King Creek Falls, Yellow Branch Falls, Stumphouse Tunnel

August 7, 2007

Today's hike was on three trails in northwest SC. First, we hiked a loop of the Foothills Trail from Burrell's Ford Campground parking lot to King Creek Falls and back down to the Chattooga River trail past Burrell's Ford on the river back up the gravel road to the parking lot approximately 2.5 miles. Next, we hiked in the Yellow Branch Recreation Area to Yellow Branch Falls for a 3 mile round trip. Then we had lunch at the Stumphouse Tunnel Picnic Shelter and did the walk in the tunnel with flashlights to the end of the tunnel and back which is a half mile round trip. Total of 6 miles or so. 24 hikers!

HIKERS - Ken Adams, Chuck Crisp, Dustin DeHaven, Jack Jacobi, Linda Johnson, Steve Jordan, Fred Marland, Gerry Metzger, Joe Metzger, Wayne Miller, Bob Presley, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Carole Raguckas, Joe Raguckas, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Pom Sinnock, Dave Standard, Bob Thompson , Kimberly Wall, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - The Foothills trail section today started from the upper end of the parking lot at the Burrell's Ford Campground and is an easy one mile hike to the falls. Then the loop down to the river and back up to the parking lot on the road is approximately 1.5 miles.

The Yellow Branch Falls hike is a moderately easy 3 mile round trip hike made much more difficult today by 90 degree temperatures.

The walk in the Stumphouse Tunnel is very much like walking on an air-conditioned trail. The temperature in the tunnel stays at an amazing 56 degrees year-round! Directions: Take Highway 28 north from Walhalla, SC about 6 miles. Entrance sign is on the right. Yellow Branch Recreation area is just before Stumphouse on the left. Burrell's Ford is about 10-11 miles beyond Stumphouse on Highway 28. Turn left onto Burrell's Ford Road and drive to the parking lot of the campground.

Another great day for a hike! Fair and hot as blazes except in the tunnel! Temperatures from the upper 70's to low 90's and 56 degrees in Stumphouse Tunnel.

Hiking distance - approx. 6 miles

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Cranefly Orchid, Yellow-fringed Orchid, Rattlesnake Plaintain Orchid, Skullcap, Heal All, Lobelia, Whorled Coreopsis, Black-eyed Susan, Evening Primrose, St. Andrew's Cross, Alumroot, Spotted Jewelweed, Joe Pye weed, Indian Plaintain, Daisy Fleabane, Potato Vine, Butterfly Pea, Hawkweed, Wild Quinine, Gerardia, Yellow Stargrass, Blazing Star, Beggers Lice, Sabatica and Bear-paw Sunflower.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Crow, Red Eyed Vireo, Carolina Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch.

scroll down for photos.......

On the Foothills Trail to King Creek Falls.
What a refreshing destination on a hot day!
Taking a short break near Burrell's Ford.
The Chattooga River .
This shallow spot on the river is Burrell's Ford.
Now we arrive at Yellow Branch Falls. (water level a bit low due to drought)
The view from below the falls.
Our final stop for the day.
Entering Stumphouse Tunnel. This Historic Tunnel was part of a planned railroad in the 1850's. The tunnel was to carve through the solid granite of Stumphouse Mountain and was abandoned after 1600 feet as the project ran out of money and shortly after that, the Civil War began.
It gets dark very quickly as you enter the tunnel. Don't forget your flashlight!
Looking back to the opening.
Standing at the end of the tunnel...
The OFHC gang from today's hike (l-r kneeling) Doug Russell, Dave Standard, Gerry Metzger, Joe Metzger, Donna Presley, Kimberly Wall, Tony Presley (l-r standing)Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker, Ken Adams, Dan Ross, Linda Johnson, Fred Marland, Steve Jordan, Chuck Crisp, Wayne Miller, Bob Presley, Pom Sinnock, Carole Raguckas, Bob Thompson, Joe Raguckas, Dustin DeHaven, Jack Jacobi, Carole Wintle .

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