Salt Rock Trailhead Project Information

Mainspring Article

January / February 2017 

Friends of Panthertown has EXCITING NEWS!  We have an opportunity to protect an important property directly adjacent to Panthertown Valley at the Salt Rock entrance.  Friends of Panthertown is partnering with Mainspring Conservation Trust, a 20 year old regional land trust based in Franklin (formerly the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, or LTLT), to purchase 16-acres that borders the west side of Panthertown, immediately to the right of the Salt Rock entrance.  This property was on the market for several years and could easily have been lost to development.


Part of the 16-acre private property Mainspring hopes to purchase.

Ultimately, this land will be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service, expanding the acres included in Panthertown Valley’s protected borders. This property will enhance the Panthertown user experience at the Salt Rock entrance by:

  • Allowing enhanced trail access,
  • Providing good camping sites,
  • Improving the Salt Rock entrance’s limited parking, and
  • Protecting the view from inside Panthertown Valley when looking at the Valley’s Salt Rock perimeter.

Photo: Pointing to Salt Rock

Friends of Panthertown Board Member Mike Purdy points out to Mainspring’s Jordan Smith areas where the view would be affected if the land Mainspring hopes to buy were sold to a private owner.

While Mainspring negotiated a favorable price, together we still need to commit more than $195,000 to acquire the land and we need your help for this important project. 

While some of you have just renewed your membership, these are unique circumstances. Every dollar donated brings us closer to finalizing this acquisition, making a difference to Panthertown’s future.  100% of our Friends of Panthertown Board has pledged to personally contribute to this project.  Additionally, a generous Mainspring donor has agreed to match all donations up to $100,000.  So each dollar you give will double your gift and allow us to reach our goal twice as fast.  


You can help make this acquisition happen by “financing” a piece of this special land.  For example:

  • 1/1000 acre = $12
  • 1/100 acre = $120
  • 1/10 acre = $1,200
  • 1/4 acre = $3,000
  • 1/2 acre = $6,000
  • 1 acre = $12,000

Click here to read a copy of Mainspring’s Fall 2016 article on this project providing more details. Note that, although the article says they hope to close by the end of 2016, the deadline was extended to March. Still, time is of the essence. Please consider a generous, tax deductible gift towards this important land acquisition.  Click here to make a secure online donation towards the purchase of this important property.

Friends of Panthertown appreciates your past support.  By contributing to our new partnership with Mainspring, you help us continue our important mission to work with the U.S. Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource, while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley.


Margaret Carton

Friends of Panthertown Board President

Can we count on your pledge?

Click here to make a secure online donation with PayPal.

100% of your gift will be matched by an anonymous donor!


Generous Friends of Panthertown Donors who have supported the Salt Rock Property Acquisition:

Thomas Atherton, Linda Beard, Robert Blackwell, Dave Borden*, Chris & Anne Bulleit* in honor of Addison Reece Harvey, III and Donald V. Bulleit, Barbara Carlin, Margaret & Bob Carton, Justin Castleberry, William Clark, Deborah Cooney, Bill Dickason, Sylva & Alice Dyer, Anonymous, Dan Goldberg*, John & Carol Green, Junius Grimes*, Ocie & Jo Ella Harris, Bill Jacobs, Ennis & Dru James, Howard & Marilyn Kaston, Mike & Susan Kettles, Jason & Karin Kimenker, Kinsell Family*, Greg Lambert, Tangie & Richard Mather, Anonymous*, Mark O’Neal, Mary Palmer & Hugh Dargan, Janice & Donald Pole, Susan Reeder, Carl Riden, Luke Riley, Tom & Sheila Rodgers, Frank Ryan, Pamela & Robert Shaw, Marcia & Steve Shawler*, Brian Smith, Alys Spillman, Barbara & Bill Thomason, Beth Townsend, James Trimble,  Debra Volpe, William Webb, Cary & Herron Weems*, Virginia Willard & Jack Olson, George & Laura Youmans

* = Special thanks to our Leadership Giving Donors!

Please contact us if you would like your name added (or removed).