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Panthertown Valley Trail

Hike, bike and explore this gem, which is home to large waterfalls, scenic trails and panoramic views. Known as “the Yosemite of the East,” this is one of the most spectacular areas in the southeast.

Comprised of more than 6,311 acres of rugged backcountry land in the Nantahala National Forest, Panthertown lies on the eastern continental divide in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and is listed as a Natural Heritage Site. With more than 30 miles of U.S. Forest Service-designated mixed-use trails, visitors can enjoy deep gorges and broad valleys, mountain bogs and granitic rock domes, tranquil creeks and plunging waterfalls. The backcountry recreation area offers stunning nature, waterfall and riverside hikes and seemingly endless scenic vistas. A map should be purchased at a local outfitter store and is highly recommended to traverse the area. Learn more at

Contact Information

Get Directions 35.151495, -82.962236
Photo of Panthertown Valley Trail

Get Directions to Panthertown Valley Trail

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A map is highly recommended to hike in Panthertown Valley. Burt Kornegay’s “A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown Valley” can be purchased at area outdoor outfitters and also online. Additionally, visit for complete information on Panthertown Valley before your visit.

The U.S. Forest Service requires anybody who stays overnight in Panthertown Valley to use a bear-resistant container or place odiferous items in one of three bear lockers installed in the popular backcountry area.

Directions to Panthertown:

Salt Rock Gap Trailhead
From the NC 107/US 64 junction in Cashiers, take US 64 east for 2 miles to Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120), on left. Take Cedar Creek Road 2.3 miles to Breedlove Road (SR 1121), turn right. Take Breedlove Road 3.5 miles to trailhead parking area. Paved road becomes gravel the last 0.2 miles. (From Glenville, on NC 107, take Bee Tree Road (SR 1124) 0.4 miles to Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120), on right, then take Cedar Creek Road 3.1 miles to Breedlove Road, on left.

Cold Mountain Gap Trailhead
From Brevard, take US 64 west for 16 miles to Blue Ridge Road (NC 281). Turn right. Go 0.8 miles to Cold Mountain Road (SR 1301). Turn left. Go 5.8 miles to the end and turn left onto Panthertown Road. Go 0.1 mile on gravel to parking lot entrance, on right. From Cashiers, take US 64 east for 13 miles to where Blue Ridge Road, NC 281, turns left at Toxaway.)

Flat Creek Road Trailhead
From the NC 281/US 64 junction at Lake Toxaway, take NC 281 north for 9.1 miles to Rock Bridge Road (SR 1140), on left. Take Rock Bridge Road for 3.0 miles to the parking area, on right. This is the only parking for Panthertown Valley suitable for horse trailers. (From Tuckaseegee, on NC 107, take NC 281 south for 15.9 miles to Rock Bridge Road, on right.)

View more hikes on the Jackson County hiking/trail map (download).

Trails and Waterfalls can be dangerous; take no chances, only photos for memories. Read our Safety and Insider tips to have a safe, fun and enjoyable trip to Jackson County.

Leave No Trace — Seven Principles

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

For more details, visit
©1999 by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

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