True Or Not, The Eerie Legend Behind Issaqueena Falls At South Carolina's Tunnel Park Is Fascinating
For those who spend the majority of their time in the midland or coastal regions of South Carolina, it may come as a surprise to learn that the Palmetto State is home to hundreds of waterfalls. (
Oconee County, alone, boasts more than 150 waterfalls.) However, none of them has the same eerie legend behind it as the 100-foot Issaqueena Falls found just north of Walhalla in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
True or not, the waterfall is part of a tale that's been passed down for generations and involves a Creek Indian maiden, a white settler named Allan Francis, and a legendary pursuit by the Cherokee that ended at Issaqueena Falls.
The falls stand a majestic 100 feet tall and are layered with cascades. Then, and now, the stack of rocks forming the cascade create a number of bulges which sometimes present some hidden ledges that sneak behind the falling water.
Like this one found near the bottom of the waterfall.
As the tale goes, the Creek Indian maiden fell in love with a white trader (Allan Francis) who lived quite some distance away.
Upon hearing of an impending Native American raid upon the settlement where her beloved lived, she traveled by horseback to warn him.
Fearing her betrayal would be discovered, the maiden stayed in the settlement and the two married. Some time later, the two decided to return to her home near Issaqueena Falls.
As some point thereafter, as the story goes, Cherokee Indians became upset with a nearby white settlement and they gave chase of the maiden (now married and living with a white man).
The best and most agreed-upon version of the tale has her leading them to Issaqueena Falls, where she cleverly made them believe she jumped to her death.
Instead, she was hidden underneath one of the ledges near the top, awaiting her chance to escape.
Her escape was possible, according to folklore, because the Cherokee believed waterfalls were home to evil spirits. She waited patiently and escaped back to the safety of her family.
Today, Issaqueena Falls is found at the end of a very short 0.3-mile hike. The attraction is adjacent to
Stumphouse Tunnel outside of Walhalla.
Have you heard this legendary tale of Issaqueena Falls? What about other versions? Join the discussion in the comments.
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Issaqueena Falls, South Carolina 29691, USA