Current Volunteer Opportunities
All volunteers are appreciated!
Contact us if you’d like to volunteer your time, serve on a committee, lend your professional skills, be a part of one of our public events, or help out in any way at all. Everyone is welcome.
Hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians are needed to help us maintain the trail system!
Our volunteer days are the great time to give back, go hiking, and have fun with your friends. If you’ve noticed that the trails you are hiking in Panthertown Valley are worn deep from the tread of too many boots, you can do something about it. Panthertown has more than 30 miles of public trails to maintain. Volunteer at one of our monthly Trail Work Days to help us maintain and improve our most precious trails. You won’t be alone. Our volunteers have contributed thousands of hours helping us maintain the trails, bridges, and staircases in Panthertown Valley, installing and maintaining trail markers, removing trash, identifying and removing invasive species of plants, and learning Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics. Our volunteers are the heart of our organization. Become one!
The trails in Panthertown are always in need of some maintenance. So grab your work gloves, lace up your hiking boots and join us at a Friends of Panthertown Trail Work Day.
Check our Calendar of Events for a list of upcoming work days.
Anyone interested in volunteering is welcome to attend – no previous trail work experience is necessary, however we do recommend you have some hiking experience and the ability to hike on gravel and dirt trails. Tools and instruction will be provided. Call 828-269-HIKE (4453) or e-mail if you’re interested in putting together a service project, would like to volunteer, or just need more information.
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 4 to 5 miles – working along the way; we take a lunch break when stomachs start growling; and we usually finish up by 2:30 or 3 pm. It’s a lot of fun and the best part is that you go home tired and content knowing that you helped to maintain the trails for everyone to get to enjoy. A good deed, indeed!
Inclement Weather Policy: the Trail Work Day will be canceled if it’s raining (or snowing).
To receive notices about future volunteer opportunities, such as work days, call 828-269-HIKE (4453) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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. [Note: Parking is limited along the gravel road, so visitors are advised to park their cars on the pavement just before the gravel road begins and hike in.]
To Cold Mountain Gap (east entrance):
From US 64, take NC 281 0.7 miles north. Go past the Lake Toxaway fire station (coming from US 64 this will be on your right). Turn left (north) on Cold Mountain Road and continue 6.0 miles. When the road ends (Canaan Land, a private development, will be straight ahead) bear left on a gravel road (there is a Forest Service sign here that indicates Panthertown Access). Then turn right on the first gravel road to reach the trail-head parking area. (If you miss the turn you’ll end up in a residential development.) Parking is very limited along this road.
AWARDS & INCENTIVES
Volunteering is a lot of fun and we greatly appreciate the work that our volunteers do. Having safe, maintained trails is incentive enough — but we have some bonuses for those who help out more than a few times.
As a Friends organization working in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Friends of Panthertown volunteers can receive Volunteer Awards in recognition of their outstanding volunteer service. Each year in September at our annual volunteer appreciation gathering we hand out awards and recognition to our most committed volunteers.
We have awarded our volunteers with gift certificates, camping gear and discounts from local outdoor outfitters such as REI Asheville, Blackrock Outdoors (Sylva) and Highland Hiker (Cashiers and Highlands). We have awarded Friends of Panthertown stickers, water bottles and t-shirts; U.S. Forest Service Volunteer Award recognition pins, patches (every 100 hours), hats (at 200 hours), a Interagency Volunteer Pass (250 hours), t-shirts (500 hours), jackets (750 hours), belt buckles (1,000 hours) and other great incentives. Complimentary memberships are awarded to all volunteers who work at least four work days with us per year. Some volunteers have worked with us over 500 hours each year!
What are the benefits of the pass? The pass covers the entrance and/or standard amenity fees on lands managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and Bureau of Land Management. Passes are valid for one year from issuance date.
How can I qualify for a Volunteer Pass? Accrue just 250 hours of volunteer service on participating Federal public lands [including Panthertown Valley and Nantahala National Forest] and you can receive a Volunteer Pass in recognition of your efforts. Simply coordinate tracking of your hours with your volunteer supervisor or volunteer coordinator.
Return to Friends of Panthertown MAIN PAGE
Friends of Panthertown, Inc.
P.O. Box 51
Cashiers, NC 28717
Phone: 828-269-HIKE (4453)
“Protecting and maintaining Panthertown Valley”