Blue Ridge Railroad Trail

Oconee County, South Carolina 29664

Blue Ridge Railroad Trail

Blue Ridge Railroad Trail Professional Review and Guide

"If you’re feeling adventurous, the Blue Ridge Railroad Trail at Issaqueena Falls is one of the lesser-trekked trails in Oconee County. Even though the trail is marked by a small sign and yellow trail blazes near the Issaqueena Falls overlook, few hikers follow the path.

The trail winds along an incomplete rail bed and passes abandoned tunnels that were to be part of the railroad. Be prepared with bug spray, as some of the trail is overgrown and spiders and ticks are prevalent."

More Blue Ridge Railroad Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"A shady day hike from Stumphouse Mountain to the outskirts of Walhalla along an uncompleted nineteenth-century railbed. The hike features the remains of tunnels, a dramatic gorge, beautiful mountain laurel, wildflowers and berries in season, and good winter views. The Blue Ridge Railroad was the grand dream of South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun, who was a member of the original surveying team.

The idea was to link the port of Charleston with the farms and burgeoning cities of the Midwest. The Civil War intervened, and the railroad was never completed. Today, its greatest monument, Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel (which wasn’t completed either), has been permanently sealed due to danger to visitors from falling rock. Although the railroad was never built, the trail along the railroad bed endures, and offers fine hiking year-round."

Blue Ridge Railroad Trail Reviews

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We started from Frog Pond Lane off Picket Post Road. There are no markings at the Trail Head on either end of the trail. You start down a gravel road and take the left fork. Look for wooden railroad markers on the trees. It looks like you are going to walk into someones front yard and then the trail takes a hard left. The first 2 miles were in severe need of trail maintenance. There were alot of face slappers, but the railroad bed was easy to follow. The trees are not marked well. Once you pass the first 2-3 miles you find a mess. 4-wheelers have destroyed the area. You can't even find the trail. We were lost for 30 minutes or so and I had a GPS. The trails went everywhere. It is sad to see such a great historic trail ruined. I do not recommend this trail, especially if you don't have a GPS. You will get lost.
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There is a lot of history associated with this trail, but if some work is not done on this trail it soon will be history also. We parked at Issaqueena Falls parking area. We had to look for the trailhead, there were no signs. In spots the trail is very beautiful, but there are very few blaises and most of them are very faded. We went about one mile past the second tunnel and decided to turn back, because we were able to determine if we were on the trail, because there were no trail markings of any kind past the tunnel. This could be a great trail with some work, but until then I can not recommend this trail.

Blue Ridge Railroad Trail Photos

Trail Information

Oconee County
Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
4 hours
1,440 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,633 feet
Top Elevation

Activity Feed

Oct 2018