The mission of Friends of Panthertown is to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations and memberships are tax-deductible.
Friends of Panthertown
Annual Membership Meeting & Social Event
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
6 – 8 PM
Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center
355 Frank Allen Road, Cashiers, NC 28717
All are welcome!
There will be door prizes and other fun surprises at this free event, plus an opportunity to socialize with others who care for Panthertown. We will give updates on current and future conservation projects, and recognize the outstanding contributions of our volunteers, partners, and members. There will be time for questions, comments, and discussion.
Dr. Dan Pittillo, A.B., M.S., Ph.D., Biology and Botany, a member of the Friends of Panthertown Board of Trustees and resident expert on Panthertown Valley’s ecology, will give a short presentation on Panthertown’s plants and flowers. Dan is a retired Professor of Biology who taught plant science and ecology at Western Carolina University for four decades (1966-2004), and directed the Western Carolina University Herbarium from 1970 to his retirement in 2005. He served as the Editor of the Chinquapin newsletter for the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society from 1993 to 2012 and is one of the co-founders of Friends of Panthertown.
Board member Burt Kornegay, adventure guide and author of A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown Valley, will be on hand to answer questions about his newly revised map, and to swap stories about favorite hikes in Panthertown. Burt is a veteran of the US Marine Corps (1972-74). He has a B.A. in history from the University of Oregon (1976) and an M.A. in English from the University of N.C. at Chapel Hill (1980). He was president of the NC Bartram Trail Society for 12 years, and he is co-author of the NC Bartram Trail series of maps. Burt is a freelance writer with numerous published articles about wilderness skills, backwoods safety, and natural history. Burt has been written about in such magazines as National Geographic, Backpacker, Blue Ridge Country, Southern Living, Cooking Light, American Hiker, Southeastern Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife In North Carolina, and Our State. He is also one of the co-founding members of Friends of Panthertown.
Photographer Todd Ransom, creator of Waterfalls of Western North Carolina, and member of Friends of Panthertown, will be on hand to answer questions about his recently released book, Waterfalls of Panthertown Valley.
Please join us on Tuesday, August 19 for what is sure to be an enjoyable evening.
Our next Trail Work Day is scheduled for Saturday, August 23. Check back on our website for more details.
Our interns work directly with our Executive Director and Board of Trustees to gain valuable organizational training and outdoor leadership skills, help lead work days, develop conservation projects, plan outreach events, assist with coordination of volunteers, learn about grant funding, and share enriching experiences with others who care deeply for Panthertown. Please contact us as soon as possible if you wish to be considered for this position. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (828) 269-HIKE (4453) for more information.
We are an equal opportunity organization. All are welcome to participate.
Join Friends of Panthertownin “the Yosemite of the East” this weekend, Saturday, July 26, for a fun day of hiking and trail pruning. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join us on the trails, and tools will be provided for those who would like to borrow one. If you would like to participate, meet us at 9:30AM at Salt Rock Gap trailhead (the western entrance to Panthertown Valley), located at the end of Breedlove Road in Cashiers, North Carolina. Our friends at REI Asheville have provided some cool giveaways for those who show up, plus each volunteer will get entered into a drawing to win from an assortment of outdoor goodies.
Volunteers should bring: a day pack with lunch, water, and rain gear (just in case). Bring work gloves if you’ve got them, otherwise we have extras to loan out if you don’t have your own work gloves. We recommend you wear a good pair of shoes with socks when working on the trails with us.
Here’s what to expect: we usually hike about 5-6 miles – working along the way; we take a lunch break when stomachs start growling; and we usually finish up by 3pm. It’s a lot of fun and the best part is that you go home tired and content knowing that you just did your good deed for the month.
Inclement Weather Policy: the Trail Work Day will be canceled if it’s raining.
To receive notices about future volunteer opportunities, such as work days, call 828-269-HIKE (4453) or e-mail email@example.com. You can also subscribe to our e-mail alerts and newsletters by entering your e-mail address in the subscription box on in the upper right menu of this website.
Directions to Salt Rock Gap (west entrance):
Approximately 1.5 miles east of Cashiers on US 64, turn north (left coming from Cashiers, right coming from Sapphire/Lake Toxaway) on Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120). Continue on Cedar Creek Road for 2.2 miles and bear right (northeast) on Breedlove Road (SR 1121). There is a Forest Service sign here that indicates Panthertown Access. Drive 3.3 miles to the end of Breedlove Road until the pavement ends and turns to gravel. Continue ¼ mile on the Forest Service gravel road that leads to the Salt Rock trail-head parking area. Drive very slowly as this road has many dips and pot holes.
