State officials hope to start work this summer on an observation platform that will allow visitors to see the view from the top of South Carolina’s highest mountain.
The Sassafras Mountain project is now headed towards the construction phase after a $350,000 donation announced by Duke Energy on Friday. The state Department of Natural Resources has spent the past two years trying to raise the estimated $600,000 needed to build the 10-15 foot tall observation platform on the mountain’s summit.
While it technically straddles North Carolina, Sassafras Mountain is South Carolina’s highest elevation at 3,553 feet above sea level. The remote site in northern Pickens County came into the state’s possession about a decade ago.
When complete, the platform will offer a 360-degree panorama view for visitors. DNR wildlife supervisor Tom Swayngham said plans also call for a handicapped-accessible trail from a nearby parking lot to the platform. Eventually, officials hope to build restrooms and a picnic area as well.