Panther Creek Trail

MODERATE 345 reviews

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 best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2073 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

beach

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

muddy

rocky

scramble

washed out

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.

4 days ago

This is hands down the best hike in the state of Georgia for those who like a spectacular challenge with a big payoff. I love to backpack this one, especially in the warmer months so I can take a dip and cool off in the falls.

hiking
26 days ago

beautiful trail. lots of scenery and terrain changes. followed the river except where fallen trees caused reroutes. however, about 4 miles in, the fallen trees become impassible so you can't get to yonah falls. clearly there is maintenance of the trail going on. otherwise, well marked. was quiet with only two other travelers in my early morning passing, but it was Christmas day.

1 month ago

excelente

2 months ago

I enjoyed the view, but carried to much for camping. A Lighter load would have been better.

trail running
2 months ago

Beautiful waterfall

2 months ago

Amazing trail with beautiful creek throughout. Of course the falls are gorgeous.

hiking
2 months ago

great hike, not too difficult, stunning views of the creek and waterfalls.

2 months ago

Diverse terrain, great waterfalls, moderate level

3 months ago

Great place for a quick overnight hiking camping trip. I loved the crash camping style of many of the hiking locations. It really feels like you're in the middle of nowhere.

Only downside was the trash around the falls. It's a heavily trafficked spot during the day (not too many camp out) so some garbage accumulates.

Definitely enter from the western trailhead. The eastern trail has many downed trees from a storm and getting through requires crossing a quick moving stream a few times.

backpacking
3 months ago

We did an out and back backpacking trip here in October, during the week. Heavily trafficked even on the weekdays. We came out on a Saturday, in the rain, and passed no less than 30 people on the trail heading west-to-east. West-to-east to the falls is an easy hike and we saw a family of 4 kids, none older than 7 years old, at the waterfall. We did not continue to the other end but rather set up camp back around mile 2.5. Best tent campsite we saw was around mile 3 heading west-to-east. It sits next to a cascading waterfall, but even that campsite lacked privacy. Campsites are plentiful, but all of them we saw lack privacy and some of them will have people walking right through your camp. It seems you can camp right at the falls if you don't mind your campsite being shared by many during the day. Water for filtering is plentiful. Hammock sites at the falls are limited. The trail has been recently maintained and the logfall across the trail removed. Two stars only because we like solitude. If you like your hikes to be more of a social experience, you might give it 5 stars.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked from the western trailhead to the eastern and back on 10/5. The easterly trip was tough due to many downed trees on the eastern half of the trail after the falls. This made things nearly impassable in places however after forcing my way I met 3 guys with chainsaws doing trail maintenance and the westerly trip back was significantly easier as they had cut a path through the worst of it (major props guys TY). As others have mentioned the eastern section is substantially more difficult, and many of the safety wires/railings are either completely torn down or unstable so do not grab the wires expecting them to support you without testing them first - some of the falls could be serious. All in all a great hike!

hiking
3 months ago

A little long for a recreational hike but it's worth it. The falls were excellent.

4 months ago

I enjoyed this trail twice in 2 weeks and my lab "Seary" was so tired after the day.

hiking
4 months ago

Richard D is right about the downed trees being perilous ... however me and a friend (and a couple other hikers) traversed it today. It requires some flexibility and care, but it's doable.

hiking
4 months ago

WARNING! If you approach from the Yonah Dam side you may not be able to make it to the falls. There are three large downed trees that are very perilous to cross over when you are within sight of the falls. A friend gashed his shin trying to make it over. Coming back from the falls towards Yonah would be very tough getting over the trees. If you slip it's a decent drop downwards. Not worth it IMHO.

Otherwise the hike is lovely. No trash and only saw two hikers. A stark contrast from the West side approach. Expect a strenuous 600' ascent with no switchbacks. There is also a .5 mile section that is very technical and can be dangerous if you aren't careful. Slippery rocks, muddy trails that have been washed out, a couple of rock scrambles, and some narrow sections sloping downhill with a 50' sheer drop. Trekking polls and hiking shoes/boots highly recommended. Not recommended for novice hikers.

Would give it a higher rating if the trees are removed and made it safer to get to the falls.

hiking
4 months ago

BEAUTIFUL, fun trail, lots of roots so caution to trail-runners. Well worth the drive for the first part but warning, if it has recently rained you'll find your footing SLIPPERY as the trail wears on, and the sheer drop offs can make it hazardous to young children and some pets. It's fun and can be challenging, but GORGEOUS especially in the spring and fall! Bring cool water for everyone, including pets!

5 months ago

Absolutely punishing hike but scenic enough to keep you interested the whole way. The falls themselves are beautiful and would recommend an eno if you got one

hiking
5 months ago

I love this trail, there are a few very tough spots and downed trees to climb over but it's a great hike. I would however classify it as a hard hike, moderate is misleading for this trek in my opinion when most people are expecting a slighty intense walk in the woods. You're with the creek most of it so it's great views and tons of big rocks to climb on for breaks in the water. The falls are heavily populated during tourist season and most weekends. Very Difficult for dogs, mine had a blast, definitely can't keep them leashed your dog needs to be on point with commands or trailing for the full hike from yonah dam!

5 months ago

Disappointed in the falls, the rock climb to the top would not be classified as moderate. Trees down all over the trail.

camping
5 months ago

The trail itself is heavily traveled and lots of roots and slick rock areas. The waterfalls are FANTASTIC with a nice lagoon type area to enjoy the water.

However... . I have never seen SO much trash on any one trail in all my years of hiking in Georgia. Plastic water bottles, juice boxes, and used toilet paper all along the trail. Very sad to see.
"Pack it in.. Pack it out"!!

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