Yellow Branch Falls Trail - Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls, SC

June 28, 2011

This week's hike was on several short trails near Walhalla, SC. We hiked the Yellow Branch Falls Trail, the Historic Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls and the Historic Blueridge Railroad Trail.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Pam Euliss, Dick Metzgar, Lynne Porter-Whitmire, Rick Porter-Whitmire, Donna Presley, Tony Presley and Vic Robson.

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 and hiked into the tunnel up to the locked gate at the old Clemson University cheese aging area. 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. Next, we did the short trail to view beautiful Issaqueena Falls. To finish our day, we did a portion of the Blueridge Historic Railroad Trail out to the Middle Tunnel.

Total hiking distance today - Approximately 6 miles with some hills. We rate it moderately easy.

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 and you turn right onto the Stumphouse Park Rd.

Another great day for a hike! Partly Cloudy and humid with temperatures ranging from the low 70's to low 80's degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Rosebay Rhododendrun, Wild Hydrangea, Flowering Spurge, Beggar Lice, Woodland Joe Pye, Meadow Beauties and Asiatic Day Flower.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Northern Cardinal, Pine warbler, Carolina Wren, Bluejay, Red-Tailed Hawk, American Crow and White-breasted Nuthatch.

Scroll down for photos and video from today!

Our first trail-head today at the Yellow Branch parking lot.
A well-maintained trail with nice foot-bridges.
Approaching Yellow Branch Falls.
Yellow Branch Falls
Cooling off below the falls!
You know it is summertime when the Meadow Beauties (Rhexia) are blooming.
Next, we move over to Historic Stumphouse Tunnel.
Information about the tunnel.
As we approach the opening of the tunnel, we feel refreshing cool air coming from inside.
Walking into the cool, dark, moist solid rock tunnel.
In the same park, we walk down to Issaqueena Falls.
Beautiful Issaqueena Falls!
Then, we hiked on the Historic Blueridge Railroad Trail over to the Middle Tunnel.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Lynne Porter-Whitmire with "Honey" and "Merlin", Rick Porter-Whitmire, Pam Eulis, Dick Metzgar, Donna Presley, June Bellamy, Vic Robson, John Bellamy and Tony Presley.


Click below for More photos!
Yellow Branch and Issaqueena Falls 6-28-11

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