Panther Branch Trail is a 4.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tellico Plains, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.1 miles Elevation Gain: 419 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

running

cave

forest

waterfall

wild flowers

over grown

rocky

washed out

Please note some users reported huge areas of downed trees and branches where going around was not an option.

muddy
over grown
rocky
1 day ago

I failed to look at the review past 3 months. The trail is ok for the first mile, after that there is so much over growth that it was nearly impassible, we had to cross the creek several times, clearing the area, some of the brush was chest high, with clearing in between. The trail is almost loss at times and there was a lot of traces of bear activity with chunks of fur, scat near the creek crossing. We made it till the end of the trail, lots of poison ivy, creek cascades were possible by crawling down, however very worth it. The larger cascades were blocked by many large trees and debri that made the stream into a trickle and getting to the top trail is blocked completely. Area is very pretty but is obvious it has not been kept up or maintained for a while.

hiking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
scramble
16 days ago

After crossing the bridge, scramble up the rocks to the right and you will eventually find the trail head. The trail was fairly well marked with white paint on trees. Most of the way we paralleled the creek but it was rarely visible due to thick brush (mostly Rhododendrons). A good portion of the trail passed very swampy and buggy mud holes. We were glad to have insect repellent. We only went about 1.2 miles along this trail before turning around. Up until this point, there were several downed trees that we had to climb over and muddy spots we had to maneuver around but they weren’t a significant challenge. However, we were glad to have our Hiking poles for the assist. We decided to turn around after multiple attempts to get beyond dozens of fallen rhododendron bushes that fully hid the trail. We got tired of fighting our way through. At about the 1.1 mile part we heard roaring water we believe may be creek cascades ??? We could not see them or get anywhere near the creek due to the densely forested and steep terrain. It was evident that some major logs had been cut and removed from the trail fairly recently. Until folks with chainsaws get in and clear things out, I would say that the hike is impassable.

hiking
1 month ago

Couldn’t pass the first creek after about 1/16 of a mile. Big rain a couple days before. Trail needs maintained, but beautiful area..

hiking
over grown
8 months ago

The path was overgrown. It was marked with White worn out blazes. Told my hiking partner that if I were to walk this path again I'd bring a machete and can of white spray paint to help maintain the path. Most of the path didn't really have any good views in my opinion. Near the end there is a falls and cave which were interesting, but as the other reviews stated, they were a little off the path. It was a hike through the forest. If you are looking for a hike where you see open vistas and natural wonders, this is probably not the right path. The trail head is not easy to find. Once you get off the bridge you have to travel to the right down the river for about 30 yards to find the trail head. If you are a novice or not in the best of shape this will be a very challenging hike for you.

hiking
over grown
11 months ago

The trail is very overgrown. We could not hike the entire trail because of a huge area of downed trees and branches. Climbing over was dangerous and going around was not an option.

Sun Apr 15 2018

The first mile was good, relatively clear, except for the gazillion felled trees and stream crossings. The second mile was the same with trees and water, but it picked up a lot of sawbriars and rhododendron....then the trail disappeared. It was well marked until it wasn’t. You definitely need long pants to get through this jungle.

hiking
Thu Aug 10 2017

The trail was very grown over and the trailhead not marked. We had to walk down the creek to find the trail. The waterfall and cave was off the trail and you could not see through the brush. We had to backtrack and look for it. This trail is best done in the winter or early spring because of the dense vegetation. It was a easy hike and after finding the trailhead well marked with white blazes.

Sat Apr 08 2017

the trail is a decent trail. the area is overgrown, with laural. the creek runs along, the trail. but it is so overgrown, you hardly ever see it.

Sun Mar 26 2017

Just finished this trail with my son. Loved the views, the trail itself is fairly well maintained. There are a couple of water crossings that are best done barefoot or with very tall waterproof boots. The Falls we only found by accident. They are well off the trail and getting to the bottom was a bit difficult. Definitely worth it though! The trailhead is difficult to find. After crossing the bridge we nearly gave up until we waded downstream a ways and found it. since we live less than 30 minutes from this trail, I see us hiking it again!

hiking
Thu Jan 12 2017

Went again a month later. This time made it to waterfall which is off the trail. Rock overhang at waterfall. Don't know if this is the "cave", or if we just didn't find the cave. Didn't go to end, but app registered us hiking 4.7 miles round trip. Good day!

hiking
Fri Nov 25 2016

Beautiful hike, but overgrown with dog hobble and rhododendron. Many small stream crossings that can be rock hopped over. I could get to top of waterfall, but could not get to the bottom of it on this trip. It looked like the cave was down there also. Did not see a trail to get to waterfall and would have to go thru some thick underbrush to get to it. Definitely will return when less leaves and more water. Didn't make it to end...maybe another waterfall elsewhere. Previous comments noted two.? .......previous recordings are from panther branch trail in frozen head state park, whereas I recorded panther branch trail in Tellico plains! No emory or debord falls here. Just one that u need to cut thru underbrush to get to

Fri Apr 29 2016

Amazing. My friend an her daughter and Myself and my 6 year old did this last weekend and they loved it. Great hike

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
Thu Feb 23 2017

Thu Feb 23 2017