Hike this 7 mile roundtrip trail following the Panther Creek banks to one Georgia’s most popular and beautiful waterfalls.
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|View trail map & driving directions|
The hugely popular Panther Creek trail travels to a series of beautiful waterfalls in north Georgia. This hike’s final destination, Panther Creek Falls, is a series of wide, multi-tiered waterfalls that spill into a serene, deep blue pool of water below. And the level, sandy flat surrounding the is perfect for camping, offering dreams under the stars with a backdrop soundtrack of rushing water, making the hike a prime Georgia backpacking destination. (If the prime, falls-side campsites are full, campsites line the 3.5 mile trail’s stretch to the waterfall, available to the first backpacker to grab them. Hint: arrive early on fair-weather weekends.)
The trailhead departs opposite the parking area on Historic 441 (directions on page 2), following Panther Creek downstream and traveling under the highway overpass. The trail dives into a young forest, the highway sounds disappearing behind, turning to rejoin Panther Creek at .25 mile before crossing a small side creek at .5 mile. The hike climbs elevation, leaving Panther Creek below as it travels through a clearing, the sound of the creek audibly rushing 50 feet below through several courses of waterfalls.
The trail reaches a large campsite at .6 mile before approaching a massive rock outcrop overhang at .85 mile. Hiker traffic has heavily eroded this section of the trail, causing it to be rerouted; green blazes mark the current trail.
The hike climbs elevation at 1 mile, trailing through a wooded area high above the creek valley. Several smaller, out-of-sight waterfalls on Panther Creek continue to roar audibly below the trail. The hike drops elevation to approach the creek, now flowing serenely, before crossing Panther creek via a large wooden bridge at 1.4 miles.
The hike trails a flat, sandy floodplain of the creek, crossing the first of many tributaries flowing into Panther Creek at 1.9 miles.
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