Yellow Branch Falls Trail - Stumphouse Tunnel - Issaqueena Falls - Blue Ridge Railroad Trail

November 5, 2013

Today's hike was on a combination of three trails near Walhalla, SC. The Yellow Branch Falls Trail followed by Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls and the Blue Ridge Railroad Trail. Total a little more than 6 miles.

HIKERS - Wayne Barios, Karen Brown, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Dave Hinson, Bob Magee, Dick Metzgar, Jeanne O'Connor, Tony Presley, Gerald Richardson, Vic Robson, Lynne Saporito and Geri Whitaker..

TRAIL INFO. - Our first tail today was 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 past the Middle Tunnel.

Total hiking distance today - 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! Fair and cool with temperatures ranging from 44 to 60 degress F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Heath Aster and Maiden's Thumb.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Carolina Chickadee and Turkey Vulture.

SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS FROM TODAY'S HIKE!


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Yellow Branch Trailhead parking.
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Information board at the trailhead.
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Another great day for a hike!
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The fall colors were at their peak!
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Beautiful Yellow Branch Falls!
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Next, we move across the highway to Stumphouse Tunnel.
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Entering the tunnel.
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Very cool, dark and wet!
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The brick wall was built for the Clemson University cheese aging area back in the early 1950's.
The tunnel is gated and locked at this point.
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Next, we did a short hike down to Issaqueena Falls.
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Issaqueena Falls view is partially obstructed by trees.
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For our final trail of the day, we hiked this section of the Blue Ridge Railroad Trail.
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We inspect the Middle Tunnel which is not passable and much of it is under water.
A bat-friendly gate is located just inside the entrance of the tunnel.
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Tony Presley, Gerald Richardson, Karen Brown, Jeanne O'Connor, Dave Hinson, Dick Metzgar, "Angus" with Lynne Saporito, Geri Whitaker, Wayne Barios, Vic Robson, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers and Bob Magee.

VIDEO FROM TODAY'S HIKE BELOW!


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Hiking Yellow Branch - Stumphouse Tunnel - Issaqueena Falls - Blue Ridge Railroad Trail SC 11-5-13

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