With Walhalla’s many historic landmarks and its convenient access to a wide assortment of trails and rivers, it’s easy to miss some of its most unique amenities and attractions. Whatever brings you to the area, be sure to check out this small town’s charming hidden gems.
Here are just a few:
Soc’em Dog Brewing & Gastropub – Named after one of the Chattooga River’s infamous Class V rapids, this cozy microbrewery, located in the Falcon’s Lair Golf Course clubhouse, offers a friendly vibe and rotating small-batch craft beers. Order up a burger and a tall, cold one to eat indoors or on the porch overlooking the golf course. The gastropub’s changing menu can feature anything from traditional Filipino pancit and fried lumpia to homemade apple pie.
Yellow Branch Falls – While just outside the town limits, it’s worth the short drive to view this picture-worthy cascade. The moderately difficult 1.5-mile hike to the falls takes you through groves of beautiful hardwoods and several creek crossings before you begin the more strenuous part of the climb. Dropping over a series of rock ledges in a lush forest cove, the falls are just feet 50 high but stretch 75 feet across, making for an impressive water feature.
Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail – During your travels through Walhalla and Oconee County, look for larger-than-life quilts painted on the sides of homes, historic buildings, schools, businesses and barns. The clever designs, which pay tribute to the Upstate’s long quilting tradition, are among more than 250 quilt squares on display in the area.
Blue Ridge Railroad Historic Trail – Take a hike along the never-completed 19th-century Blue Ridge Railroad that includes three excavated tunnels abandoned after the Civil War. The longest one is the Stumphouse Tunnel, extending 1,617 feet into the mountain. After visiting the namesake tunnel at Stumphouse Park, begin the 2.5-mile trail just above Issaqueena Falls. About a half-mile down the path you’ll come to a short spur that will take you to the Middle Tunnel. Once filled with dirt, it has been cleared to allow visitors to walk inside it. The Saddleback Tunnel is farther along the trail but it has filled with water over the years and is no longer accessible.
Kudzu Kabin Designs – If you enjoy folk art, you’ll want to visit the home and studio of Nancy Basket, a Native American artist who turns kudzu vines, leaves, pine needles and other natural materials to create beautiful artworks. Her collection includes a variety of greeting cards, baskets, lampshades and sculptures.
Walhalla Farmer’s Market – Everything in this farmers market is grown, raised or produced in Oconee county. It’s open Saturday mornings from June through August in the Walhalla Performing Arts Center.