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.
T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena, part of Clemson University, is dedicated to providing opportunities for shows and sales, exhibits, and educational programs which benefit those in agriculture, agribusiness and the youth of South Carolina. Events include bull riding, rodeos, horse shows of all types, sales of horses, cattle and other livestock and the Farm and Ranch Expo.
The Ashtabula and Woodburn Historic Plantation Houses are located near Pendleton, just 15 minutes from the campground. These two c.1830 large clapboard mansions were built as the Upcountry summer residences by the Lowcountry planters, Ladson Gibbes (Ashtabula) and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (Woodburn), to enjoy the more healthful climate of the foothills. Each house has a distinctly different architectural style and has been fully restored and authentically furnished in antebellum style. Each location has several historic outbuildings and Woodburn has a walking trail to ruins of late 19th century farm buildings. The Woodburn Farm was the birthplace of Jane Edna Hunter, daughter of tenant farmers, who became a leading African-American activist and reformer in Cleveland, OH, founding the Phillis Wheatley Association and is listed as one of the top 20 "Heroes" in Ohio history. Visit the Pendleton Historic Foundation for visiting hours, events and admission prices.
The Bob Campbell Geology Museum is located at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. Follow a winding pathway and see early mining equipment through a garden of flowers and shrubs. In the spacious display hall stands an imposing pair of limestone slabs from Morocco, each about seven-feet wide. They have been delicately chiseled away to expose the fossilized shells of 400-million-year-old sea creatures. In the corner is a 450 pound amethyst geode from Brazil, one of the larger specimens of its kind in a public museum. In addition to these spectacles, the geology museum is home to plant and animal fossils, meteorites, minerals, stone carvings, and gems, including one of the most extensive faceted gem collections in the Southeast. You can also see the largest topaz crystal ever found in this country, weighting in at nine pounds. There's even a small piece of "Howard's Rock" from the famous Death Valley stone in Clemson Memorial Stadium. The museum includes more than 5,000 individual pieces. Kids always enjoy the fluorescent mineral room with its glowing rocks.
Clemson University was founded in 1889, a legacy of Thomas Green Clemson, who willed his plantation home, its land, and other property to the state of South Carolina to establish a technical and scientific institution. Today, more than 16,000 students select from undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 70 fields of study. Visitor attractions include Fort Hill , home of John C. Calhoun, and the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery . Fort Hill was named a national treasure by the Save America's Treasures program and is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Rudolph E. Lee Gallery presents exhibitions of outstanding regional, national and international artists and architects.
The Anderson County Museum has exhibits that illustrate the history and heritage of Anderson County. Permanent exhibits include displays on textiles, electricity, religion, agriculture, military, the County Fair, and hot air balloons. See the Anderson County Museum website for additional information. The museum is located approximately 10 miles from the campground.
Experience an amazing collection of four fire trucks from the late 19th and early 20th century. The collection includes: a 1880s horse-drawn wagon; a 1911 American LaFrance Hose & Chemical Truck, the city's first motorized fire truck has solid rubber tires and is driven by a chain drive; a 1915 Seagrave Motor Pumping Engine, the first with spring-loaded bumpers and a 1919 Seagrave Motor Pumping Engine. The museum also features other antique firefighting equipment. Open Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.
Located about 1 hour and 15 minutes from our campground, Helen is one of the most visited towns in Georgia and is made to look like a German Alpine village. Authentic German restaurants, as well as many gift shops, make up the downtown area. The true attraction to Helen is Oktoberfest, a six-week party that runs from mid-September to early November. For more information, visit www.ourupst online.
Cleveland is home to the Babyland General Hospital - birthplace of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. People can visit the cabbage patch where the dolls are born and the staff is dressed appropriately in nurses or doctors uniforms. Additional displays show the dolls going to school and a hospital where dolls can receive 'emergency care'. Admission is free.
