For 20 years, National Trails Day® has grown to inspire many thousands of people to enjoy trails on the same day nationwide. Trails give you the opportunity to get your heart pumping, lungs expanding, and muscles working at various levels of difficulty, thereby improving your physical as well as mental well-being. America’s 200,000 miles of trails allow us access to the natural world for recreation, education, exploration, solitude, inspiration, and much more. Trails take us to good physical and mental health by providing us with a chance to breathe fresh air, get our hearts pumping, and escape from our stresses.
We have good reason to celebrate! Panthertown Valley features more than 30 miles of public trails and footpaths spread out over 6,300 acres. Join Friends of Panthertown and REI Asheville on Saturday, June 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate the 20th anniversary of American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®.
This combination fun hike, swim and work project will have participants meet at the Cold Mountain Gap (east) entrance to Panthertown Valley near Lake Toxaway. Bring your bathing suit. There will be an opportunity to go swimming at the very popular Schoolhouse Falls. Get dirty helping with trail work and earn a limited-edition REI volunteer shirt. A light trail breakfast will also be offered by REI for those who show up at the trailhead by 9:30 a.m.
All ages are welcome at this family-friendly event. Well-behaved leashed dogs are also welcome to join us on the trails.
Please wear closed-toe shoes, dress to get dirty, bring lunch and snacks, plenty of water, and any other personal (medical) items you may need. Some tools and gloves will be provided to loan-out, but bring your own work gloves and pruners if you have them. Limited to 40 participants and spots are filling up fast! Registration is required. For more information call (828) 269-HIKE (4453) or www.panthertown.org
To Panthertown Valley’s east entrance (a.k.a. Cold Mountain Gap trail-head)
From points east (Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard): take I-26 south to US 64 west to NC 281 north.
From points west (Cashiers, Highlands, Franklin): take US 64 east to NC 281 north.
From points north (Sylva, Cullowhee, Dillsboro, Cherokee): take NC 107 south to US 64 east to NC 281 north (or) take NC 107 south to NC 281 south to Cold Mountain Road (right turn just before Lake Toxaway fire department).
From US 64 take NC 281 0.7 miles north. Go just past the Lake Toxaway fire station. Turn left (northwest) on Cold Mountain Road and continue 6.0 miles (the lake will be to your left when you get on this road). When the road ends (Canaan Land will be straight ahead) bear left on a gravel road. There will be a U.S. Forest Service sign for Panthertown here with an arrow. Then turn right on the first gravel road to reach the trail-head parking area. You are now on USFS property. Park along this gravel road. (If you miss the turn you’ll end up in a residential development.)
Visit our Calendar of Events for up to date information about special events and volunteer opportunities in Panthertown Valley. Learn more about giving back to Panthertown by becoming a member or by volunteering at one of our trail work days. Visit the Friends of Panthertown volunteer information page for more information about what to expect, what to bring and how you can help.
Sign-up to participate on June 2
You may RSVP for National Trails Day at our Facebook event page.