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South Carolina Department
of Natural Resources

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Sassafras Mountain road may be closed during winter weather

December 21, 2021

The Sassafras Mountain Overlook

The Sassafras Mountain Overlook as seen from the air. [SCDNR image]

PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. — Recreational users of the Sassafras Mountain Overlook, the Foothills Trail and the Palmetto Trail should be aware that severe winter weather may close the road to the Overlook and the trail parking area for safety reasons.

When severe winter weather is forecasted, Pickens County may close the gate on F. Van Clayton Highway, the road to Sassafras, about a mile away from the Overlook. Any vehicles left at the parking area near the Overlook would be inaccessible if they are still there when the road is closed.

Because of the steep grade of the road, and its high elevation, the road can be dangerous when covered with ice or snow.

The closings will be posted to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) website and on social media. Advanced warning to the closures may be limited due to changing weather conditions.

To check on the status of the road to the Sassafras Mountain Overlook, call the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500.

Sassafras Mountain Overlook is part of the Jocassee Gorges in northern Pickens and Oconee counties along the North Carolina border and surrounding Lake Jocassee. The property features numerous forest ecosystems and many rivers and streams. Jocassee Gorges, acquired by SCDNR in 1998, is also home to rare and unusual plants and animals. Recreational uses include hiking, backpacking, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, paddling, birdwatching, and nature viewing.

For more information on Jocassee Gorges, visit South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (

Media Contact:
Greg Lucas
SCDNR Upstate Outreach and Education Coordinator