BMW Zentrum is an unique museum and visitor's center with a cafe, gift shop and a Virtual Factory Tour (a 17 minute surround sound film that takes you through the BMW manufacturing process as if you were a car). Exhibits include a Z3 roadster driven by James Bond in the movie Golden Eye and some of the company's concept cars. You'll also see aircraft engines, classic BMW motorcycles and a Formula II championship race car. Open Tuesday through Saturday with plant tours available by reservation (1--888-TOUR-BMW). Visit BMW Zentrum online for more information.
GAMAC or the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium is the area's umbrella for a variety of musical groups. These include the Chorale, GAMAC Chamber Orchestra, Anderson Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Singers Boy Choir, Girl Choir, Youth Chorus, Electric City Big Band and The Dixielanders (preserves music of the Deep South). The concert season runs from November to May. Events are usually held at Anderson University's Henderson Auditorium near downtown Anderson.
Anderson Motor Speedway is located 1.5 miles north of exit 27 off I-85. Stock car racing is every Friday night at 8:00 p.m. from March - September! The wide straight-aways and tight, tricky corners are infamous for producing close, competitive short track racing. Enjoy racing in several divisions: Late Model Stock, Renegade, Mini Stock, BM Modified and Legends.
Barrett's Place Playground is a large children's activity place which will stimulate the imagination, while providing a safe and attractive area for children to play. The structure includes a climbing wall, campsite, speed boat and lots of swings, slides and monkey bars. The playground is located in Veteran's Park on Lebanon Road in Pendleton.
Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River flows through three states, including Upstate South Carolina, and is recognized as one of the Southeast's premier whitewater rivers. The Chattooga offers outstanding scenery ranging from thundering falls and twisting rock-choked channels to narrow, cliff-enclosed deep pools. Dense forests and undeveloped shorelines characterize the primitive nature of the river corridor. The movie, Deliverance, was filmed on the river.
The Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway , once used by the Cherokee Indians and English and French fur traders, now takes travelers through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on South Carolina Highway 11. The highway traces a 130 mile route through the Upstate and includes breathtaking views, state parks and recreation areas, and historic sites.
Have fun on nearby Lake Hartwell , one of the Southeast's largest and most popular lakes. Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the lake hosts 10 million visitors annually. It's 56,000 acres big with 962 miles of shoreline. Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca Rivers. Interstate 85 bisects Lake Hartwell and makes the area easily accessible to visitors. Some marinas offer boat rentals and there are numerous boat launches nearby - just let the campground know you are bringing a boat so we can accommodate you.
Kid-Venture is another fun playground at the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center. The playground's design was created using ideas provided by local children. The result is a large wooden playground. Kid-Venture is open daily for children to enjoy. The age limit inside the playground is 12 years old. It closes each day at dusk.
Shoeless Joe Jackson, banished from baseball for his role in fixing the 1919 World Series, died 57 years ago in the tiny, red-brick house on the edge of Greenville that he shared with his wife, Kate. The house is now the Shoeless Joe Jackson Baseball Museum and Library at 356 Field Street, the number an homage to his career batting average for the Philadelphia A's, the Cleveland Naps turned Indians and the Chicago White Sox. Admission is free. The museum is approximately 30 minutes from the campground in the historic West End area of Greenville across from Fluor Field - home of the Greenville Drive, a Boston Red Sox affiliate.
Upcountry South Carolina is bordered on the north by North Carolina, on the west by Georgia, and it extends to the central plains of South Carolina. Its identity as "Upcountry" distinguishes the region from South Carolina's "Low Country," as does its rich heritage and culture, which began as an Indian frontier and continues today as a political and economic hub identified as the "Upstate". Admission charged. Visit the Upcountry History Museum website for exhibit information and directions.
Representing the Upstate of South Carolina, the Greenville Derby Dames is a member of an all-women's flat track roller derby league, established in November 2008. The Dames are a group of dedicated, strong, hard-working, independent women who provide live, athletic entertainment that features smart and sassy women of the Upstate. The Dames range in age from fresh, young 18 year-olds to even more fresh 40 something's ... and every age in between. Some are lifelong athletes and some are women who have never touched a sport in their lives. There are short girls, tall girls, big girls, and small girls including moms, girlfriends and wives.
