Posted by: panthertown | March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Notice for Panthertown

Panthertown COVID-19 Notice March 28
Read More…
Posted by: panthertown | February 28, 2020

Hiring Trail Stewardship Coordinator

Panthertown Volunteers
Join Our Team

Friends of Panthertown is currently hiring a paid part-time Trail Stewardship Coordinator to coordinate and manage all volunteer activities in Panthertown Valley, with a focus on safety and sustainability.

The Trail Stewardship Coordinator will also coordinate, teach, and lead a public education program focused on backcountry stewardship and Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics.

Volunteer opportunities are also available. Contact us for more details.

Deadline for applications is March 27, 2020
More info:

Download Job Description

Panthertown Volunteers
Posted by: panthertown | November 21, 2019

Autumn in Panthertown

Jill Cash and Kitty Myers at Schoolhouse Falls in Panthertown Valley – Autumn 🍂 2019
Photo contributed by Thomas “Badger” Mabry

Friends of Panthertown Executive Director, Jason  Kimenker, accepts a $7,500 donation from Panthertown Map  Association, non-profit publishers of Burt Kornegay’s “A Guide’s Guide  to Panthertown”. You can order your copy online at
Friends of Panthertown Executive Director, Jason Kimenker, accepts a $7,500 donation from Panthertown Map Association, non-profit publishers of Burt Kornegay’s “A Guide’s Guide to Panthertown”. Available at local retailers or order your copy online at

The autumn 2019 edition of The Panther’s Roar newsletter is now available for download. Read news about Panthertown Valley and find out more about the important conservation work we are doing.

Panthertown selected for recreation impact intervention

Panthertown Valley is one of 14 locations nationwide to be selected as a 2020 Leave No Trace Hot Spot. Hot Spots identify areas suffering from severe recreational impacts that can thrive again with Leave No Trace solutions.”

Read more at Smoky Mountain News.

Black Balsam Outdoors

Our friends at Black Balsam Outdoors (562 West Main Street in Sylva) are celebrating their 1 year anniversary with a party on Saturday, December 7 from 6-9pm and a BIG RAFFLE for your chance to win some great outdoor adventure gear. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Friends of Panthertown. Tickets are available now through December 7. More details on their Facebook event page or call them at (828) 631-2864.

Friends of Panthertown

Friends of Panthertown is greatly appreciative of our volunteers and supporting members. Thank you for helping us protect and maintain this treasured backcountry recreation area.

You can join Friends of Panthertown as a volunteer or member, or contribute with a donation anytime to help!

Friends of Panthertown is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit at Greatnonprofits!
Thanks to the work of our volunteers, Friends of Panthertown received a 2019 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits! Read inspiring stories about us and add your own.

Bill Jacobs event is September 6

Whence These Special Places? The Geology of Cashiers, Highlands & Panthertown Valley

Author and amateur geologist Bill Jacobs offers an enlightening FREE program about the geology of Highlands, Cashiers and Panthertown Valley. How did Whiteside Mountain come to be? Why is our plateau here? Mr. Jacobs will explain this and much more in this fascinating talk about the geology of our local area. His newly-published book will be available for purchase and signing at this free program hosted by Friends of Panthertown at the Albert Carlton – Cashiers Community Library.

This book presents the geology of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau of Western North Carolina. Using everyday language and over 100 photographs and graphics, it explores how the region’s mountains, waterfalls and other special features formed, and how geology has created both their similarities and their differences.

Panthertown Valley is home to more than a dozen featured Special Places listed in the book.

Reflecting Bill’s interest in Earth Sciences in the local schools, special pricing will be available for Blue Ridge and Summit students and staff.

The book will be available at the event (with $5 of each sale going to Friends of Panthertown). It can also be purchased at City Lights Bookstore, Cornucopia, Highland Hiker, and Zoller’s Hardware, as well as at

About Whence These Special Places?

