The view from the top of Sassafras Mountain

Image: SC DNR

New Observation Tower Opens

On Sassafras Mountain

April 22, 2019 - 4:00 pm
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The view is said to be breathless at the new observation platform atop South Carolina’s highest point.  Sassafras Tower opened today, Earth Day, atop Sassafras Mountain in northern Pickens County. 

Although the summit has been accessible by foot traffic for years, this new observation tower makes the peak accessible to all visitors by car, including people with disabilities, thanks to a road and parking log. It’s some 3,553 feet above sea level and, on a clear day, you can North and South Carolina and Georgia.

Sassafras Mountain Tower,
Image: SC DNR/Danielle Kent

Total cost for the project was $1.1 million dollars with money coming from Duke Energy, Pickens County, the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, the Felburn Foundation and the South Carolina Heritage Trust.  Hundreds of private donors also gave money to the project by buying bricks used on the deck.  Construction on the observation deck started back in November of 2017.

Sassafras Mountain is about 20 miles north of Pickens. It sits on the Eastern Continental Divide, is the tri-point of three distinct watersheds, and is home to the Foothills Trail, a 77-mile footpath between Table Rock and Oconee state parks. The Palmetto Trail, which will one day link the South Carolina mountains to the sea in a continuous trail of 500 miles, is also on the flanks of Sassafras Mountain

Directions: To reach the Sassafras Tower (in northern Pickens County): from the town of Pickens, go 15.8 miles north on US 178 to Rocky Bottom. Turn right on F. Van Clayton Memorial Highway and go 4.7 miles to the end of the road. The gravel parking area is on the left.

The SC Department of Natural Resource also has more detailed information on the structure.

 

 

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