Rail Trail

Blue Ridge Railroad Historic

(Oconee County)


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 months.

Length: 2.5 miles.

Fees: None

Directions: 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 area.

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Camping: 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.

Information: Walhalla Chamber of Commerce, 214 East Main, Walhalla, SC,  29691,  Telephone: 864-638-2727.

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 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173 
Updated: February 13, 2008
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