Panther Creek Trail is a 11.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Turnerville, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
Panther Creek Trail are along US 441, 14 miles North of Cornelia. Turn left, following the sign, onto Glen Hardman Road. Immediately take a right onto Old 441; signs for the trailhead are in 1 mile. There is a $3 parking fee to park
Heavy traveled. Trail eroding in some spots. Nice spot to backpack over nite by the creek.
trail is very eroded but makes for some fun climbing. there is a split in the trail that is labeled safe, but the unsafe one is definitely more fun!
The trail ranges from easy to difficult areas to run. A lot of climbing steep single track but overall a great place to go and was very easy to navigate being my first time there. Also it awesome falls about 4 miles in.
Overall, a decent hike. Occasional challenging parts of the trail but the majority of the trail is fairly easy. Went in January, so I didn't see a whole lot of people on the trail which was nice. There wasn't as much trash as I have heard which was also nice. The falls aren't the greatest but they are pretty cool and in a really nice spot to take a break and relax before either continuing on or heading back to the trailhead. Definitely a must-do if you live in the area!
I love the fall, but they did lie. This is not an moderate, but a hard one. to get to the fall you have to rock climb down to it. this is very hard with a backpack. There was many of campsite along the way and you follow the river to the water fall. It really is a great trip.
it's got some steep spots and is pretty well trafficked but it's a great hike
Very interesting hike throughout. The falls and the end were impressive and definitely worth the hike.
This is tough. I decided to hike the entire trail, not just to the falls. As I looked at reviews I could find people who had hiked to the falls from both the trailhead off of 23, and from Yonah Dam, but nobody who did the whole thing. I left from the trailhead off of 23
Finding it is pretty easy and once you get started you immediately notice how "rooty" and eroded the trail is. This section is not difficult but will get your ankles if you are not cautious. Other than that, the first half is really straightforward. Really flat, with just a few spots where caution is needed. When you get about a half mile from the falls it gets a bit more technical but still manageable. People saying to not bring kids or dogs may be over-reacting a bit. I read a lot of reviews and people really are "big upping" this trail by calling out even the shortest stretches where care is needed. The first half is easy with some moderate sections and about 1/4 mile of challenging footing. Very few places you could get turned around. The split in the trail at 3/4 mile comes out right at the main trail so no worries there. Go left if you want the easier route.
The only caveat I would add here is that if it is raining or has rained recently this will be a whole different ballgame. The roots will be slick and the technical sections close to the waterfalls will be dangerous.
Falls are cool, but not the best. In the end, the people swarming all over the beach area ruin it and the trash tossed alongside the trail cinches it. Most people are pretty good, but as other reviewers have noted the trash really is pervasive. I saw no less than 20 water bottles scattered along the trail, teach in almost every fire pit in the camp-sites, and actual bags of garbage hanging in those same camp-sites. I guess this is where the real unsavories go to say they are campers and hikers while destroying the area around them. If you are a teen or twenty-something and want to go hang out then knock yourself out, just take your trash with you.
There is a lot of camping and if you go all the way to the falls it's like a campground. On Sunday AM there were probably 8 tents up along the beach and hammocks everywhere. Most of the sites along the trail were also full.
Once you get past the waterfalls the people disappear. The trail gets pretty technical (feels a lot like some of the ridges on the AT, oddly enough), there is a decent climb, and you stay along the creek most of the way. I preferred this half, so if you wanted to, you could take the back way, drive up Yonah Dam road, and walk to the falls from this direction. Somebody said it was impossible to find the trail head, but just go to the end of the gravel road, park, and cross the wooden bridge. Then turn right and walk.
I passed a guy on this half and startled him. Just for perspective he told me he hikes that half of the trail 8-10 times every year and has done so for the last 25 years when he is in the area. He said I was the only person he had ever seen on that half. Trail is maintained well, so just his luck, I'm sure, but that gives you an idea how many fewer people there are. Bonus: no trash
I see a lot of debates about the mileage. I ran my GPS and the falls came in at 3.9 miles from the trail head and the whole trail measured just a touch under 7 miles. Both ways about 13.5. I think my phone might be overstating mileage by about 10% based on recent recording so know that. This half was more technical than the first half.
I only gave 3 stars because of the people, erosion, and trash. First half is easy with moderate sections. Second half is moderate with difficult sections. Very few markings so if you are not confident in following a trail be careful if you go onto the second half.
Excellent hiking, beautiful falls; awesome payoff at the end of the trail.
Parts of this trail are flat and easy; a few sections are steep and dangerous. The beach and falls are gorgeous; our dog fetched endlessly in the pool at the falls.