Stumphouse Tunnel Park and Issaqueena Falls

Visitors leaving Stumphouse Tunnel

Located about 7 miles northwest of Walhalla on Hyw 28, the 1,617 foot long Stumphouse Tunnel is an oddity. Started in 1852 to connect Charleston to Knoxville and eventually on to Cincinnati, the Civil War—and lack of funds—brought construction to a halt. While there were various efforts by the Blue Ridge Railroad to revive the tunnel, none of them came to pass and it stands today as a monument to the efforts of pre-Civil War engineering.

Take a short walk through the tunnel

The tunnel measures 17 feet wide by 25 feet high and about mid-way in, there is a 16 x 20 foot airshaft that extends 60 feet upwards to the surface, causing a consistent cool breeze to flow out of the tunnel, a welcome treat in mid-summer. It also produces condensation and the tunnel is usually wet.

Note: There is a locked gate about half way in.
This is to protect injury from falling rock which has
occured near the first air shaft. You can still have
a good tunnel experience as seen by the pictures
on this page.

View toward the back of Stumphouse Tunnel In 1951, Clemson University bought the tunnel and used it to cure the South's first blue cheese. The tunnel's environment was later duplicated at Clemson, and the cheese making, that Clemson is now famous for, was moved there. The tunnel still belongs to Clemson University, but it is managed by
the city of Walhalla .

mountain laurel blooms

The lovely mountain laurel blooms in profusion around the entrance to Stumphouse Tunnel.

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Down the path a short distance is Issaqueena Falls, a beautiful waterfall with easy access.

A rainbow is captured at the bottom of falls

The route to a great overlook is only about 200-300’ down a wide, gentle, graveled path.

Legend has it that the falls is named for an Indian maiden, Issaqueena, who warning the white settlers of an Indian attack, was then chased by Indians and she appeared to jump over the falls. Woman looking at panaramic viewBy actually hiding behind the falls (or some legend-tellers say she hid behind a stump, hence Stumphouse Tunnel), she tricked her pursuers and survived.

The beauty of the rock, the uniqueness of the “going nowhere” tunnel and the ease of access makes Stumphouse Tunnel, and Issaqueena Falls one of the most visited Parks in Oconee County.

The Park is open daily from 10am to sunset (DST) except Christmas Day and inclement weather.
There is a $2 parking fee and a fee to reserve the large picnic shelter. Call 864-638-4343.
For more information, call the office at
864- 638-4343.
The Park does not have camping facilities or drinking water. There are outhouse restrooms and picnic sites.
Camping is available at near by Oconee State Park.
Click on Map to Enlarge
Issaquena Falls and Blur ridge Railroad Historical Map

More Falls in Oconee County