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Download PDF of Autumn Events

Upcoming Public Trail Stewardship Projects in Panthertown

Throughout the year we host public trail stewardship days with volunteer opportunities in Panthertown Valley on designated dates from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. (weather permitting) with plenty of time left in the remaining afternoon to continue exploring this special place.

Now accepting applications for volunteers to join our Stew Crew!

Volunteer at any of our public work days, as often as you’d like, whenever you are available. Everyone is welcome and no experience is required.

There are lots of opportunities to get involved, on the trails, in the office, or in the community. Let us know how you’d like to help!

Contact us with any questions.



Saturday, September 30 – Water New Year’s Eve Hike @ Cold Mountain Gap
Kara McMullen, Trails & Stewardship Manager, leads a hike to celebrate Water NYE!

The Water New Year is a little known holiday celebrated by hydrologists annually. Recognized by the US Geological Survey, the Water New Year was created in 1911 as a way to record hydrological movement and flow outside of the limits of the Gregorian calendar. 

By starting the New Year on October 1st, scientists are able to track the impacts of precipitation in the fall and winter more easily. This day also marks the beginning of ground water refill as vegetation goes into a dormant state for the cold season. 

Friends of Panthertown will be celebrating the 2024 Water New Year with a guided hike! Join us as we seek out the headwaters of the Tuckasegee River, beautiful waterfalls, and talk about how important water is in WNC and the world!

We will gather at the Cold Mountain Gap Trailhead on Water New Year’s Eve, Saturday, September 30th at 9am and enjoy our hike until re-emerging at 1pm. 

RSVP here!


Tuesday, October 3 Trail Work Day @ Salt Rock Gap

Saturday, October 14 from 12noon – 4pm
Volunteer Appreciation Party @ East LaPorte

Join us for a festive party to celebrate our volunteers at East LaPorte River Access Park with Friends of Panthertown.


Saturday, October 21NC Great Trails State Day + Trail Work Day @ Salt Rock Gap

North Carolina IS The Great Trails State!

Celebrate the inaugural Great Trails State Day on Saturday, October 21st, and join thousands of others on North Carolina’s amazing and diverse trail networks that span from the mountains to the coast.

Wednesday, October 25
Friends of Panthertown
Headquarters Grand Opening

Location: 116 Central Street, Sylva
Drop In: anytime between 12-6pm.

Join us for a grand opening, ribbon cutting, and open house at our new office headquarters located in Sylva. Meet our staff, tour our office, learn about our work, and enjoy some S’mores and beverages by a campfire. RSVP


Saturday, November 4 – Cherokee Storytelling Hike with Dr. Brett Riggs

Panthertown Valley walk-n-talk with Dr. Brett Riggs, Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University. It is the highest honor the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to present to non-Cherokees for their dedication to tribal history, heritage and sovereignty. We are thrilled to have Brett join us in Panthertown to share Cherokee history and culture while on the trail! (Salt Rock Gap)

Tuesday, November 7 Trail Work Day @ Cold Mountain Gap

November 14-16 – Sustainable Trails Training in Panthertown

Friday, November 17 – National Take A Hike Day

Friday, November 17 – Eastern Hemlock Hike with Entomologist Charles Dial

On this outing, we seek out the Eastern Hemlock.  We discuss its ecological importance as a foundation species in Appalachian ecosystems such as those found in Panthertown.  The Eastern Hemlock was the dominant conifer in the later stages of ecological succession in many Appalachian forests.  Unfortunately, the Eastern Hemlock is suffering from a terrible decline due to an infestation by a non-native, invasive insect, the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.  Learn about current efforts to manage this pest in an effort to save Eastern Hemlocks and restore their status as a foundation species throughout their historical range. (Salt Rock Gap)

Saturday, November 18Trail Work Day @ Cold Mountain Gap


Tuesday, December 5 Trail Work Day @ Salt Rock Gap

Saturday, December 16Trail Work Day @ Salt Rock Gap

Contact us for more information.

Volunteers in Panthertown
Friends of Panthertown volunteers practicing Leave No Trace at The Great Panthertown Campsite Cleanup (2021).

Volunteers Welcome

Would you like to go hiking in Panthertown and learn about the conservation work that we do to keep the trails maintained and the valley protected? You’ll get a guided tour of part of the valley and meet others who also love Panthertown. It’s a fun way to give back to this special place. Contact us with any questions you have, or to sign-up for a work day.

Everyone is welcome! No previous trail work experience is necessary, just a desire to help out on the trails. We usually hike around five miles round-trip on easy to moderate trails while doing trail corridor clearing, pruning, and some tread and drain work. It’s a great way to meet others who also appreciate Panthertown Valley.

Volunteers in Panthertown

If you have a group or organization that would like to work on trails as a service project or to Adopt-A-Trail, please give us a call at (828) 269-HIKE (4453) or send an e-mail, we can arrange a special day in Panthertown for your group.

Panthertown Volunteers (August 2020)

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Friends of Panthertown

Contact Information:
Friends of Panthertown, Inc.
P.O. Box 51
Cashiers, NC 28717
Phone: 828-269-HIKE (4453)

“Protecting and maintaining Panthertown Valley”