OCONEE STATION STATE HISTORIC SITE
Originally a military compound and later a trading post, Oconee Station State Historic Site offers both recreational opportunities and a unique look at18th and 19th century South Carolina. Oconee Station, a stone blockhouse used as an outpost bythe S.C. State Militia from about 1792 to 1799, and the William Richards House, are the only two structures that remain today.
Beyond the park's historic significance, there's a fishing pond and 1.5-mile nature trail that connects hikers to a trail leading into Sumter National Forest and ending at Station Cove Falls. The spring is an awesome time to view an abundance of wildflowers along this trail in and around Sumter National Forest and the majestic Station Cove Falls.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, this small plot of land along South Carolinas western frontier served as a military compound against attack from the Cherokee and Creek Indians and later served as a trading post.
The park contains two structures Oconee Station, a stone blockhouse used as an outpost by the SC State Militia from about 1792 to 1799, and the William Richards House, named for the Irish immigrant who built it in 1805.
The stone building circa 1792 was built by state militia to protect against Indian raids. It is the only remaining portion of the fort we called Oconee Station. Later it was converted to a kitchen to serve the William Richards house.
The William Richards House was a residence built in 1805 until his death in 1809. The structure remained a home into the 1960s, and a summer home into the 1970s.
Oconee Station State Historic Site is located near Central, Clemson and Seneca
Oconee Station Trail
DescriptionBecause countless wildflowers decorate the forest in spring, this easy 1.5-mile trail in Oconee Station State Historic Site has become a favorite of Upstate naturalists. The trail also features a fine view of Station Cove Falls, a stepped, 60-foot waterfall thats among the prettiest in a county full of waterfalls. In 1792, Oconee Countys first European settlers built Oconee Station, a small wood and stone blockhouse about a mile from the falls. The military fort and accompanying 1805 residence were intended to protect settlers from Cherokee and vice-versa. Today, they are on the National Register of Historic Places.
From the trailhead in the main parking area, you will start downhill and come to a fork. Both legs come together after circling a pond, so you might elect to go out on one and return on the other. Upon passing the pond, you will cross Oconee Station Road and enter the Sumter National Forest. As you walk, look for beaver ponds, an alder swamp the result of past beaver ponds, and in springtime, an amazing array of wildflowers, particularly pink ladys slipper orchids. The trail ends at the falls, where the waterfalls spray area is home to rare and endangered plant life, so step carefully.
Station Cove Falls Trail
DescriptionAn easy, 30-minute hike through a gorgeous Appalachian cove forest takes you to Station Cove Falls, a stepped 60-foot waterfall that forms from headwaters atop Station Mountain. In the spring and summer, countless wildflowers bloom along the trail. You may see trillium, mayapple, pink ladys slipper orchids, bloodroot, and redbud.