Things to do Near Walhalla, South Carolina

Walhalla, tucked into the mountains of the northwestern corner of South Carolina and nestled in the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a quaint little German settlement town.

In 1850, a land expansion movement began among the German settlers in Charleston, South Carolina, that culminated in the purchase of land in the upstate.  Under the leadership of John A. Wagner, they founded the City of Walhalla, a name borrowed from Norse Mythology.  According to the legend, valkyries, who were beautiful young maidens endowed with goddess-like powers, came down after battles and gathered all the dead warriors from the "Field of Valor" to carry them to Valhalla, the Garden of the Gods.  In Valhalla, the valiant heroes recovered from their mortal wounds and lived happilyy ever after, drinking mead and feasting on roast beef.
From it's beginnings as a German settlement, Walhalla has evolved into the county seat of government and has become a shopper's paradise for specialty gifts and antiques.   Beautiful oak trees line the center of Main Street and state and national flags wave in the cool mountain breezes.  German banners herald the Oktoberfest season as everyone joins in the festival and travels to Main Street to visit the shops and vendors lining the street and on to Sertoma Field on Highway 183 for carnival rides, wurst and kraut, strudel, more crafts, lederhosen, German polkas and waltzes and authentic German music and dancers.

The golden, red and orange hues of the turning leaves make Autumn the most beautiful of all for the upstate.  Local Walhalla attractions such as Saint John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Depot Park at Kaufmann Square, our lively downtown, as well as the surrounding lakes, rivers, state and county parks, combined with a family oriented festival, explain why over half a million  people have celebrated Walhalla Oktoberfest since 1979.  Join us at the Gateway of the Blue Ridge Mountains for our Oktoberfest!  Our festivals are every third full weekend in October.

East of town, the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery welcomes visitors to tour the hatchery, to fish in the East Fork River which runs through hatchery grounds, or to picnic in areas provided for the public.  Adjacent to the hatchery is the Chattooga Picnic Area with a barrier-free fishing pier.

Adjacent to the picnic area is the boundary of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness. Hikers may take a trail that goes alongside the East Fork for 2.5 miles to the Chattooga River.  Nearby Oconee State Park has all of the perks of a relaxing mountain getaway. Rustic, CCC-era cabins, family campgrounds and a lake with a swimming hole, canoe rentals and fishing opportunities are only a sample of the park’s offerings.

7,500 acre Lake Jocassee has deep water and 75 miles of shoreline.  The lake was named "Place of the Lost One" because of a Cherokee legend where Jocassee, an Indian maiden was said to have drowned herself in grief over the murder of her lover.  It is a perfect lake for boating, skiing, fishing, and any other water activities you can imagine.  Other lakes include Hartwell Lake and Lake Keowee.

The Stumphouse Tunnel was planned in the 1850s to connect South Carolina to the Midwest with a direct rail line. Unfortunately, work on the project was abandoned during the War Between the States due to the lack of funds. 1300 feet of the tunnel is open to the public. The park area features the Issaqueena Falls, picnic areas and a hiking trail.

Downtown Walhalla has a variety of antique and specialty shops and great little eateries.


Oconee Station - Walhalla SC Licklog & Pigpen Falls - Mountain Rest SC Stumphouse Tunnel - Walhalla SC

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