Blue Ridge Railroad
This moderately difficult walk follows the
incomplete nineteen-century rail bed
of the Blue
Ridge Railroad where you can see three abandoned tunnels. Start your
walk with a visit to the
Stumphouse Tunnel, which is 25 feet high, 17 feet wide, and although
it was not completed, extends 1,617 feet into the mountain. You can
walk to the end of the tunnel, but be aware there may be water and
you will need a flashlight to find your way.
After a visit to the Stumphouse Tunnel you can start the trail just above Isaqueena Falls
and walk to the second or Middle Tunnel, which is on a short spur to
the left at approximately 0.5 mile. Although once covered with dirt,
the Middle Tunnel now has an opening, so you can go inside. Return
to the main trail, turn left, and continue to the third tunnel, the
Saddleback Tunnel. You can't enter this tunnel, because over the
years it has filled with water, but along the way, you can expect to encounter a lush deciduous forest of
oak, maple and pignut hickory as well as wild blackberries and
blueberries (when they’re in season).
After your visit to the Saddleback Tunnel, return the way you came.
Insect repellent is recommended during the warm
To the northern trailhead: From Walhalla, follow SC 28 north for just
over five miles. On the right, immediately beyond Yellow Branch Picnic
Area, look for Stumphouse Tunnel Park. Turn into the park and continue
a half-mile to another right turn for the Isaqueena Falls parking
Dawn to dusk
Nearby Oconee State Park and Cherry Hill Recreation Area have
campsites with facilities. Oconee State Park, for instance, has 140
tent sites and 19 cabins available on a first-come, first-served
basis. Contact Oconee State Park, 624 State Park Road, Mountain Rest,
S.C. 29664 (864) 638-5353.
Walhalla Chamber of Commerce, 214 East Main, Walhalla, SC, 29691,
Updated: February 13, 2008
South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173
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