August 30 – September 3 is Leave No Trace Hot Spot Week in Panthertown Valley.
Friends of Panthertown is excited to announce that Panthertown Valley has been selected as a 2021 Hot Spot by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. Programs will take place August 30 – September 3 in Jackson County, North Carolina. More details and ways to get involved are available at panthertown.org/hotspot
Panthertown Valley is one of just 10 locations receiving critical support from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics through its Hot Spots program in 2021. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Team will be at Panthertown Valley and in our community leading a variety of workshops and events, including opportunities for community involvement.
Let’s join together to strengthen our stewardship efforts to ensure we are conserving and protecting this special resource!
The Leave No Trace Hot Spot Program aims to provide visitors, land managers, volunteers, and the local community with tools and education to reduce severe impacts in natural areas and ensure a sustainable recreation future for all.
Hot Spots, including Panthertown Valley, are areas identified as suffering from severe human-related impacts that can thrive again with Leave No Trace solutions. Each location receives a unique, site-specific blend of programs aimed at a healthy and sustainable recovery.
Since 2010, Leave No Trace has conducted over 100 Hot Spots in national parks and forests, state parks, city parks, and more to set these areas on a path to recovery.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘Yosemite of the East,’ Panthertown Valley (part of the Nantahala National Forest of North Carolina) is home to dramatic granite cliffs, large waterfalls, trout-filled streams, and sweeping views. Because of these features, Panthertown is designated as a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area natural heritage site.
Thirty miles of backcountry trails in Panthertown Valley are open to hikers, and many of those trails also allow mountain biking and equestrian activities.
The well-established trail system and stunning landscape draw in more than 30,000 visitors from around the world each year. This ever-increasing level of visitation to an area less than 7,000 acres has caused significant impacts over the years, including campsite impacts, campfire impacts, and proliferation of undesignated trails.