A park with two great attractions just outside the wonderful town of Walhalla. The beautiful 100ft Issaqueena Falls and the interesting Stumphouse Tunnel.
Just North of the friendly town of Walhalla South Carolina is the amazing Stumphouse Tunnel Park. This distinctive park has your typical picnic sites and green space like you would expect; but it also contains the beautiful Issaqueena Falls as well as the interesting and fun to explore – Stumphouse Tunnel.
Stumphouse Tunnel Park is located off Highway 28 seven miles northwest of Walhalla. It is easily accessed via highways from the surrounding metropolitan areas being only an hour from Greenville South Carolina, and hour and 45 minutes from Asheville North Carolina, or 2 hours from Atlanta Georgia. The area is well marked from the highway and there is plenty of parking available. Stump House Tunnel Park also has numerous picnic tables along with outhouse restroom facilities onsite. The park is open daily from 10am – 5pm except Christmas day and during periods of severe weather. There is also a daily parking fee of $2 per car or $5 per bus that must be paid at the fee station.
Stump House Tunnel Park is a great area to spend the day hanging out and exploring, there is plenty to see and do at the Park. You could start anywhere but we are going to start with Issaqueena Falls which is a breathtaking 100 foot cascade along Cane Creek. Issaqueena Falls is located on the South side of the park downstream of Cane Creek. The trail to Issaqueena Falls is wide, nicely maintained, and very short. Within 5 minutes you will have nice views of the falls via lookout platforms situated along the trail. You can proceed down to the bottom of the falls past the lower platform but the trail becomes significantly steeper requiring your hands to safely maneuver some sections of the trail. Care should be taken by all who venture past the platform both on the decent and your accent back up to the platform. Regardless of where you choose to observe the falls, you will get a excellent view of Issaqueena Falls.
Issaqueena Falls was named after the legend of a native American maiden who, after warning the local settlers of an impending attack, used the falls to evade capture from the other Native Americans who were not so pleased with her warning the settlers.
Hike back towards the parking lot when you are finished at the falls and ready to explore the tunnels.
On the North Side of the park is the parks namesake – Stumphouse Tunnel. Stumphouse Tunnel is an incomplete pre-civil war railroad tunnel that was started in 1852 to connect Charleston to Knoxville. It was never completed despite several efforts to finish the tunnel and it stands today as a unique attraction that allows people to walk several hundred feet into this interesting piece of pre-civil war engineering.
The inside of the tunnel is cool and wet due to condensation and water seepage through the rock. It gets dark toward the end of the tunnel where there is a steel gate to prevent passage into unsafe areas of the tunnel. There isn’t much to show on a video but the tunnel does create a nice reverberation effect on the noises inside the tunnel. If you stand quietly at the end of the tunnel you can hear the effect.
Walk towards the light to exit Stumphouse Tunnel .
After you have seen both Issaqueena Falls and Stumphouse Tunnel, you can enjoy a nice picnic at one of the numerous picnic tables available in the park or, if you are feeling energetic, you can prepare to hike the modest Blue Ridge Railroad trail that starts close to Issaqueena Falls. This 2.5 mile trail hikes along the incomplete rail bed of the Blue Ridge Railroad and passes two additional abandoned tunnels.