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This moderately difficult walk follows the bed of railroad that was never completed—the America Civil War got in the way of SC Statesman John C. Calhoun's rail dream. They did get as far as starting to build three tunnels into the mountain, however, which add an interesting element to the hike. Be careful, though, the tunnels tend to seep water and a flashlight will come in handy.
Start your walk at the Stumphouse Tunnel, 25 feet high, 17 feet wide and extending 1,617 feet into the mountain. You can walk to the end of the tunnel but it doesn't go all the way through.
Farther up the trail is the middle tunnel, just above Isaqueena Falls; you'll see a spur trail to the left leading to the tunnel. The third tunnel, Saddleback, is not open and this marks the turn-around point on the trail. For more information:
Walhalla Chamber of Commerce
214 East Main
Walhalla, SC 29691
From Walhalla take SR 28 north for just beyond 5 miles. On the right, immediately beyond Yellow Branch Picnic Area, look for Stumphouse Tunnel Park. Turn into the park and continue 0.5 mile to another right turn for the Isaqueena Falls parking area.
Camping is available at Oconee State Park and Cherry Hill Recreation Area. Contact Oconee State Park, 624 State Park Road, Mountain Rest, S.C. 29664; 864-638-5353.
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