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Friends of Panthertown is hosting a horse exhibition and silent auction at the Bald Rock equestrian community in Sapphire, NC on Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to benefit conservation and maintenance projects in Panthertown Valley.
Admission is free and everyone is invited to this fun and exciting event! Parking is $10 donation per vehicle and carpooling is encouraged. Lawn chairs and picnic blankets are welcome, but please leave dogs at home for the safety of all the animals.
See The Horses, Meet The Horses
More than a dozen different breeds of horses will participate in an exhibition at the Bald Rock equestrian arena at high noon on Saturday, June 28. Horses will include a majestic Gypsy Vanner, a Friesian, Paso Fino, Trote Gallope, and many others. Bring your children to meet and greet the horses before and after the show.
Bid Generously, Bid To Win
Silent auction items will be available to bid on starting at 10:30 a.m. in the barn with tables closing bids by 12:30. Bidders must be present to win, or have an agent designated to pay and retrieve their items prior to 2:30 p.m.
Download printable event poster (PDF format)
Hike A Waterfall
A guided waterfall hike to beautiful Maidenhair Falls within Bald Rock will start at 10 a.m. Group size is limited to 15. Those wishing to hike should arrive early to check-in.
A light lunch consisting of a hot off the grill hamburger, hot dog, or black bean burger, chips, home baked cookies for dessert, and a drink will be available for $7 beginning at 11 a.m. You are also welcome bring your own food and drinks and have a picnic.
Enjoy Mountain Music
Musical entertainment will be on tap with old timey mountain roots music performed by a duo of talented local musicians. Adam Bigelow on bass and vocals, and Ian Moore on fiddle and vocals.
Family Friendly Activities
There will be various demonstrations and children’s activities going on throughout the event. Macon Faces Face Painting will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for the kids.
All For A Good Cause
All proceeds will benefit Friends of Panthertown, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Friends of Panthertown volunteers protect and maintain 30 miles of public trails in Panthertown Valley, a 6,300 acre backcountry recreation area in Nantahala National Forest. Donations and memberships are tax deductible.
Bald Rock is located at the top of Trays Island Road off US Highway 64 in Sapphire, North Carolina, about five miles east of Cashiers. Turn at the Sapphire National Golf Course and follow the signs to the top of the mountain for the horse show.
Schedule of activities:
9:30 a.m. Gates Open
10 a.m. Guided Hike to Maidenhair Falls
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Music, Demonstrations, Children’s Activities
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Silent Auction open in the barn
11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Horse Meet & Greet
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Lunch will be available
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Horse Exhibition
1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. Horse Meet & Greet
A special thank you to the residents of Bald Rock, to our generous silent auction donors, and to our event sponsors for helping to make this horse exhibition possible: The Divide at Bald Rock, McKee Properties, Natural Retreats, Cruise Planners Travel Agency, The 1945 Old House, The Corner Store, and WhiteWater Equestrian Center.
Happy Earth Day!
Every day we are grateful for the magnificent natural world all around us.
Today is Earth Day and we celebrated with a hike in Panthertown Valley, of course. The fruits of spring are already very abundant in the valley, with lush new growth, and a significant increase in wildlife and black bear sightings reported throughout the area – a reminder that we are just visitors here.
Join us this weekend, all day Saturday, April 26 at Greening Up The Mountains festival in downtown Sylva, North Carolina for a celebration of the arrival of spring in the mountains. We will have all kinds of Panthertown goodies to give away. Stop by our booth for details.
Bears Love Panthertown
Panthertown Valley is designated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission as part of the Panthertown-Bonas Defeat bear sanctuary. Bears live here and are protected here. This is their natural habitat. Do your part to avoid their curiosity.
Save The Date: Saturday, June 28
You are invited to join us for a celebration of Panthertown and benefit for Friends of Panthertown on Saturday, June 28 at the Bald Rock equestrian community in nearby Sapphire Valley, adjacent to Panthertown. Join us for the 2014 Bald Rock Horse Exhibition & Silent Auction, a benefit to fund important conservation projects in Panthertown over the next year. Read about the event here and invite your friends.
Become A Friend
Show your support for Panthertown, today! Join Friends of Panthertown as a supporting member or trail volunteer. Your involvement is greatly appreciated and will inspire new generations of forest stewards, trail advocates, and conservation leaders.
Friends of Panthertown volunteers protect and maintain 30 miles of public trails in Panthertown Valley spread out over 6,300 acres. We love Panthertown and we work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to protect this special place.
