Posts

Exploring Yellow Branch and Rocky Bottom Creek

Image
I spent two days this week exploring two different creeks in two different counties in the Upstate of South Carolina. This is a rundown of what I found.
Yellow Branch A few miles north of Walhalla, almost across the road from Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls, is the Yellow Branch Recreation Area, a picnic area and a trailhead for Yellow Branch Falls. Yellow Branch Falls is a beautiful 50 foot waterfall about a mile and a half down a moderate trail and several stream crossings.

Yellow Branch has several minor drops before reaching Yellow Branch Falls, and the first one is actually located upstream from the parking area. A trail from the parking area goes right by this waterfall which is officially unnamed but I call it Upper Yellow Branch Falls.
I explored the trail a bit, before heading back through the parking area. I couldn't fit the picnic shelter into one frame, so I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to try out some photo stitching software:
I took another s…

Spencers Alley and What I Found There

Image
Rocky Bottom is a small mountain community nestled in northern Pickens County. I've passed through here many times over the years, and I've wanted to stop to take a few photos, but I've never done so until now. I wanted to try and reach a waterfall on Rocky Bottom Creek, and this was the perfect opportunity to explore a few features in Rocky Bottom I've had on my list for some time now.

I parked at Rocky Bottom Independent Baptist Church.
As the sign shows, the church was established in 1941.
Then I walked by the side of U.S. 178 down to an old country store, the old Rocky Bottom Store.
The Pickens County Library's Flickr account has this old photo of the store when it was in business:
Then I moved my car down to a small parking area off U.S. 178, as far off the road as I safely could,  then walked down to Spencers Alley.
A few private homes are off this road...
I walked down a gravel road to check out one house in particular located where Rocky Bottom School once…

Stumphouse Tunnel and Isaqueena Falls

Image
For whatever reason, I've never been to Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls before now. Considering the site features tunnels from a never completed railroad, and a nearby waterfall with a lovers leap type legend, it's a mystery why it took so long for this site to bubble up to the top of my to-visit list. Both sites are located off Stumphouse Tunnel Road, itself off S.C. 28, a few miles north of Walhalla.
Introduction Stumphouse Tunnel was one of three planned tunnels in South Carolina for the Blue Ridge Railroad, a 195 mile railroad to be built from Anderson, South Carolina, to West Union, South Carolina, to near Clayton, Georgia then north up to Knoxville, Tennessee. The motivation for the project was to provide a more direct route for goods to travel between South Carolina and Tennessee, cutting out the much longer, costlier ways required at the time to avoid the mountains.

The Blue Ridge Railroad obtained a charter from South Carolina in 1852, but work on the railroad…