Welcome, Friends!

Make a donation in memory of Tony Austin
Tony was a dedicated volunteer in Panthertown.
He served on our Board of Trustees since 2012.
We send his friends and family our condolences.

Panthertown Valley is a treasured 6,311-acre backcountry recreation area located on Nantahala National Forest in the Canada township of Jackson County in western North Carolina near the mountain towns of Cashiers, Sapphire, and Lake Toxaway, not too far from Asheville, Brevard, Franklin, 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 volunteers maintain 30 miles of backcountry trails, and our members and partners support conservation projects in Panthertown Valley with donations and grants.

Thank you for your support!

everyone is welcome to help us protect and maintain this special place


  1. Has anyone hiked to Schoolhouse Falls from Lake Toxaway’s Meadow Ridge off of Panthertown Road? We tried and tried to find the trail but did not. We did find some great blackberry picking though.

  2. several years ago a friend asked me to go on a little hike with him. well, that turned into a long hike and one of the best times i have ever had. i think we walked all day. i have lots of pics that i am very proud of. i will never forget that day.

  3. hello, I am looking for a map of the area for hiking to waterfalls. I see that the forest service has a map, however I can’t get on the site to request one.

  4. This is an incredibly good blog about your group and your mission. I can remember when we still owned the camping and backpacking store “Venture Out” that some of our fastest selling topo maps were for Panthertown. I can’t join you tomorrow but wish you great success doing your maintenance and hope to join you another time. I also have a blog which I’ll be happy to promote your group and include a link to your site in the hopes of attracting more volunteers.

  5. My wife and I tried the Rock Bridge Road entrance for the first time this weekend and hiked the Turkey Knob Trail. When we were rounding a bend near the powerline, we saw our first bear in the wild as it was running up the trail away from us. We decided to head back to the car, since we didn’t know if it might have been a mother with cubs. We then drove to the end of Rock Bridge Road and hiked the trails there.

    How common are bear sightings in Panthertown; and should one have more concern for bears here than in Dupont Forest, for example?

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