Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, Walhalla

#45 of 83 in Historic Sites in South Carolina
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
97 reviews
  • August 15, 2017
    Went with the girls. Cool (literally) piece of history. Be sure to bring a good flashlight and check the walls of the tunnel. Interesting fact: Clemson University used to cure Blu Cheese here at one t...  more »
  • August 7, 2017
    Combine this with the falls nearby and you have a nice half day family excursion. Directions are not clear as to how far it is from Walhalla though  more »
  • August 4, 2017
    We spent the afternoon at Stump house tunnel park. We walked into the old railroad tunnel. Bring your headlamps or flash lights. Kids climbed up rocks and had a blast! We went during the week and had ...  more »
  • April 17, 2017
    This is truly a unique place. Certainly worth the 2-hour drive. In the age we live in, it's difficult to find spontaneous, exploratory, and historic adventure that gets you away from civilization. This attraction does all those things and more. We were the only people in the area that day, and it was an amazing time. There is a nice falls nearby as well, which just doubles the yield of travelling here. Awesome place!
  • June 20, 2017
    First time I have returned in 30 yrs. Still a great place. Nice hike and cool place to hangout. The disappointment was where they put the wall. You can not get back to the airshaft anymore. Have been to the back of the cave several times. Looking forward to sharing this with my 15 yr old daughter. No Joy. I took her to the top and showed her the airshaft. We used to repel down the shaft walk out and go do it again.
  • June 23, 2017
    Must see if you haven't. Civil war era tunnel. Clemson use to store blue cheese here. They dont any more. The tunnel access use to go all the way to the back. As highschool kids we would come down here and hang out in the back. Not any more. Every time I've been in the last 10 years they the tunnel gated off a few hundred yards in. You can take steep trails on top of the tunnel that lead to the old Tunnel Town on top of the mountain. South of the tunnel is a huge waterfall and spur trails that lead to two other tunnels. The other two tunnels are submerged in water.
  • March 8, 2017
    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.
  • June 10, 2017
    Cool to walk inside although the wall prevents you from going too far in. Hiking to the side has a cool climb to the top, but be careful as the fence around the airshaft won't keep anyone out.

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