I reached the top of Sassafras Mountain, the Highpoint of South Carolina at 3560 feet, on Friday, May 28th, 2004. It was my 22nd state highpoint.
I drove east from my timeshare condo at the Sky Valley Resort, in Dillard, GA, where I was staying for the week, into North Carolina and onto US 64. I turned right (south) when I reached US 178. I crossed into South Carolina and when I reached Rocky Bottom (don’t blink or you’ll miss it) I turned left (east) at the “Rocky Bottom Camp of the Blind” and drove up the steep windy road to Sassafras Mountain. I parked in the large parking lot, which was empty except for the charred, burned out remains of what appeared to be a large camper about the size of a charter bus. I walked past the broken, unlocked gate and continued the short distance to the summit. I arrived at the summit at approximately 3:00PM. It was partly cloudy and 75 degrees. I was the 2nd person to sign the logbook for the day. The highpoint of South Carolina itself was rather unimpressive, and there were no good views from the top, but there were a couple nice looking trails that I would have liked to hike if I had more time. In fact the entire area around Sassafras Mountain, including much of the tri-state area of Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina was very beautiful with many rivers and waterfalls. White water rafting is very popular here. The river where the movie “Deliverance” was filmed was not too far from where I was staying in Georgia. On the way from my condo to Sassafras Mountain I stopped at Glen Falls where I hiked about 6 miles along some very scenic trails with excellent views of rapids and waterfalls. I used my new hiking poles for the first time on that hike. They are a great help to my sore old weak knees and now I wonder how I ever got along without them. I took a different route on the way back to my condo, driving south on US 178, farther into South Carolina, and then driving west, following SR 11 back to Georgia. As I drove north on US 23 in Georgia, I stopped for a brief look at Tallulah Gorge. It was too late in the day to enter the State Park and hike the 1.5-mile trail along the rim of the sheer walled, 1000-foot deep crevice, with waterfalls and lush vegetation. Maybe next time. However I was able to get a decent view from a roadside gift shop that advertised that it had the only roadside viewpoint to see the gorge. There was no charge to enter the gift shop and view the gorge, and it had some interesting pictures and articles about the history of the area. One of the signs said that Tallulah Gorge was the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi.
After leaving Tallulah Gorge I continued north and stopped at the Dairy Queen, in Clayton, GA, for my daily chocolate fix, on the way back to my condo.