Maintained by the city of Walhalla, Stumphouse Park is 440 acres of natural beauty and a recreational paradise. Within the park are picnic tables and a covered event pavilion that is available to rent for outdoor gatherings—but for those who really want to explore, there is much, much more.
The Stumphouse Tunnel was originally supposed to be a railroad tunnel connecting Charleston and Knoxville, but with the interruption of the Civil War, it was never finished. Today, it’s a family-friendly ¼ mile walk (flashlights recommended)—and its consistently cool temperature inside makes it a welcome treat in this unseasonably warm weather. It also creates ideal conditions for making blue cheese; Clemson University used it for that purpose in the 1940s and 1950s, until air conditioned cheese ripening rooms were built on campus in 1956.
Issaqueena Falls can be viewed from a platform accessible by a well-maintained trail that’s about a 5-minute walk from the parking area, and there’s an easy hike to the top of the falls.
At the top of the Issaqueena Falls parking lot is a trailhead for the Blueridge Railroad Trail, a moderate-to-strenuous hike that follows an incomplete railroad bed with two additional abandoned railroad tunnels—the Middle Tunnel, which has an opening that you can go inside, and the Saddleback Tunnel, which over the years has filled with water. The hike is 2.5 miles one way, so it’s a nice mid-length hike.
The Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park is ten miles of state-of-the-art bike trail, linking the town of Walhalla to the Palmetto Trail. The trails are multipurpose, so hikers may use the trail as well, although not horses. Click here for a short promotional video about the trail, and, if you’re so inclined, this one is a 15-minute video of YouTube user Newbie MTB riding the trail.
Park Entrance Fees: $5 per vehicle, $25 Annual Pass (Oconee County Residents), $35 Annual Pass (Non-Oconee County Residents), FREE for City of Walhalla Residents. Annual Passes can be purchased at Walhalla City Hall.