Hiking Panther Creek Falls made a perfect day on this crisp September fall morning. The trail to the falls is around a 3.5 mile hike (one-way) over moderate terrain. The tail is a a mix of hills and flat area. There are a few difficult areas along the trail with creek crossings, rock outcroppings and large exposed tree roots. Taking your time, watching your footing will make the hike safer.
The trail starts with moderate elevations and is rather rocky and has a large amount of exposed roots. Not difficult, but you do have to watch your step. The lower half of the trails is much flatter running along side of the creek bed. Plan to be on the trail for several hours. Just make sure you have some energy bars and extra water for the stretch.
Throughout the hike you can hear the rushing water and there are great views along the creek before you reach the falls. We ran into several hikers who had packed in for the weekend staying in a number of the primitive camping spots along the trails.
The trails to Panther Creek Falls offer much to see. Long wooded trails along the creek offer long views of the rolling creek along rock outcroppings. The trails were boarder by thick mountain laurel, stands of oak and hickory trees, ferns, moss and wild flowers. .
Around half way to the main falls, a smaller waterfall can be see with very large boulders, long spans of rolling rocks. This is a bit of a tease about what’s to be seen at the end of the trail to the main waterfalls.
A popular spot, we found around 15 people at the falls. There’s a very large pool at the bottom of the falls and even though this was the middle of September with temperatures barely 70, there were several who handled the cold water swimming in the pool and hanging around the base of the falls.
A fun day, great hike and the views were spectacular.
Panther Creek Recreation Area – https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recarea/?recid=10514
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