Greenville, SC: Sassafras Mountain

Tag the two highest peaks in South Carolina on this 17.2-mile out-and-back with overlooks, waterfalls, and a homestead crumbled by weather and time.
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Tag the two highest peaks in South Carolina on this 17.2-mile out-and-back with overlooks, waterfalls, and a homestead crumbled by weather and time.

When it comes to Sassafras Mountain, it is indeed all about the journey. The circuitous drive to the so-so peak follows narrow rivers racing down steep, green hills through towns with names like Rocky Bottom and Crow Creek. Stretch out the approach by walking 9.1 miles on the Foothills Trail from Table Rock State Park to the summit. You'll pass 400-foot cliffs, the highest waterfall drop in the East, and the wild Chattooga River (where Deliverance was filmed).

-Mapped by Shannon Davis

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 13.9

Waypoints

SMT001

Location: 35.0321846008301, -82.7003326416016

From Table Rock State Park Nature Center, head W on Pinnacle Trail; listen for waterfall

SMT002

Location: 35.0335006713867, -82.7017364501953

L @ Y on Pinnacle Mtn. Trail; ahead are crossings over Carrick Creek

SMT003

Location: 35.032585144043, -82.7092819213867

L @ Y, following yellow blazes up forested mountainside

SMT004

Location: 35.0303993225098, -82.7287673950195

Cross narrow bridge; go L @ Y. Take photos of 25-ft. Mills Creek Falls

SMT005

Location: 35.0290832519531, -82.7339172363281

Bald Rock Overlook: Rest, grab lunch, or shoot a video snippet of Table Rock Mtn. to the NE. Continue NW

SMT006

Location: 35.0318832397461, -82.7390975952148

L @ T onto white-blazed Foothills Trail. Side trip: Drop big pack and go straight for .25 mi. to quickly tag Pinnacle Mtn., second highest point in SC @ 3,425 ft.

SMT007

Location: 35.0288505554199, -82.7445983886719

Rocky overlook with W views over green foothills

SMT008

Location: 35.0351333618164, -82.754035949707

Trail swings N

SMT009

Location: 35.0514831542969, -82.7691345214844

Camp near old stone farmhouse. Over the years, campers have made elaborate stone furniture out of the crumbling remains. Day 2: Leave gear behind for the 4.4-mi. round-trip to Sassafras Mtn., SC?s highest peak

SMT010

Location: 35.0651664733887, -82.7771682739258

USGS benchmark tags this 3,560-ft. peak (ironically, trees block views here). Return to camp and backtrack to trailhead