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Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, Walhalla

(75 reviews on the web)
Historic Site
Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel in Oconee County, South Carolina is an incomplete railroad tunnel for the Blue Ridge Railroad of South Carolina in Sumter National Forest. This is now a Walhalla park which also features nearby Isaqueena Falls.It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.HistoryThe tunnel was first proposed in 1835 by residents of Charleston, South Carolina as a new and shorter route for the Blue Ridge Railroad between Charleston and the Ohio river valley area which until then was only accessible by bypassing the mountains entirely to the South and then traveling up north through Georgia and middle Tennessee. In 1852, 13 miles of tunnel were proposed to cross the Blue Ridge Mountains through South Carolina, North Carolina, and into Tennessee. Construction on the railway was begun in the late 1850s and was successful through most of South Carolina until hitting the mountains around Wallhalla in Oconee County. There Stumphouse tunnel along with three other tunnels was to be built.Construction on Stumphouse tunnel began in 1856 when the George Collyer Company of London brought many Irish workers into the area for this project. Many of the workers lived in housing on top of Stumphouse mountain called Tunnel Hill. By 1859, the State of South Carolina had spent over a million dollars on the tunnel and refused to spend any more on the project, therefore the tunnel work was abandoned. The tunnel had been excavated to a length of 1,617 feet of the planned 5,863 total feet. Today, where the tunnel was meant to end on the other side of the mountain, there remains a mound of earth (intended for the railway tracks) submerged during the summer months under Crystal Lake, located just west of Highway 28.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Park at the bottom and walk up the gravel road kinda steep for me due to my hips. But I made it. Very nice tunnel you can either view from the outside or walk into. Bring a flashlight if you go inside...  more »
  • Interesting history and a nice walk some 1700 feet into a mountain. Bring a flashlight and a camera and don't miss Issaqueena Falls near by.  more »
  • The Stumphouse Tunnel is unique in that you actually have access into the tunnel. You can walk to the back where it is blocked off, which is about 675 feet. I had a flashlight along which was helpful....  more »
Google
  • Very nice day trip to take in the area! Bring a lunch and enjoy the views at both Stumphouse Tunnel and the falls right next to it. It is chilly in the tunnel and usually quite wet, so bring waterproof shoes if you want to go farther into the tunnel. Headlamps or flashlights are also recommended.
  • Very nice hike into the tunnel and up over the tunnel. Not long but to get to the top make sure you can climb. Great time!
  • The tunnel is closed, but it is still an amazing place to visit with the falls nearby. It is very cold in the winter, but refreshing in the summer.
  • Excellent piece of history that was been saved from development. Great scenery surrounding the site. Great echos inside the tunnel too
  • Great landmark to check out if you plan to visit South Carolina. Lots of scenery and information/history that connects to the area.