We are hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, rock climbers, anglers, birders, scouts, and explorers. We love Panthertown and we work hard to protect this special place. Most importantly: We are volunteers.
We only maintain the trails officially recognized by the U.S. Forest Service. Although you may hike anywhere in Panthertown, our volunteers do not maintain the hundreds of miles of unofficial footpaths and user-created trails that crisscross the Panthertown Valley, Bonas Defeat, and Big Pisgah tracts of backcountry that comprise over 10,000 acres of Nantahala National Forest.
You may view the official Panthertown Trail System map (seen here) published by the U.S. Forest Service in June 2009. This map does not contain any of the unofficial (and unmarked) footpaths in Panthertown. Download USFS Map (708KB PDF).
Our friends over at Stay And Play In The Smokies have slightly modified the above map to make it easier to print out and navigate. Download their map here (9.9MB PDF). They also offer recommendations on places to go hiking and camping in Panthertown.
We highly recommend you get yourself Burt Kornegay’s Guide’s Guide to Panthertown. It’s the best map available. It’s not free, and you can’t download it, but it remains the most detailed map and guide for exploring Panthertown. Don’t leave home without it.
To have a better understanding of the trail system in Panthertown, view the U.S. Forest Service Decision Memo (DM) on the Panthertown Trail Project, signed in April 2009 by the District Ranger for the Nantahala National Forest. Download USFS Panthertown Trail Project Decision Memo (3.3MB PDF).
Would you like to leave us with a trail report? The more detailed your report the better.
Trail Condition Report
Other sources for Panthertown Valley trail information and hike suggestions:
HikeWNC provides an older list with descriptions of some of the most popular trails in Panthertown Valley. They also have a GPS map with downloadable data you may wish to view. As some trail descriptions may be outdated, use this info at your own risk.