112 Andrew Pickens Circle
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
- 1.5 miles
- 1/2 to 1 hr
- Year Round
Nestled in a mixed pine/hardwood stand, this picnic area is beautiful any time of year. Picnic tables are scattered about upper and lower loops. A Civilians Conservation Corps stone and wood shelter, pictured, and a restroom are accessible by wheelchair from the lower loop parking lot. Yellow Branch creek is located across from the picnic area and is easily experienced by a short loop hiking trail.
The Stumphouse Ranger Station (district office for the Andrew Pickens Ranger District) is located ¼ mile north of the picnic area. Availavle items include maps, brochures, field guides, books, and Smokey Bear items.
Between the picnic area and the Ranger Station on the right, is Stumphouse Tunnel Park. Picnic tables, a small stream and Isaqueena Falls are there for your enjoyment.
The town of Walhalla is about 6 miles south of the picnic area.
From the road at the main picnic area, begin this rolling, and occasionally steep, .4-mile loop. Step across a crevice where a narrow creek flows through the flat rock to a sandy path under a canopy of tulip trees, oaks, and hickories, then along a ridge knotted with rhododendron and mountain laurel. Watch your step as you descend to a rushing creek, where you will navigate stone steps and cross several rocky fords. Watch for pickerel frogs, salamanders, snakes, and other wildlife in this area. About midway, you will see a sign that marks the 1.3 mile spur to Yellow Branch Falls if you want to extend your hike. To complete the .4-mile loop, turn left at the end of the trail and follow the road to the parking area.
A moderately difficult out-and-back trail leads you to the base of a spectacular 50-foot vertical cascade. After a short hike on the Yellow Branch Nature Trail, you will come to the junction with the Yellow Branch Falls Trail. You will pass through groves of dignified hardwoods and cross meandering creek bottoms before turning to circumnavigate the steep terrain. In the winter when the trees are bare, you can see the Walhalla vicinity as you hike. Wear sturdy shoes and use extra caution during wet conditions as the trail skirts the edges of deep ravines. Conversely, if it hasn''t rained for some time, the falls may be just a trickle of water over a series of ledges.
Safety: In warm weather, yellow jackets frequent the area, especially near trash cans.
Requirements: Group use of the shelter can be by reservation or first come, first served.
Reservations: Those who want to reserve the shelter may do so by calling the District Office 14 days in advance.
Surface type: dirt