Yellow Branch Falls, Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls and Blueridge Historic Railroad Trail

December 15, 2009

This week's hike was in South Carolina 6 miles north of Walhalla, SC. We did a combination of short hikes including Yellow Branch Falls Trail, Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls Trail and the Blueridge Historic Railroad Trail. Total hike - 7 miles.

HIKERS - Phil Brownrigg, Pam Euliss, Bill Hunt, Dick Metzgar, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Tony Presley, Joe Raguckas, Vic Robson and Pom Sinnock.

TRAIL INFO. First we enjoyed the Yellow Branch Falls Trail. This is a 3 mile hike through a beautiful hardwood forest with a beautiful waterfall. There is lots of water on this trail with several creek crossings. The trail is very well-maintained. Next, we visited nearby Stumphouse Tunnel. This railroad tunnel is the result of an abandoned plan to build a railroad from Charleston, SC to the midwestern U.S. back in the mid 1800's. This Tunnel was planned to cut through Stumphouse Mountain (one mile) but the project was abandoned after 1600 feet were completed. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stumphouse_Mountain_Tunnel ) Next, we did the short trail to view beautiful Issaqueena Falls. To finish our day, we did a good portion of the Blueridge Historic Railroad Trail which was part of the Stumphouse Mountain portion of the railroad plan.

Total hiking distance today - 7 miles - Mostly easy terrain.

Directions: Take Highway 28 northward from Walhalla, SC for almost 6 miles and look for the Yellow Branch Falls sign. Turn left into the park. The Stumphouse Tunnel Park is just beyond the turn-off to Yellow Branch.

Another great day for a hike! Cloudy to Partly Cloudy with morning fog and temperatures ranging from 53 to 65 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Hepatica and Bird's Foot Violet!

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Towhee, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Nuthatch and Junco.

Scroll down for photos and video from today!


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Trail sign at the start.
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A beautiful morning with the sun trying to burn through the fog.
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An absolutely beautiful woodland trail.
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Yellow Branch falls was magnificent!
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We were very surprised to see any wildflowers.
(l-r) Hepatica and Bird's Foot Violet
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Our next stop is Stumphouse Tunnel.
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We read the history board for Stumphouse.
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Walking into the dark tunnel with flashlights.
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The brick wall and gate are additions by Clemson University in
the 1950s for creating an area to conduct experiments with aging cheese.
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The viewing platform at Issaqueena Falls.
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Beautiful Issaqueena Falls!
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Our nice lunch spot for the day!
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The sign at the middle tunnel
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This trail follows the old railroad bed!
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The OFHC gang for today's hike (l-r) Tony Presley, Joe Raguckas, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Pom Sinnock, Vic Robson, Pam Euliss, Bill Hunt, Dick Metzgar and Phil Brownrigg.

Click below for more photos!
Yellow Branch Trail - Stumphouse 12-15-09


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