We are very thankful for each of our supporting members and volunteers, and the many friends we have met along the trails in 2013. We believe you should be proud of what we have accomplished this past year with your support. We would like to thank each of you for your dedication and commitment to protecting Panthertown. Through generous membership donations and the work of our inspiring volunteers, we have accomplished many important conservation projects this past year.
So far in 2013, our volunteers have contributed more than 1,000 hours caring for Panthertown, making recreational improvements, and maintaining 30 miles of public trails for all to enjoy. We have continued our work in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service to improve the entrance road to Salt Rock Gap, we have expanded the existing trail system by opening up Carlton’s Way to day hikers and backpackers, and we have re-routed the middle section of the popular Wilderness Falls Trail to provide for safer access to this magnificent waterfall destination. There is still much work to be done, and your continued dedication and support is essential for the success of our mission.
Each time you and your friends visit Panthertown Valley you are benefiting from the work Friends of Panthertown does!
Since 2007, our organization has been instrumental in partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to create and maintain a sustainable trail system in Panthertown Valley. Our volunteers have worked hard, contributing over 8,500 hours valued at more than $146,000 to maintain and improve the public trails in Panthertown!
With your help, we have provided funding for much-needed conservation projects, trained and engaged hundreds of volunteers, purchased tools and materials for trail maintenance and improvements, constructed informational bulletin boards at the Salt Rock Gap and Cold Mountain entrances, installed trail markers to help prevent visitors from getting lost, built staircases and repaired bridges throughout the valley, collaborated with multiple user groups to develop solutions to natural resource issues, monitored sensitive and fragile ecosystems, and encouraged environmental stewardship of Panthertown Valley through outreach and education.
We need your continued help to carry on with the work that we do!
Remember, Friends of Panthertown is the only organization tasked by the U.S. Forest Service to protect and maintain this very special place. Each year, more and more people discover this incredible natural treasure. This increase in visitors has brought many dollars into our local economy at a time when it is most needed. However, more feet on the trails means more work needs to be done to maintain this magnificent natural resource throughout the year. The success of our organization’s mission relies on the continued passionate and committed support of dedicated volunteers, members, and donors, just like you!
Friends of Panthertown provides volunteers and funding for much-needed conservation projects in Panthertown Valley.
There is still much work left to do. We would greatly appreciate your support to help us accomplish important trail projects. Your generous membership donation will also assist us in qualifying for grants for projects such as improving the trailheads at each entrance, creating new interpretive and educational programs for our visitors, and constructing a boardwalk and viewing area for all to enjoy and protect the sensitive ecosystem of the high elevation mountain bog in Panthertown. We are working on your behalf to protect this special place.
Join, renew, or gift a membership, today. It’s an easy way to give back.
Wishing you and your family a warm and happy holiday season.
2013 Board of Trustees:
Tony Austin, Pat Hawkins, Mike Kettles, Burt Kornegay, William McKee, Dan Pittillo, Margo Purdy, and Tom West
We are happy to report that all 30 miles of non-motorized trails in Panthertown Valley remain open to the public. Expect to see additional cars in the parking areas and increased visitation in the valley due to nearby national parks being closed.
All volunteer activities in our national forests have been put on hold by the U.S. Forest Service until further notice. Keep following Friends of Panthertown for updates.
Here is an interesting related article published this week in Smoky Mountain News about shutdown of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a National Geographic article National Parks: Shutting Down America’s Best Idea.
Join Friends of Panthertown in “the Yosemite of the East” for a fun day of hiking and trail pruning. Volunteers of all ages are welcome to join us on the trails, and tools will be provided for those who would like to borrow one. If you would like to participate, meet us at 9:30AM at Salt Rock Gap trailhead (the western entrance to Panthertown Valley), located at the end of Breedlove Road in Cashiers, North Carolina. Our friends at REI Asheville have provided some cool giveaways for those who show up, plus each volunteer will get entered into a drawing to win from an assortment of goodies. Plus, it’s a celebration of National Public Lands Day!
Invite your friends on Facebook.
Invite your friends! Everyone is welcome.
RAIN OR SHINE – FREE EVENT
UNDER A COVERED PAVILION ON LAKE FAIRFIELD – BRING YOUR FRIENDS
Don’t miss: Award-winning BBQ by Chef Charles Allen of Al’s BBQ & More.
Don’t miss: Live music by Deadly Banjos featuring Bill Coward on banjo, John Warren on banjo and mandolin, and C.W. Stewart on guitar.
