Panther Run Trail is a 7 mile out and back trail located near Waterville, PA that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is accessible year-round.
Directions from Waterville, PA: Take SR 4001 approximately 4 miles to the state park. Travel to the end of the picnic / boat launching area. There is a parking lot on the right. Panther Run Trail begins across the road.
Great hike pretty steep at beginning and end.
This is a fun trail. The steep initial incline leads to a flat stretch through mostly deciduous forest and eventually to large exposed rocks at the top of a ridge before descending. Not a long hike, but a perfect length for an afternoon. I have encountered Timber Rattlesnakes on this trail, but that is not unusual in this area.
If you go up Panther Run then connect to Love Run just make sure you turn left at the cabin in the woods. Don't cross the bridge at the cabin and climb the next mountain. That is not Love Run Trail and will add miles and a steep climb to your trip and you will end up on the Mid States and lost like we did. We bush whacked back down the mountain to meet back up with Love Run and it was a total of 6 miles because we missed that turn at the cabin. Otherwise it is a good hike but the backside of Panther Run is super steep and a bit technical. I would rate the Panther Run loop difficult for most normal hikers. Adding in what we did made it crazy difficult and just dumb on our part although we did not see the turn at the cabin marked.
It's a great trail, but a lot of the panther run loop needs remarked south of 322. There were a couple parts I almost got lost because of the faded marks. If you look around enough you should be able to spot on here and there to help you along.
The trail north of 322 is newly marked and easy to follow.
Panther Run Trail provides a steep access to the wild Mid State Trail and can be combined with the Spike Buck Trail to complete a nice seven mile loop. Be in shape for this one.