Take a driving tour in 90 minutes or less and you can visit the early 19th, 20th, and 21st Centuries through four bridges (and a restored grist mill) along the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Drive.
First, visit historic POINSETT BRIDGE, the oldest bridge in South Carolina. Built in 1820 of locally quarried stone, it was one of three bridges on the Old State Road, a toll road from Charleston to Asheville, N.C.
At the junction of Scenic Hwy 11 with Highway 101 and State Road H912, take H912 for 1.6 miles; turn right on Callahan Mt. Road; go 1.1 miles (pass by Camp Old Indian on the right). This 19th Century bridge is on the right .2 mile past the Boy Scout camp entrance.
The bridge features stepped parapet sidewalls and a graceful 15-foot Gothic arch over Little Gap Creek, a small tributary of the North Saluda River.
Next up is BALLENGER'S MILL & COVERED BRIDGE, a privately owned wooden bridge with a tin roof. Spanning a south prong of the Middle Tyger River, the late 20th century structure sits near a restored mill originally built in the 1820s by Lewis H. Dickey, the largest landowner in the area. Visitors are welcome to drive through the picturesque property and cross the bridge.
Heading east on Hwy 11, take Glassy Road, located .1 mile east of the Cliffs at Glassy entrance, south for 1.8 miles (NOTE: DO NOT take Glassy Mountain Road which turns from the Byway at Glassy Mountain Baptist Church). Turn right on Old Ballenger Mill Road, go one-half mile.
Farther east on Hwy 11 is the KLICKETY-KLACK BRIDGE, the handiwork of two guys and a tractor named “Old Blue.” In full view of motorists driving along the Cherokee Foothills Byway, the wood structure spans a wide drainage expanse next to the driveway that leads to Look Away Farms.
Owner Don Spann recruited his buddy Troy Coffey to help him build the covered bridge in 2000 as a gift to the Dark Corner area of upper Greenville County. Spann designed the intricate pattern of beams, rafters and vertical supports that ensures the integrity of the structure.
To create a nostalgic feel, he set the floor timbers of the bridge in a scattered pattern resulting in the namesake “klickety-klack” sound you hear when you drive your car over them.
Feel free to walk through the pedestrian pass way or drive your car over the bridge, circling around the asphalt roadway back to the scenic highway.
This 21st Century covered bridge is located on the north side of the Scenic Hwy 11, at the Look Away Farm entrance, 2.3 miles west of the junction of the Hwy 11 and Highway 14 at Gowensville.
Finally, your last stop will be CAMPBELL'S COVERED BRIDGE in the small rural town of Gowensville. Built in 1909, it is the sole-surviving covered bridge in South Carolina.
The pine structure measures 35 feet long and 12 feet wide and features a four-span Howe truss system with diagonal timbers and vertical iron rods. Permanently closed to traffic in 1980, it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.
Continuing east, at the junction of the Hwy 11 and Highway 14 at Gowensville, take Hwy 14 south for 2.2 miles; turn right on Hwy 414 and go one mile; bear left on Pleasant Hill Road and go .1 mile to the entrance to Campbell's Covered Bridge Historic Park on the right.
Located just 10 minutes from the campground, Split Creek is a goat dairy farm which produces and sells 'all natural' goat milk products including cheeses, milk, fudge and soap as well as antiques and locally produced folk art. The farm is listed as an agricultural tourism stop on the SC Heritage Corridor . Visitors are welcome to visit and pre-arranged tours are available. Additional information is available at the Split Creek Farm website.
The district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most visited little towns in America. When visiting Pendleton, be sure to stop at Hunter's Store which features an arts and crafts shop, bookstore and genealogy research library. In the town square is the Farmer's Society Hall. It is the centerpiece of the town, built in 1828. The town of Pendleton is just 10 minutes from our campground.
Located 15 minutes from the campground, the SC Botanical Garden is part of Clemson University. It includes a butterfly garden, a wildflower meadow, a hosta garden and a dwarf conifer collection along with other native trees, scrubs and flowers. Different events, including plant sales, are held throughout the year. Visit the South Carolina Botanical Garden online for more information.
While visiting Isaqueena Falls be sure to see Stumphouse Tunnel . This unfinished railroad tunnel is a wonderful place to visit during the hot summer months as the tunnel stays a cool 55-60 degrees year round. Be sure to take a flashlight as the tunnel goes back 1400 feet! Issaqueena Falls is a spectacular 100 foot falls in Stumphouse Tunnel Park, northwest of Walhalla. The falls are named for an Indian maiden, Issaqueena. She rode to a nearby fort to warn of a pending Indian attack and then escaped her pursuers by pretending to leap to her death over the falls, but actually hid beneath them.
Our area has lots of natural and man-made activities. You'll need more than one day to see and do it all!
Explore the downtown Anderson area by walking. There are three routes that will get you out and moving. Take the "Healthy" Route (3 miles), the "Civic" Route (1 mile) or the "Cultural" Route (2 miles) .
The three mile Healthy Route is the longest route and links to several health and fitness facilities.
The Civic Route is named such for the many governmental agencies that are along this one mile route.
The Cultural Route is two miles; here you will find many art, museum and theatre destinations.
No matter which route you choose there is much to see and admire along the way; our beautiful historic buildings, courtyards, fountains and many public art installations. Have fun on your way; count how many fish or wrens you see. You can also gain wisdom by reading our Wise Walks that are etched in our sidewalks.
Our local area is known for great bass fishing and other lake activities. Enjoy your time at our campground and spend a day at nearby Hartwell Lake boating (rental pontoons available at a nearby marina) or swimming or jet skiing. Note: we do not have access to the lake but Portman Marina is just six blocks from the campground where you can launch your boat for a nominal fee.
One of the largest flea markets in the Southeast is just 20 minutes from the campground and is open all year on Saturdays and Sundays. Even if it rains a large portion of the market is indoors!
Hiking and waterfalls are just 45 minutes from the campground in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is always interesting to visit the fish hatchery or tour the South Carolina Botanical Garden at Clemson University. The kids will enjoy the Bob Campbell Geology Museum with its glowing rocks and moon rocks.
Ask for our "Points of Interest" map or the driving tour of some local covered bridges!