You might have been to see Issaqueena Falls and the Stumphouse Tunnel, but did you know that there are miles and miles of bike trails in the park as well? Local mom, Liene, enjoys taking her family there because she can hike with her youngest children while the older boys enjoy the mountain bike trails. Read all about one of the newest Upstate bike parks and learn how you can enjoy the park for yourself!
Stumphouse Park gets busy on weekends! It is home to the unfinished Stumphouse Tunnel that was dug using hand tools prior to the Civil War, as well as the well-known Issaqueena Falls. There is also the Blue Ridge Railroad hiking trail, a moderate hike to two more abandoned rail tunnels. However, the highlight of the 440-acre park might be the least-crowded – Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park.
Looking for more places to mountain bike in Upstate, SC? Here’s a huge list of great places for mountain biking with the kids in Greenville, Spartanburg and all over Upstate, SC.
About the Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park
The main entrance for the Mountain Bike Park is also the trailhead for the Stumphouse Passage of the Palmetto Trail. The nearly-continuous network of trails stretches from Oconee State Park in the Upstate Foothills to the Intracoastal Waterway. Established in 1994, it is South Carolina’s longest pedestrian & bicycle trail. Today 350 of the proposed 500 miles of trail have been completed, and the Stumphouse Passage is one of the newest!
From the trailhead, the Stumphouse Passage follows Cane Creek past the Walhalla Reservoir for 1.5 miles. In the future, the Ross Mountain Passage will connect it with Oconee State Park, but for now, it provides access to an additional 10 miles of bike trails within the park. A few more trails are in the works, including a short spur trail (hikers only) that leads to a small waterfall on a tributary of Cane Creek.
The Park is bordered by the Andrew Pickens Ranger District of Sumter National Forest, and there is an entry fee of $5 per vehicle (but free for City of Walhalla Residents, and annual passes are available). For parking, follow signs for the Palmetto Trail trailhead, where you will also find picnic tables and restroom facilities. There is no water available once you’re on the trails, so pack in/pack out.
On our most recent visit, I hiked the Palmetto Trail with my youngest in a carrier, while the six-year-old rode his bike; there were some sections that he had to dismount and push his bike up, but not many. Meanwhile, the two older boys set off with their dad to explore the rest of the mountain bike trails. They gave rave reviews, and in terms of technical difficulty only the 0.68 mile one-way, black diamond trail was too challenging.
Things to do before hiking/biking Stumphouse Park
Call 864.638,4343 option 4 to find out if the park is open or closed. Conditions on the trails can change with just a little bit of weather, so calling ahead to confirm is always a good idea.
Review your mountain bike etiquette and discuss with your children. Mountain bikers must yield to hikers, and on descent yield to uphill traffic.
Download a Stumphouse Park map (or print out a paper copy), available here.
For additional information, email [email protected].
If you still haven’t gotten your fill after the three-mile roundtrip hike, drive to nearby Yellow Branch Falls on the other side of Highway 28. The moderate 3-mile hike leads to a beautiful 50-ft cascade.
One of our favorite areas in the state, whatever mode of transportation you might choose – bicycle or foot – you’ll find adventure at Stumphouse Park!
For more information about Stumphouse Park, check out the Visit Oconee website.