The Dames Bout Schedule runs from March to October and they play in Taylors SC, approximately 40 minutes from the campground. To see their schedule visit
Indian fighter, pioneer, trapper and trader, Gresham Callahan, came to the mountains of the Dark Corner in the very early years of the nineteenth century. He first appeared in the census of 1810.
(Over the course of the Civil War's five bloody years, almost as many Confederate soldiers deserted as were killed in battle. And in South Carolina, the place they came to was the Upstate. Whether it was because it was their home or because the mountainous terrain afforded a place to disappear, this area became known as the state's “Dark Corner.”)
Callahan settled at the foot of a mountain that bears his name. The modern day roadway is now aptly named Callahan Mountain Road.
A higher mountain on the opposite side of this roadway is called Old Indian Mountain. There are some who say that this mountain, too, is named for Callahan since one of his numerous nicknames was “Old Indian.” Others say the mountain was named for an aging Cherokee chief.
In any event, Gresham Callahan was the first known resident of a log cabin built at the foot of Old Indian Mountain around 1810. Log cabin experts consider it an unusual structure because it was started in the Cherokee style of construction and finished in the style of white settlers to the area.
Located a short distance from Poinsett's Bridge, built on the old State Road in 1820, the cabin was Callahan's residence at the time of the bridge's construction. The State of South Carolina paid Callahan and three other settlers small amounts of reparation for damages to their crops in converting the Indian trail into a usable toll road.
The grizzled old trapper and trader was buried on Graveyard Hill, a small ridge between Old Indian Mountain and Little Mountain, to the northeast of Callahan's mountain.
The log cabin came under the ownership of John H. Goodwin at some point. He sold it along with 300 acres to the Rev. John Jack Gosnell in 1875. Three generations of the Gosnell family lived in it.
A portion of the 300 acres was sold to the Blue Ridge Council, Boy Scouts of America for a camp, named Camp Old Indian, in 1927. Luther Gosnell, the last member of the family to live in the cabin, was caretaker for the camp until his death in 1941.
After 1941, the cabin was used for a few years as part of camping activities but then fell into disrepair since the scouting organization did not have funds to renovate and maintain it.
In 2009, three men with ties to the scouting adventure at Old Indian were instrumental in the removal of the Gosnell Cabin from the mountain and its restoration in the Mauldin Cultural Center at the intersection of Murray Drive and East Butler Road (County Route 107). The official historical marker is installed at 101 East Butler Road, Mauldin. Located around the cabin are five different heritage gardens and native plants familiar to early pioneers. The cabin and gardens are open to the public, free of charge.
The scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a beautiful setting for a unique golfing experience. Several challenging courses are located within fifteen miles of the campground and are open to the public.
More than 50 waterfalls are found in the SC Upcountry and range in height from 40 to 700 feet. Isaqueena Falls drops about 200 feet and is one of the most visited falls in the area. It is located just 35 minutes from the campground. Whitewater Falls is located 45 minutes from the campground. It is the tallest series of falls - 700 feet - in the eastern United States. ***Whitewater Falls in North Carolina is closed indefinitely due to the wildfires of fall, 2016, destroying the walkway and steps at the falls.****
The famous Chattanooga National Wild & Scenic River provides Whitewater rafting enthusiasts with great adventure and spectacular views. The "jumping off" points for various whitewater companies are just 45 minutes from the campground. Information on local area whitewater rafting is available online.
The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are a member of the East Coast Hockey League and play at the Bon Secours Wellness Center (The "Well") in downtown Greenville - just 35 minutes from the campground.
Tickets generally run $5 to $30 and most nights you and your family can walk up to buy tickets. Check their schedule at their website for home games and promotion nights! Their season starts in late October and runs thru mid-April.
The Greenville Drive Baseball team is a AA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. The Drive play at Flour Field in Greenville which has been built to be a smaller replica of Fenway Park complete with it's own/ Big Green Monster in left field.
The Drive play from early April until just after Labor Day in September. Tickets, in the price range of $7 to $10, are usually available at the gate. Check their website for any promotion dates.