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Archive for the ‘Museums and Attractions’ Category

Along the Southern Highroads Trail, you don’t have to venture far into South Carolina to find natural beauty. When you drive through SC, there are many available places to pull over to see the scenic views, and even more opportunities to pull over to see natural beauty. Let me provide you some examples:

stumphouse_tunnelStumphouse Tunnel – The tunnel was a project that was planned in the 1850s to connect South Carolina to the Midwest with a direct rail line.  Unfortunately, work on the project was abandoned during the War Between the States due to the lack of funds. 1,300 feet of the tunnel is open to the public.

Issaqueena Falls – A short easy walking trail leads from Stumphouse Mountain Park to Issaqueena Falls, a beautiful 200-ft. cascade. Legend has it that the Indian maiden, Issaqueena, rode to the nearby fort to warn of a pending Indian attack and then escaped pursuing Indians by pretending to leap over the falls, but actually hiding beneath them.

chattooga_riverBrasstown Falls – Brasstown Falls is a series of three equally dramatic cascades that drop over 120 feet: Brasstown Cascades, Brasstown Veil, and Brasstown Sluice. If you are searching for more, look for Little Brasstown Falls, a 40 foot waterfall, located just above the Brasstown Cascades!

Chattooga River – Designated the South’s first National Wild and Scenic River in 1974, the Chattooga is one of the premier whitewater rafting rivers in the Eastern United States, dropping an average of 49.3 feet per mile. Made famous in the movie “Deliverance,” the Chattooga is one of the longest and largest free flowing mountain rivers in the Southeast that remains in a relatively undeveloped condition. The Chattooga forms the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia and offers wonderful boating, fishing and rafting experiences.

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Living History DaysThe Rabun County Christian Home Educators host their 2nd Annual Living History Days at the Foxfire Museum in Mountain City, GA. Held once a year in April, this event is to show visitors the life and culture of Appalachia people during the 1800s. Very true to form.. everyone is dressed in period costume, cooking in an open fire, holding church service and using period tools. Even the children play with toys from that era.

Living History Days - Foxfire Museum

The experience is absolutely wonderful. There are volunteers at each building, and they describe to you what they’re doing, how people lived in those days, and invite you to take part in activities. This year there was a blacksmith, a wookworker, home-school moms cooking over a fire, and a master storyteller.

Michelle is the one who began this 2 years ago, and with the help of the Rabun County Home Educators and Foxfire, she was able to bring Living History Days alive, and alive is truly what it is. It couldn’t be held in a better or more authentic location. The Foxfire Museum is so far up Black Rock Mountain that you can’t hear the roaring of any cars. You truly feel like you’ve time traveled and these volunteers have really made this a memorable experience. Keep Southern Highroads Trail website bookmarked on the events page to see when this event will take place again.

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foxfireThe term “foxfire” is a name commonly applied to several species of bioluminescent fungi that grow on rotting wood in damp forests. These fungi typically produce a dim blue-green glow that can be seen only in dark, starlit areas, away from any artificial lights or moonlight.

However, if you travel on the Southern Highroads Trail, you may see actual foxfire, but one may be talking about The Foxfire Fund. The Foxfire Fund is an educational and literary organization in Mountain City, Georgia. Less than 5 miles off Southern Highroads, up Black Rock Mountain, around a dirt road, and just when you think you’re lost.. you’re there!

Foxfire Magazine MuseumFoxfire Fund produces magazines and books in order to educate and entertain people about the lives and culture of the Appalachia people. They’re not just simple “hillbillies”. It is a vast and rich culture of self-sustaining folks who have a wealth of knowledge. And this knowledge was bound together in a magazine beginning in the late 1960s, with the first production of their book in 1972.

Foxfire has produced many books since that time and has turned it into a learning experience for those in Rabun County, GA. Their learning technique has actually come into demand from other people wishing to expand on their own culture.

Foxfire Museum

Due to the popularity and profitability of the Foxfire books, the Foxfire Fund (and the help of their students) were able to get land on Black Rock Mountain and clear it out to make way for the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center. The students built the buildings you see here. Yes. Students. High school students built all of that. That’s how passionate they feel about the organization they belong to.

Foxfire Museum

A little blog post like this does not give Foxfire enough credit to them though. To really experience it, you have to visit their museum. For more information about them, visit their website: The Foxfire Fund. On our trip we were lucky to coordinate it on the Living History Days, which will be in another post. Look for that soon!

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