Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stumphouse Tunnel Park and Trail

I've driven by this place for over 11 years. It was about time I stopped and checked it out.
There are lots of picnic tables, a very cool, albeit somewhat dry, waterfall. Its called Issaqueena Falls, and named for an Indian Maiden who hid from her Cherokee captors way back when.

The double yellow blazes warn of a turn in the trail. Many have cut the switch backs so this was needed.

Because its still hot enough for poisonous snakes and bees, and I didn't bring my bear spray, I've elected to come back in the fall when color is better and its also not so hot.

There were many garbage bins designed to be bear proof. This is an excellent clue to how many problem bears must be in the area.

The steep trails climbing up the mountain are well worn, and very lush. Its hot and humid still.

Apparently before the Civil War, there was to be a railroad built to connect Charleston, S.C to Cinncinati Ohio. It would have been over 5,000 feet long when completed, and 260 feet at the deepest place. Slow progress due to the incredibly hard rock left the tunnel unfinished and without funding at the onset of the War. Afterwards, the tunnel was never completed.

There are several trail displays detailing the history of the area. This park is open 10 a.m to 5 p.m then the gates close. Its about 5 miles east of Wallahala, S.Carolina. The picnic pavillion and abundant picnic tables make it a great place for locals to enjoy an outdoor gathering.

I definitly plan a second day long excursion into this tunnel. I had a solar powered LED with me, not nearly bright enough for the 1,600 feet available to its end. The plaque warns not to wear the same clothes or shoes into this cave as another because fungus can infect each caves bats. Bats.
Well, I'll keep that in mind and come prepared.

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