Don’t miss: Raffle featuring original prints of fine art photography of Panthertown Valley waterfalls by Todd Ransom of Waterfalls of Western North Carolina and Ken Lane of The Photography of Ken Lane.
At Camp Merrie-Woode on magnificent Lake Fairfield, adjacent to Panthertown
100 Merrie-Wood Road (off US 64, about 4.5 miles east of the Cashiers crossroads)
Sapphire, North Carolina
We are hosting a party on the lake at Camp Merrie-Woode to thank our members, volunteers, and community for your support this past year. Join us on Tuesday August 20th, 2013 for a fun filled afternoon and evening of activities and festivities! We appreciate and would like to recognize all of the stewards of Panthertown Valley, especially YOU!
The concert features live music from the “Deadly Banjos”, a trio of talented local musicians from Cashiers, featuring Bill Coward on banjo, John Warren on banjo and mandolin, and C.W. Stewart on guitar. Bring your friends, rain or shine, and enjoy this free concert!
At Camp Merrie-Woode on magnificent Lake Fairfield
100 Merrie-Wood Road (about 5 miles east of NC107 Cashiers on US64)
Sapphire, North Carolina
Activities from 3-5 PM include hiking around the lake, viewing the magnificent waterfall located nearby, and visiting the lush moss beach. You’ll have a chance to learn about trail building by viewing an expert demonstration by our resident Friends of Panthertown trail leader, Mike Purdy. And, you’ll have a chance to meet others who care about Panthertown Valley, and share your stories.
Food and live music by the “Deadly Banjos” will be 5-8pm, bring your own picnic or get some here.
Free Admission! Please invite your friends and families. But, leave your pets at home. Thanks! We’ll be celebrating rain or shine, under a beautiful covered shelter, also known as `The Lily Pad’.
Authentic Carolina BBQ and other delicious food will be available for purchase from Al’s BBQ & More. Owner Charles Allen is an award recognized Sylva BBQ chef and caterer. Bon Appétit, y’all.
FRIENDS OF PANTHERTOWN ANNUAL PICNIC AND CONCERT
TO BE HELD TUESDAY, AUGUST 20 AT CAMP MERRIE-WOOD
CASHIERS, NC – Friends of Panthertown is hosting their annual picnic and concert this year on Lake Fairfield at Camp Merrie-Woode in Sapphire, North Carolina on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. The public is invited, admission is free, and the event will be held rain or shine under a covered picnic pavilion on the shores of Lake Fairfield. Food, beverages, and live music by Deadly Banjos will be featured from 5 pm to 8 pm, while daytime activities are planned from 3 pm to 5 pm. Friends of Panthertown volunteers are responsible for maintaining 30 miles of public trails in adjacent Panthertown Valley, the popular backcountry recreation area in Nantahala National Forest visited by so many from our area. The event is held each year to show appreciation to the volunteers, members, and community that give support towards the conservation of Panthertown Valley and to the combined work Friends of Panthertown volunteers donate each year.
Activities from 3 to 5 pm include hiking around the lake, viewing the magnificent waterfall located at Camp Merrie-Woode, and visiting the lush moss garden hidden in a beautiful cove at the end of the lake. Friends of Panthertown trail leader, Mike Purdy, will lead a trail building demonstration. Other volunteers from Friends of Panthertown will also be on hand to answer questions and to offer information about Panthertown. You will have a chance to meet others who care about Panthertown Valley, and share your stories. This is a great opportunity to meet other adventurers who have been hiking and backpacking in the valley for years, and some who are just discovering Panthertown for the first time.
Food, live music, and a festive social event will be from 5 pm to 8 pm, bring your own picnic or food will be available to purchase. Music will be provided by Deadly Banjos, a trio of talented local musicians from Cashiers, which features Bill Coward on banjo, John Warren on banjo and mandolin, and C.W. Stewart on guitar. Raffle prizes will be awarded and maps and other goodies will be available to help support Friends of Panthertown. Authentic Carolina smoked BBQ and other delicious food will be available for purchase from Al’s BBQ & More. Award winning chef owner Charles Allen has provided his BBQ at events throughout the area. His food and sauce alone are great excuses for attending this festive end of summer lake party in beautiful Sapphire, NC. Bring your own or get some there, either way, bon appétit, y’all.
Camp Merrie-Woode is located in Sapphire Valley at 100 Merrie-Wood Road off US 64 about five miles east of NC 107 Cashiers. The Friends of Panthertown encourage you to invite your friends, but please leave your pets at home. For more information or directions to the event please visit http://www.panthertown.org or call (828) 269-4453, or you may send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org