|Stumphouse Tunnel Park and Issaqueena Falls
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.
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.
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
The lovely mountain laurel blooms in profusion
around the entrance to Stumphouse Tunnel.
View picture galleries of Oconee County
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. By 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 5pm except Christmas Day and inclement weather.
Admission is free but there is a fee to reserve the large picnic shelter. Call 864-638-4343.
For more information, call the office at
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
Blueridge Historical Railroad Map
Click to enlarge
More Falls in Oconee County