Panther Creek Trail

MODERATE 526 reviews

Panther Creek Trail is a 11.1 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 best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 11.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,089 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

scramble

washed out

Note: Users have reported that the trail is closed at the waterfall until February 29. Panther Creek Trail is 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 $4 parking fee in the recreation parking area if the free parking on the side of the road is full.

hiking
12 days ago

Part of this trail is closed from November 15 to February 29. I posted a picture of the posting on site. You are still able to see 2 of the large sets of falls. enjoyable hike.

hiking
closed
muddy
12 days ago

Fantastic hike. Trail down to falls closed. But I’ve hiked this 17 times, so.........,

hiking
17 days ago

Heads up that the trail is closed at the falls from 11/15 to I forget the date it is scheduled to reopen. The hike is super beautiful and you can still see the falls from where they closed the trail. The hike was 8 miles out and back according to my Garmin

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

An amazing trail. But not easy! Be prepared if you are hiking with a pack on you back! Some sketchy stop so be careful! But definitely recommend to amazing views and adventures! Beautiful waterfalls and creek that you follow. We camp out and definitely worth the stay. Can’t wait to go back

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was in great shape despite the rains that we had yesterday. A few muddy spots here and there but nothing too crazy. I arrived around 9AM and with the exception of one group camping, did not see anyone until I had almost made it to the falls. When I was in the way out there were quite a few people making their way in. This trail is just beautiful and not too crazy hard. There are a few spots that get a little steep but only a few. Lots of tree roots and rocks in some spots along the way, so you just have to keep your eyes on the trail. I loves the little beach area at the base of the falls. Very nice, picturesque spot to catch your breath and relax.

horseback riding
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very good hike nice swimming holes definitely not a beginner hike

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

trail head says the trail is 3.5 miles one way, but it definitely feels longer. some parts are pretty tough but definitely worth the refreshing water and amazing views at the end. bring lots of water as the trail can get pretty muggy and it’s easy to get dehydrated. the trail is well marked and easy to follow and we saw plenty of dogs along the way, but make sure your dog is used to hiking as there are some places with difficult footing

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail once you get going. The trail is on the other side of the road from parking. We camped at the falls 3.5 miles in. The camping site by the falls is popular so we made a site on the hill next to it. It is a rough trail due to roots and some rocky terrain. Some of the railings have been washed out but mostly still safe. We swam under the falls, only waste deep but nice on a hot day.

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate is a fair rating overall but this trail has individual sections that are flat and easy, other sections that are very difficult climbs with sketchy footing

hiking
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

From the parking lot to the Falls is 8 miles. It is roots and rocks with some smooth sandy trail. The waterfall has a steep rocky scramble down to the beach. You have to watch your footing the whole way... but it is worth it. The roots, rocks, cliffs make the trail very interesting. You are along the creek for most of the way and I the sites are beautiful.

hiking
off trail
2 months ago

I think this trail has been loved a bit too hard. It could stand some serious maintenance. Some sections are more roots and rocks than soil and are pretty tough going. If they made a movie about it, they might call it “ No Trail for Old Men”. I somehow lost the trail after the upper falls and wound up on what must have been a trail leading up the ridge to a Forest Service road, probably for evacuating casualties from this area. I saw a lot of paint and flagging tape on top of the ridge, so they may be planning to extend the road further down. Anyway, if you find yourself on a trail with spray-painted red arrow blazes, turn around. After a futile attempt to regain the trail, I decided discretion was the better part of valor and turned around and hiked out.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Definitely challenging at times.

hiking
3 months ago

Took our family out for an overnight hiking trip during Labor Day weekend. Lots of people as expected but did not have a problem finding a camping spot. Hiked in late in the day so when we got to the falls there were only a handful of people. It was nice. Actually got to swim by ourselves most of the time. This trail is one of my favorites. I would rate it moderate to difficult. Most of it is easy but there are parts that are difficult. The climb out seemed much harder than I remembered but that could have been the 25 lbs of camping gear I was carrying. We were worried about the yellow jackets we had read about but they were easily spotted and avoided. As you approach the first bridge/creek crossing, they are in a dead stump at start of bridge. Just move fast through that section or you can cross the creek before the bridge. Highly recommend!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

what was once one of my favs has dropped off significantly....too many people. go early...or look elsewhere

hiking
3 months ago

great hike! parts were difficult with a baby in the back pack. (like having to basically craw under the rock) we didn't make it to the falls, but it was fun!

hiking
3 months ago

beautiful even my 6 year old loved it. be ready on the way out the kids wear out on way back. I suggest camp on a week day real busy.

