visitors know that there is now a place to look over.  Actually, on a clear day, I might be able to read the sign from home if it weren't for the trees! 

Here is the overall map with the twelve-mile route to the top (Pushpin "B") from the Holly Springs Country Store at the intersection of US-178 and SC-11 (Pushpin "A"): 

View Larger Map

Here are some pictures from the top, looking approximately south,

then southwest,  

then west.

That shiny place to the right center of the first picture is Lake Keowee.  The shiny place to the right-center of the third picture is Lake Jocassee.  I have mentioned Lake Keowee before, as well as Lake Jocassee, from an off-paved-road adventure of mine. 

Here is a panorama -- my first effort -- created from four individual photographs using PixMaker Pro

I think you will agree that the top of South Carolina is now a very much more enjoyable place to see God's creation. 

If you go:

  • The road to the top of Sassafras Mountain starts at Rocky Bottom on F. Van Clayton Highway, at the sign to the Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind.  The road is paved, but is narrow and bumpy in many places.  Most of the potholes have been repaired.  There is only one hairpin turn, and the road is readily accessible on almost any type of motorcycle.  The parking lot is gravel.  The highest point is actually a short walk beyond a locked gate. The North Carolina state line is a short walk on a trail at the opposite end of the parking lot from the overlook. 
  • A website about Sassafras Mountain is here

Edit: find an update on Sassafras Mountain here.   



bluekat said...

Nice trip report. I'm glad they added the overlook. Too nice of views to keep hidden. lol - the sign is a little subtle...sure hope no one misses it! :)

Charlie6 said...

nice pano, perhaps see what it looks like during sunset? or perhaps sunrise?

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