Places We Protect

Stumphouse Mountain Heritage Preserve

South Carolina

Waterfall cascading into a pond over large rocks.
Stumphouse Mountain Waterfall at Stumphouse Mountain Heritage Preserve in South Carolina. © Bill Robertson

This northern Oconee County preserve was the target of a proposed development.



Protecting Stumphouse Mountain

In 2007, Stumphouse Mountain was the target of a proposed development. The Nature Conservancy was one of many public and private partners who united to find alternatives to the proposed development, attracting hundreds of people to community meetings and collecting approximately 2,000 signatures in a petition drive.

Together, the partners raised $4.3 million through 1,100 donations to purchase the property and protect it as a South Carolina Heritage Preserve.

Why You Should Visit

Stumphouse Mountain Heritage Preserve-Wildlife Management Area, located in northern Oconee County, is the site of the lovely Issaqueena Falls, which is important to Cherokee history, as well as several historic railroad tunnels, forests and streams with trails for the public to enjoy. The preserve boasts bird and plant diversity including black-throated green and hooded warblers, red-eyed and blue-headed vireos, and tufted titmice. Neotropical birds use the forest for migration and nesting.

Other natural features found on this preserve include an array of wildflowers and six species of bats, among them the rare rafinesque big-eared bat. The bats occupy the abandoned railroad tunnels. Specific plant species include Catesby’s trillium and showy orchis.




Hunting, wildlife, hiking trails


442.2 acres

Explore our work in South Carolina

Visitor Guidelines

  • Visitors should consider wearing long pants if they plan to hike the Boy Scout trail in late spring or summer.
  • Bring your own drinking water.
  • No trash receptacles—take your trash out with you.
  • No public facilities.
  • No plant, animal artifact, or any other natural or cultural material may be taken or disturbed.
  • Not wheelchair accessible; area provides bird-watching opportunities.

Find More Places We Protect

TNC owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

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