Explore Historic Sites Along SC’s Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway

By:Page Ivey

Date:12/1/2014

The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway winds 115 miles from the Georgia state line along the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the North Carolina state line. The views are some of the most scenic of the state’s rolling hills.

There are plenty of apple orchards, lakes, rivers and streams, but the road is chock-full of historic sites.

Here are some you shouldn’t miss.

  1. ​Cowpens National Battlefield is the location of a key 1781 victory for the revolutionaries, in which Gen. Daniel Morgan handed the dreaded Banastre Tarleton his worst defeat. The park has a walking trail, road tour, picnic area and visitors center.

    Cowpens National Battlefield is at 4001 Chesnee Highway, Gaffney, 864.461.2828. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free.

  2. ​The Bob Campbell Geology Museum is a self-guided museum with rocks, fossils and Smilodon, a skeletal replica of the saber-toothed lions that once roamed the area. A favorite with kids is the fluorescent room with glowing minerals, a light show and a scavenger hunt.

    Bob Campbell Geology Museum is at 150 Discovery Lane, Clemson, 864.656.3311. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday (closed on Clemson football game Saturdays) and 1-5 p.m. Sunday; $3 adults, $2 children; free for children younger than 2.

  3. ​Hagood Mill is home of a historic gristmill built in 1845, and its waterwheel, at 20 feet, is the largest one still in operation in the state. The historic site includes a farm exhibit with an 18th-century log cabin, a blacksmith shop and a moonshine still.

    Hagood Mill is at 138 Hagood Mill Road, Pickens 864.898.5963. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Wednesday-Saturday. Free, but donations are appreciated.

  4. ​Fort Hill was the home of US Vice President John C. Calhoun before it was passed to his daughter and son-in-law, Thomas G. Clemson. Upon their deaths, the home and surrounding plantation were given to the state of South Carolina for an agricultural college named for the Clemsons. The home is decorated with period furniture and family mementos.

    Fort Hill is at 101 Fort Hill St., Clemson, 864.656.2475. Open Monday through Saturday 10-noon and 1-4:30 p.m.; Sunday 2-4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for ages 6–12.

  5. ​Oconee Station State Historic Site was a base for early South Carolinians during skirmishes with Native Americans during the 18th century. Many of the buildings date back to this time, with a trading post added later. The site includes a fishing pond, a nature trail that leads into Sumter National Forest and the 60-foot Station Cove Falls. Come in the spring or fall for vibrant foliage.

    Oconee Station State Historic Site is at 11500 Oconee Station Road, Walhalla, 864.638.0079. Open daily except in winter, when the park is open on weekends only. Historic structures open 1-5 p.m. Saturday through Sunday only, with guided tours available. Free.

  6. ​Cherokee County History & Arts Museum is located where the South Carolina Militia once mustered. Exhibits include geology, Native American life and the area’s role in the Revolutionary War as well as information on textiles, peaches and auto racing.

    Cherokee County History & Arts Museum is at 301 College Drive, Gaffney, 864.489.3988. Open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 2-5 p.m., Saturday. Admission: $5 for adults ages 13 and older, and $3 for younger kids, seniors and college students.

Related Content

Finding Gems Along Interstate 20
Discover the wonderful world off of Interstate 20 in South Carolina. From horse and dog racing to antiques and art stores, the towns off Interstate 20 are too much fun to miss.
Discover Plantations Along Charleston's River Road
South Carolina plantations conjure images of “Gone with the Wind,” hoop skirts, moonlight and magnolias. Some of South Carolina’s finest plantations still exist today, three are particularly notable: Magnolia, Drayton Hall and Middleton Place.
5 B&Bs to Check Out for Leaf Seasons and Beyond
South Carolina’s Upstate is filled with cool places to stay while hiking to beautiful vistas, seeking out waterfalls and exploring fun small towns. Check out these bed and breakfast inns.

Featured Products

Cowpens National Battlefield
Mountains

Gaffney

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
On Jan. 17, 1781, the Americans won a decisive battle against the better-trained British Army. The battle was over in less than an hour. This victory gave the Patriots th ...

Featured products and attractions in "Explore Historic Sites Along SC’s Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway"

Nearby Attractions

  • {{item.name}}

You might also like:

Issaqueena Falls/Stumphouse Tunnel
Mountains

Walhalla

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
A short easy walking trail leads from Stumphouse Mountain Park to Issaqueena Falls, a beautiful 200-ft. cascade. Legend has it that the Indian maiden, Issaqueena, rode to ...
Boone Hall Plantation
Coast

Mount Pleasant

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Boone Hall is one of America's oldest working, living plantations, established in 1681 by Major John Boone. The present plantation manor house dates to 1935. The famous a ...
Kings Mountain National Military Park
Mountains

Blacksburg

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
On Oct. 7, 1780, a group of Patriot militia from what is now Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia defeated British Major Patrick Ferguson and h ...
Lunney House Museum
Mountains

Seneca

Mountains

Mountains

The
Mountains Region

Learn More
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this California style bungalow was built in 1909 by Dr. & Mrs. W.J. Lunney and occupied continuously by the Lunney fam ...
Old Town Hall Museum
Coast

Andrews

Coast

Coast

The
Coast Region

Learn More
Housed in the original Town Hall, the museum (c. 1900) depicts a turn-of-the-century Andrews home. Items in the museum are circa 1909, the year Andrews was founded. ...
Cheraw Lyceum
Midlands

Cheraw

Midlands

Midlands

The
Midlands Region

Learn More
The Lyceum (c. 1820) began as a chancery court, became the Lyceum Meeting Room and private library, served as Cheraw's first telegraph office, and was both the Confedera ...