Oconee State Park
We drove a short 60 miles to this great state park in South Carolina. It has been fun spending time at a place and driving a shorter distance to the next. It has been raining on us a bit every day for a while but pretty heavy the past two days. We still get out in our rain gear.
The lake is peaceful now in the shoulder season but has to be crazy with families in the swimming areas and boats that can be rented in the summer are many cabins for rent and over 140 campsites. Right now, there are less than 20 sites in use.
I love the fog over the lake in the morning. South Carolina has quite a number of state parks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- 1930s CCC flag. Of course, they were involved in building this park too.
The park has several places with internet. Saturdays in the summer, they have square dancing lessons.
|Old water wheel|
Many miles of hiking trails from the campground.
The 1,617 foot long Stumphouse Tunnel is an oddity. Started in 1852 to connect the railways from Charleston to Knoxville and on to Cincinnati, the Civil War—and lack of funds—brought construction to a halt. There were various efforts by the Blue Ridge Railroad to revive the tunnel, none of them came to pass and it stands today as a monument to the efforts of pre-Civil War engineering
In 1951, Clemson University bought the tunnel and used it to cure the South's first blue cheese with its constant temp of 50 degrees and humidity of 85%.
Many tunnels we have been in have been damp but this one was really wet.
Around the corner from the tunnel and over the bridge was a trail to the falls.
Legend has it that the falls is named for an Indian maiden, Issaqueena, who warning the white settlers of an Indian attack, was then chased by Indians and she appeared to jump over the falls. By actually hiding behind the falls (or some legend-tellers say she hid behind a stump, hence Stumphouse Tunnel), she tricked her pursuers and survived.
Originally a military compound and later a trading post,
|Mountain Laurel lining the trails|
Station Cove Falls
A 50-foot high ledge at the end of a .7 mile trail in Oconee Station State Park near Walhalla, SC. It's an easy and peaceful 20-minute hike on a wide, rolling trail after walking along the pond.
After our morning of sightseeing, we found a place that served home cooking. An older lady sitting next to us made some suggestions as to what to order. Once our meals came, the waitress asked if we needed vinegar or butter for my turnip greens and cornbread. I said that I was fine. The lady next to us said "She's not a Southerner". I then told the waitress I would take some vinegar and butter after all. The lady gave me her Pepper Sauce and told me to try it. I felt obligated to try it and liked it. This little lady eating alone made our day. She was a hoot as she told us her stories.
Hidden Falls on the Foothills Trail
There are so many waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We set out to see more and this time it wasn't raining. But all that rain made for some nice falls even if it makes me sweat something fierce.
The forest was such a pretty color of green.
|We made it.|
This trip continues to provide so many varied experiences with interesting people. No wonder we need a nap at times.