Posted by: panthertown | March 28, 2019

Welcome Friends!

Panthertown Valley is a treasured 6,311-acre backcountry recreation area located in western North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest near the mountain towns of Cashiers, Sapphire, and Lake Toxaway, not too far from Asheville, Brevard, and Sylva.

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 member and volunteer supported 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our hard-working volunteers maintain the 30-mile backcountry Panthertown Valley Trail System and our members support much-needed conservation projects with donations.

Posted by: panthertown | March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Notice for Panthertown

All organized volunteer trail work days in Panthertown Valley are postponed until at least May 15, 2020.

Please practice responsible social distancing by observing CDC guidelines, and follow all local, state, and federal orders.

MountainTrue (March 27, 2020):
Download COVID-19 Trail Etiquette from MountainTrue (PDF)

American Hiking Society (March 24, 2020):
Hiking Responsibly – FAQs for Hiking During the Covid-19 Pandemic

#1 Rule:  Always, always practice social distancing and follow the guidelines of your local government or the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), whichever are more restrictive.

Asheville Citizen-Times (March 23, 2020):
Coronavirus: What is the trail etiquette for
staying safe on WNC hiking trails?

Press Release from U.S. Forest Service (March 27, 2020):
National Forests in North Carolina temporarily
shutting down all recreation facilities

National Forests in NC
160A Zillicoa St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Forest Supervisor’s Office
Public Information: 828-257-4200 Twitter: @NFsNCarolina

Asheville, NC, March 27, 2020 – To protect public health and safety and align with guidance from State of North Carolina health officials and experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recreation facilities at recreation sites on the National Forests in North Carolina (NFs in NC) will be temporarily shut down effective March 26. This includes picnic pavilions, shooting ranges and all restrooms, including those at trailheads and other recreation sites.   These shutdowns are in addition to previous announcements about developed campgrounds, several large developed day use areas, visitor centers and Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail systems, which remain temporarily shut down. Forest visitors can still enjoy non-motorized trails and dispersed camping at this time, as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.    For a list of facilities on the National Forests in North Carolina that are temporarily shut down, visit:

“We realize our communities and our visitors place high value on the recreation opportunities the Forest has to offer,” said Allen Nicholas, National Forests in North Carolina Forest Supervisor. “A lot of discussion and consideration went into this decision. The health and safety of our employees and the public remain our top priority. We believe people understand the serious risks posed by facilities that draw large numbers of people into close proximity to each other. We appreciate your patience and understanding of our efforts to mitigate those risks to protect public health and safety.”

The National Forests in NC asks members of the public to recreate responsibly by avoiding gathering in groups of more than ten people and not engaging in high-risk activities, like rock climbing, that increase the chance of injury or distress. Law enforcement and search and rescue operations may be limited due to COVID-19. In addition, visitors can help mitigate resource impacts while recreation sites are shut down by bringing home their trash (pack it in, pack it out), and by appropriately managing human waste by burying it at least six to eight inches deep and 200 feet away from water, trails and recreation sites.  The National Forests in NC will continue to coordinate its COVID-19 response in alignment with all federal, state and local guidance. Visitors to national forests are urged to take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For tips from the CDC on preventing illnesses like the coronavirus, go to:

Visitors are also encouraged to review the National Forests in North Carolina website for updates and more information, at:

Updates about the forest response to COVID-19 will be posted at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at

Posted by: panthertown | February 28, 2020

Hiring Trail Stewardship Coordinator

Panthertown Volunteers
Join Our Team

Friends of Panthertown is currently hiring a paid part-time Trail Stewardship Coordinator to coordinate and manage all volunteer activities in Panthertown Valley, with a focus on safety and sustainability.

The Trail Stewardship Coordinator will also coordinate, teach, and lead a public education program focused on backcountry stewardship and Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics.

Volunteer opportunities are also available. Contact us for more details.

Deadline for applications is March 27, 2020
More info:

Download Job Description

Panthertown Volunteers

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