Directions to Panthertown Valley

Panthertown is located in Western North Carolina between Cashiers and Lake Toxaway

Looking for a map?
We recommend the U.S. Forest Service Panthertown Valley Trail System map (published in 2013) and Burt Kornegay’s Guide’s Guide to Panthertown (revised 2017).

Interactive maps of Panthertown: Hiking Project | All Trails | Trail Forks | Hike WNC

Panthertown contains more than 10,000 acres of public land on Nantahala National Forest, including Panthertown Valley (6,311 acres), the Panthertown Valley Trail System (30 miles), Bonas Defeat, and the Big Pisgah tract of Pisgah National Forest. Not all areas are accessible. It’s easy to get lost. Bring a map and stay on the trails.

Directions to Salt Rock Gap trailheads (west entrance) in Jackson County:

Link to Google Maps

From Cashiers at the NC 107 / US 64 Junction, take US 64 east for 2 miles to Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120) on left. Take Cedar Creek Road 2.3 miles to Breedlove Road (SR 1121) and turn right. Go 3.5 miles to end of pavement, turn left onto gravel road to parking area. Drive slowly and watch out for potholes. Trailhead begins at gate located at end of gravel road. Access Panthertown Valley Trail (FS 474: hike, bike, and horse), Blackrock Spur Trail (FS 447A: hike only). and Blackrock Trail (FS 447: hike, bike, and horse).

Coming from Asheville/Brevard/Lake Toxaway, take NC 64 west past Sapphire, turn right at Cedar Creek Road (SR 1120). Then follow directions above.

Directions to Cold Mountain Gap trailheads (east entrance) in Transylvania County:

Link to Google Maps

From Brevard, take US 64 west for 16 miles to Blue Ridge Road (NC 281) in Lake Toxaway. Turn right. Go 0.8 miles to Cold Mountain Road. Turn left and go 5.8 miles to end and turn left onto Panthertown Road (gravel). Go 0.1 miles to parking lot entrance (Hogback Spur A), on right. Trailhead begins here for Panthertown Valley Trail (FS 474: hike and bike only),  Greenland Creek Trail (FS 488: hike only), Mac’s Gap (FS 482: hike and bike only). No parking or access for horse trailers. 

Coming from Cashiers, from NC 107 / US 64 Junction, head east 13 miles to Lake Toxaway.  Turn left at Blue Ridge Road (NC 281). Then follow directions above.


Directions to Flat Creek trailheads (north entrance) in Jackson County:

From Lake Toxaway at the NC 281 / US 64 Junction, take NC 281 north for 9.1 miles to Rock Bridge Road (SR 1140) on left. Take Rock Bridge Road for 0.8 miles to small parking area with Rattlesnake Knob Trail (FS 452: hike, bike, and horse) on left. Continue for another 2.3 miles to a larger parking area, suitable for horse trailers. The Turkey Knob Trail (FS 469: hike and horse only) starts across the road from the large parking area.

Coming from Sylva/Cullowhee/Tuckasegee NC 107, at Tuckasegee take NC 281 south for 15.9 miles to Rock Bridge Road on right. Then follow directions above.

Please remember to always practice the Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics when visiting Panthertown Valley and Nantahala National Forest. Pack it in, pack it out. Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs.

Leave No Trace Seven Principles:

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

Panthertown Blooms (September 2020)


The Salt Rock Gap trailheads are located in Glenville, NC close to Cashiers and Sapphire.

Panthertown Blooms (September 2020)


The Cold Mountain Gap entrance is located close to Lake Toxaway, NC. There are no horse trails here.

Panthertown Blooms (September 2020)


The Flat Creek parking lot is located near Tuckasegee, in the Canada township of Jackson County.

Not all those who wander are lost.


Friends of Panthertown protects and maintains this special place. Volunteer!

Become a Friend today to help us conserve Panthertown for future generations to come.