Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sassafras Mountain

Kellisa's 19th State Highpoint

Sassafras Mountain, SC
3,560ft.

Elevation Gain: 50ft.

June 2011

Guidebooks and online trip reports all agree, Sassafras Mountain is wheelchair accessible. The path is nice and wide,  but a little steep and rough. I would agree that the trail is wheelchair accessible, especially with help if it weren't for one little fact. When we visited Sassafras Mountain, we found a gate completely spanning the trail and beyond. Wheelchairs don't tip easily because they have anti-tip bars. The bars can be removed, but I doubt a wheelchair could be tipped enough to make it under the gate. The only option besides settling for "close" would be to lay the disabled person on the ground and lifting the wheelchair over the gate (probably a 2 person job, maybe more for a power chair). Then you would have to drag the person on the ground under the gate, lift them back into the chair. All before even staring the short ascent. This would have to be repeated on the return hike. Trust me and not the reports written by the able bodied trip reporters, this is NOT a wheelchair accessible trail, although it can be done with the right help and planning.


Luckily for us, we had Kellisa's "off-road" disability stroller and I was able to tip it back enough to pass under the gate:



Summit pictures:



Back at the parking lot, a beautiful view awaits at the end of a short walk:





I can't help but wonder how many people make the drive to the trailhead parking lot and walk to the overlook and believe they reached the summit of South Carolina? The path to the summit is not marked and without a guidebook, this could be an easy mistake.

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