Sassafras overlook

Architecture students install Sassafras Mountain overlook

Sassafras overlook

Sassafras overlook


From the summit of Sassafras Mountain, you can see Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

And now, thanks to a new overlook designed, constructed and installed by a team of graduate students in architecture and landscape architecture, visitors can enjoy that view.

The challenge was to provide a universally designed viewing platform accessible to all who visit the highest point in South Carolina, Pickens County and the Foothills Trail, according to Dan Harding, associate professor of architecture and director of the Community Research and Design Center at Clemson.

“The concept hinged on an idea that used a primary wood structure with a light, sky-blue-painted steel railing designed to leave visitors feeling as if they are floating over a wonderful rock out-cropping while remaining safely contained by the railing, which disappears into the expanding horizon,” Harding said.

Built entirely on campus, employing best practices associated with sustainable construction and resource management, the prefabricated overlook platform and the project components were transported to the job site by the design team with assistance from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. At the Sassafras parking area, about 80 feet in elevation below the top of Sassafras Mountain, the parts were efficiently reassembled over several days.

The Sassafras Mountain overlook can be accessed from S.C. State Road 199 or from the Foothills Trail.

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