If you are ready to take a day trip or even just a morning or afternoon away, make sure you add Oconee Station State Historic Site to your list!
The Oconee Station is located in Walhalla, South Carolina and is a beautiful drive down Highway 11 for any residents of The Cliffs Communities or The Reserve at Lake Keowee. The park sits on over 200 acres on Oconee Creek.
The station was built in 1792 as one of a series of blockhouses along the South Carolina frontier. It was garrisoned with troops until 1799. The blockhouses were built during a period of tension between settlers and the Native Americans but was later used to protect the Native Americas again settler encroachment. On site also stands the William Richards House, built in 1805, which is believed to be the first brick house built in the northwest corner of South Carolina! This house also served as a successful trading post. If interested in touring these historic buildings, the park opens the station and home between 1-5pm Saturday and Sunday.
Once you have viewed these stately buildings in the clearing, head to the woods for the hiking trails among mature trees. There is a 1 ½ mile nature trail that encircles the pond within the park. This 4 acre pond is a great place for any bird watchers! This trail joins back to a ½ mile trail that leads into Sumter National Forest and ends at Station Cove Falls. This waterfall is 60-feet in height and one of the prettiest in Oconee County, which is full of waterfalls! The trail is not a difficult one so great for hikers of all ages and experience. Countless wildflowers (particularly pink lady’s slipper orchids) fill the background of the path, making this park a favorite of naturalists as well.