hiking
3 months ago

Didn’t do the whole trail. We just hiked with headlamps in the night to the waterfall and set up camp. Very accessible trail. Lots of great campsites. The falls and swimming hole are very awesome! No mosquitos surprisingly. The way in is much easier. The way out is a bit of a pain in the ass with a pack on because it’s just going back up hill and all the roots can really do a number on your knees/ankles if you’re not careful.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Hiked in and camped on August 3-4 with a coworker and our two 9y/o boys. The first mile or so of the trail is mostly downhill. Lots of roots and a few narrow spots. This ends at a clearing on the creek bank just before the first bridge. Good place to take a break and enjoy the scenery. Crossing the bridge begins the second part of the journey, being mostly flat, seems like a walk through the woods. This ends at a large boulder, about 3 feet high, that you will have to climb. The trail takes a turn here. The last third is hilly, rocky, and very narrow at times. Take your time and watch your step. The few safety wires that they do have in place were pretty sketchy, having completely eroded away in some spots. The falls were great, kids had a blast. About 100 yards past the falls, just over the hill and/or around the bend are two great campsites right on the creek. On the return trip the hike starts with the rock climb back out of falls, then to the flat woods, but the kicker is the last mile or so out that was all downhill on the way in. This part is pretty taxing on the legs and was more than what the kids had bargained for. They were beat by the time we got to the truck. All in all, the trail was very nice and almost perfect for adults, but I think it was a bit tough for kids carrying a pack and I wouldn’t recommend it until they are about 12. Pros - No bugs, pretty falls, nice campsites. Con - Difficult for kids, no cell service, crowded at the falls during the day.

hiking
4 months ago

harder towards the end, but rewarding views

hiking
4 months ago

Good trail with good views of the gorge and several falls. Minimal election change for several overlooks. Other parts of the trail have over 200 almost continuous steps on each side of gorge and over hundred down to the river. Permits are required for several spots and activities ( trail to slide back country and top of inspirational point and climbing rappelling). Take water although there are a few water fountains along the way.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Good hike. You will have lots of company on it during the morning and early afternoon. Lots of campsites along the river but they were pretty clean. The falls are a great place to swim and cool off!

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is best hiked during the work week or early in the morning. There is a highly active and aggressive yellow jackets nest right as you make it to the falls. I came out with 13 stings and 5 for my dog. Bring Benadryl and carry sting salve. If you take the trail where the railing has been busted at the falls (typically I discourage going off trail) you will avoid the yellow jackets nest. Be safe! And thank you to the kind man and his dog that helped me out!

hiking
4 months ago

I love this hike! However, it’s become so heavily trafficked these past few years that it’s not too fun to hike anymore. Folks that are camping leave their trash everywhere (beware the feminine hygiene products), and there are so many unleashed dogs that barrel past you in tight areas that you could easily plunge to your death. Other than that it’s absolutely gorgeous. We took our 1-year old in a carrier and our 5-year old. It’s a bit of a long hike (with kids plan on 3 hours in, 3 out), but a fun hike nonetheless. The last time we went the gentleman in front of us disturbed a yellow jacket nest and we were swarmed and stung multiple times. Carry Benadryl and/or an EpiPen since it’s quite a ways back to the cars if you encounter a problem. There is another entrance that is usually less traveled (The Yonah Dam side), but it isn’t as scenic as the main entrance. My suggestion for this hike is to get up at the buttcrack of dawn to arrive early, and go on a weekday to avoid huge crowds! The falls are definitely worth the hike.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike w/ my son, age 13, on a Friday in July. Brought along our 85lb GSD. The reviews are accurate, very enjoyable hike, easy in many parts, but a little challenging in a few, especially with a leashed dog. We started at the western trailhead and headed east to the falls. You could keep going another 2-3 miles to the Eastern terminus but we just turned around at the falls. GPS had us about 4 miles in and another 4 miles out, 8 miles total. Last mile to the falls (and back out) is most challenging. We got a little rain and I thought the rocks might get slippery but they really weren't bad. I was in my trail running shoes and son was in some regular Nikes. No problems. My dog is a jumper but if you have a big dog that can't jump his own height you might have a struggle on your hands in two parts where the trail requires you to pull yourself up 2-3 feet. Little dog no problem, just set him up there. Great camping spots and plenty of places to filter water. We didn't camp but did refill water. Shared my 3L CamelBak, refilled on the way out. Probably drank 4.5 liters total between the two of us. 2 hours in, 1 hour at the falls, 2 hours out. Do this hike, it's great!

hiking
4 months ago

nice trail but I wont bring my dogs next time.

Load More