Last weekend I was in Florida, and I determined to bag a couple of high points on my way home to Missouri.
On Tuesday, 7 October, I drove north from central Florida and reached northwestern South Carolina late in the afternoon. After driving through a lot of rain the skies cleared just as I reached the highlands.
I approached Sassafras Mountain from the south on US-178, which is an enjoyable winding mountain road. At Rocky Bottom I turned right on secondary road #199, the "F. Van Clayton Memorial Highway." It's a little less than five miles on the paved road to the parking area just below the summit. I met one other car on the way up, and the parking lot was empty upon my arrival.
It's just a short walk from the parking lot to the summit. Like everyone else, I found this high point to a be a "lost opportunity." With a fairly small investment by Duke Power (owner of the property) and/or the state of South Carolina it could be a real showplace. As it is, there's little to recommend it. A message board promised a summit log in the attached metal container, but instead there were only a few scraps of paper. Trees obstruct any view, and there's no observation platform or tower.
In any case I reached the summit at about 5:20p EDT, and then continued on to my motel in the aptly-named Travelers Rest, S.C., to rest up for the next day's assault on Black Mountain.