Tidbits: Highest point in South Carolina
Summitted, February 3, 2005
Time Zone: GMT -5 hours
When to go:
Drive-up, then short walk to summit.
Hotel and Climb Reservation:
No guide, permit, or trail reservations are required.
From Georgia, take Interstate 85 North into South Carolina, then take US Highway #178 north. When you leave the center of the town of Pickens, clock on your odometer a distance of 15 1/2 miles. You are looking for a small street sign that says "199" in an area called "Rocky Bottom" (amazingly, there is no marker to tell you to turn down this road to get to the state high point). Make a right onto 199 and follow the road until it ends (about 4 miles) to the Table Rock State Park parking area (on left).
Route 178 is a pleasant drive through the America that "once was"...small stores with big porches and rocking chairs, green fields, etc. This is also the general area where they filmed the movie "Deliverance". Earlier in the day it had rained and since the area was experiencing some unusually cold weather, the higher elevations were completely coated in ice and snow.
After parking in the large parking area at Table Rock, I noticed I had the entire mountain to myself. The summit is reached by walking about 100 yards up the paved road past the metal gate. A trail marker is present at the summit, although the actual summit is the grassy knoll in the middle of the paved road (as it circles the summit). There are limited views and a few Sassafras trees...other than that, nothing remarkable.