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Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, Walhalla

4.5
#43 of 80 in Historic Sites in South Carolina
Historic Site Tourist Spot
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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87 reviews
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4.6
  • Planned to go there for a couple of hours in the evening. Cost is $2 to get a parking ticket. Park is on its summer hours so it's open till 8pm. Drive dead ends at the beginning of the walk up to the ...  more »
  • A very unique part of the railroad tunnel history prior to the civil war. The main tunnel to visit is a very short hike from the parking area. There are history markers to give information as well. Yo...  more »
  • This unfinished railroad tunnel is a nice stop on the Issaqueena Falls Trail near Walhalla, SC. You can choose to hike farther or just go down the tunnel, your choice! Remember a flashlight though!  more »
Google
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.