Panthertown Valley (Best Route)

MODERATE 19 reviews
#5 of 60 trails in

Panthertown Valley (Best Route) is a 7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lake Toxaway, NC that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from February until February. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.0 miles 782 feet Loop

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

horseback riding

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

Of the many trails in this area, this route provides the most bang for your buck. Deep forest hiking with waterfalls, vistas, abundant streams and ease of access. Panthertown Valley, known as the "Yosemite of the East", is located just outside of Brevard, NC just west of Lake Toxaway in Cashiers, NC. There are a wide number of trails in this valley area of varying difficulty with many waterfalls and high vantage point outlooks to view the valley floor.

hiking
5 days ago

Absolutely beautiful!! definitely was worth the drive. My kids and I can not wait until spring to come back and check it out!! The only thing I had a problem with is that there were missing markers and we got a little lost.

1 month ago

Beautiful day, great weather, I'll be back to do more trails.

1 month ago

1 month ago

I love hiking here!
It's very easy to get lost though.

hiking
2 months ago

we did an out-and-back hike for two and a half hours. Lots of other side trails that need to be explored on future subsequent visits. We will go back again and again to check out the other trails. this Trail has many good campsites. We saw a couple of mountain bikers. lots of good mountain biking in this area. Saw a couple of fishermen. lots of good options in this area.

backpacking
4 months ago

We did this loop counter-clockwise, and camped at the base of big wall. If I were to do it again I would definitely go clockwise and camp along the river along the northern stretch of the loop. The sites were much better and there was much better access to water. The trails were in great condition and well marked, but the points of interest were easy to miss, since none of them are marked. Bring a good map, and know that most of the cool sites are not on the main circle of this loop. If you have kids or pets, I definitely recommend Granny Burrel Falls, since it seems to be a great swimming area with a rock that kids could safely slide down. I would classify most of this trail as easy except for the 1/2 mile stretch that climbs upward by Big Wall, which was very strenuous, with rough trail conditions.

hiking
5 months ago

We have been here twice and both times we did get a little confused but that was because on the way to Devil's Fork the sign was not visible by the brush that had grown up around it. Make sure you have a map and you will be okay.

hiking
7 months ago

This was our first ever real hike! (with my wife).We really enjoyed the first part of our hike along Mac's Gap and even the climb up to the top of Little Green Mountain. The views were incredible from atop that bald! We had not seen the first person on the trail and then out of nowhere a couple appears on top of the bald with us! They told us about Schoolhouse Falls and that we should descend the other side of the mountain to check it out. Well, getting down the mountain was pretty dog-gone difficult! There were roots everywhere!We stumbled and fell a couple of times and finally arrived at the falls and lo! there were people in these woods! Evidently this is a popular place to be. We were exhausted from the climb up to Little Green and then down to Schoolhouse and we didn't think the falls was all that great...after all we had already been to Dupont forest.We decided that we did not want to retrace our steps so we took the Panthertown Valley trail back around Little Green Mountain, We thought we might be lost! We were tired and alone and had just passed some bear "scat" The trails were not marked very well and we started second guessing..I just kept checking my compass and felt we were heading the right way and finally we made it back to Mac's Gap...we were very happy to see that, we finally made it out of the woods about a half hour before dark, we were so thankful! We had been hiking since about 9am, We don't know how far we hiked but probably 8-9 miles. I cannot believe we are still hiking 3 years later! Looking back, the trails and area are pretty awesome, some great views, most of the trails were in very good shape except for the backside of Little Green mountain. You won't see many people on the trail but be sure you have a map and a compass because it is not really marked or blazed.

camping
10 months ago

I've been hiking these trails for 40 years in Panthertown. Hate is has been discovered. Great trails, Great Waterfalls, countless options for camping and hiking in the Valley.

hiking
1 year ago

Good hike with great views. The trail was very difficult to find. Look for arrows painted on the ground.

1 year ago

First backpacking trip with my 10yr old. As others have said a lot of bang for your buck. We hiked in about 2hrs set up camp then day hiked to the top of the Great Wall. The hike out the next day was a little harder as it is mostly uphill. Not bad if you take breaks. Great first trip! I like that it is a loop and makes for new sights in and out.

hiking
2 years ago

While spending Thanksgiving week in Cashiers, NC with family, We spent 5 hours in Panthertown Valley, started on the main trail and took several spur trails towards waterfalls, and also the trail up to the top of Big Green. There were a lot of trails that were meant for mountain biking or horseback riding, but there also plenty of foot trails that had a more extreme feel to them. The climb up the mountain wasn't the easiest, but we are not (yet) avid hikers. We were there in late November and there were snow patches in some areas and we had be careful for ice patches all over the rocks.

There were some amazing camp spots we passed and we would have loved to spend a few days camping there. So much more to explore than what we had time for!

2 years ago

hiking
2 years ago

This is to let everyone know about what has happened since the last time I hiked Panthertown.  I am a very experianced hiker. If your not prepared to read the honest truth click off the review now. 1st time I ever hiked Panthertown was sometime in 2005. No marked trails, few updated bridges, only the forest service topo map to guide you, and no people. It was great. I was living part-time in Sapphire so it was close and very enjoyable.  Over the next year I hiked and explored a lot of it and enjoyed every step of it. Fast forward in life, a move back to my home town, car wreck, 13 surgeries, and no hiking. I recover get back out hiking and this little piece of WNC was calling my name. I get online to find there has been so many so called improvements to Panthertown.  Oh they have named named trails, they have improved trails, and they have updated maps. People should take all of that and throw it out the window as they drive to either entrances because it's useless. I was there this week and came in the Cold mountain entrance and whom ever thought it was a good idea to take the old entrance to the trails away was an idiot. The old entrance did not make you walk miles out of the way down an old Duke Power service road. The panthertown valley trail it's awful at best. If you know there is constant standing water improve that not spend money putting sand on perfectly good trails. Granny Burrells Falls trail I wouldn't even bother, it's pretty bad too. I'm not sure how they come up with some of the milage that's marked at the entrance and posted on the updated topo map but I had 2 different pedometers and both wasn't even close to what the posted milage was suppose to be. Granted there's some new bridges but navigating before the bridges wasn't that big of a deal, rock hopping wasn't a problem before. The Great Wall trail 1.67 miles that's a lie. I've never spend so much time being pissed off at the word of others that apparently are completely incompetent.  Lesson learned for me.

hiking
2 years ago

Loved it. But I love to hike. Will have a better map next time

camping
2 years ago

I came here on a backpacking, hiking, mountain biking and camping trip with the College of Charleston Outdoors Club for spring break. Being from the Green Mountains of Vermont, I'm used to tall peaks, unspoiled and respected trails, and things to see along the trail and for the first time since being in the south, I was not disappointed!! We backpacked into the park, set up our tents in a beautiful shelter and spent the next few days hiking around and exploring countless waterfalls and summits. Thank you Panthertown for an unforgettable spring break!!

hiking
2 years ago

What can I say? Panthertown is great! So many great trails. Camping is pleasant, waterfalls are great, scenery is soothing. Granny Burrell Falls is a must see. The coloring of the rocks within the water is like no other.

hiking
3 years ago

Great Action Packed Hike!
This is a relatively accessible trail that passes by, or has spur trails leading to many waterfalls. Because there are lots of intersecting trails, and maps in the area aren't great (nor is signage), it can be a bit confusing. In addition, it's not great "backcountry" in the sense that there are lots of dayhikers and there are not great places to camp. But you can climb up behind some of the falls and get some great views.

camping
4 years ago

Beautiful hike, unfortunately it rained almost the entire time. The views are amazing!