Cashiers, Highlands and Panthertown Valley are part of a high-elevation area known as the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. Located in southwestern North Carolina, the Plateau is unique not just for its elevation, but also for its soaring walls of bare rock, numerous waterfalls, and grand vistas. Whence These Special Places? explores the geology that has produced this special area at this particular point in the Earth’s 4.6 billion-year history.

While solidly grounded in science, the book is written for the non-scientist, using everyday language and concepts. Its large format was chosen to better display over 100 photographs, each selected both for its beauty and its power in explaining the geology.

It is difficult to live on or visit the Plateau without wondering about its physical features — Why are its valleys so high (and the roads up to them so steep and curvy)? Why do Dry, Bridal Veil and Schoolhouse Falls have sheer drops, while Granny Burrell Falls and Warden’s Falls are smoothly rounded? How did those great rock walls come to be? Why does Whiteside Mountain have a different shape than Bald Rock, and why is Rock Mountain rounded while its close neighbor Chimneytop has a pointy summit?

To explore these questions, Whence These Special Places? opens by discussing 500 million years of geologic processes that have produced the broader area we call the Blue Ridge. As the narrative comes forward, it focuses on processes that make the Plateau unique, including its numerous plutonic intrusions and the erosion patterns that have shaped the modern landscape.

The second half of the book is devoted to applying the principles thus developed to more than 60 individual Special Places — the mountains, waterfalls and other features that have been known and loved by generations of the Plateau’s settlers, residents and visitors. In each case, the author identifies the underlying geology that makes a particular feature similar to or different from its neighbors. The discussion is informed not just by more than a century of academic work by dedicated geologists, but also by the author’s personal field trips to each feature. In a number of cases, his field work identified previously unmapped geologic relationships that he believes are important in understanding the nature and shape of particular Special Places.

Whence These Special Places? will serve in different ways for different readers at different times. It is a highly readable treatise on the geology of the Blue Ridge and the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau. It is also a field guide that will enrich visits to the Plateau’s waterfalls and mountain trails. And when at rest between such uses, it will serve as a photographic compendium of the region’s spectacular natural features, suitable for the coffee table of any mountain home.



“The Highlands and Cashiers region is not only stunning but the geology is fascinating. The localities featured in this book are noteworthy, and I think the book’s accessible geologic perspective will make them even more interesting and enjoyable to visit.” – Dr. Jackie Langille, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental Studies, UNC Asheville

“I agree with Bill that “whence” is indeed a concise word for the myriad of questions surrounding the striking geologic features of the Plateau. He describes the geologic history of the Southern Appalachians in easy-to-digest language with little sacrifice of detail or higher-level scientific reasoning. His admiration of these places, along with their sources and causes, highlights just how special they are to individuals as well as to cultural and geologic history.” – Dr. Brittani D. McNamee, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, Department of Environmental Studies, UNC Asheville

“I thought I understood the geology of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, but Bill Jacobs’ readable and entertaining geologic tour of the Plateau and many of its unique sites has given me a much deeper and better understanding of the processes that shaped our wonderful places here in the mountains of North Carolina.” – Dr. Gary Wein, Executive Director, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust

Posted by: panthertown | August 10, 2019

Defend Your Right to Be Involved In Public Land Decisions!

View our comments

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; We borrow it from our children.

The Southern Environmental Law Center reports that the U.S. Forest Service is proposing sweeping policy changes that would eliminate public involvement and environmental review for most national forest decisions, including logging projects, road construction, and even pipelines. Please take a moment to tell the Forest Service that your voice is important to public land decisions.

If you haven’t already made your voice heard on the proposed rule changes, now is your chance! The U.S. Forest Service has extended its comment deadline to August 26th. Many of the changes in the proposed rule are based on adding or expanding existing categorical exclusions. If you love our forests, we ask that you speak out against these changes, which would effectively remove the public from public lands management.

The rule would allow the Forest Service to cut 4,200 acres in national forests throughout the country, with no advance notice and no public comment. This would stop alternatives from being suggested, would stop transparency, would stop our public voices as citizens.

US Forest Service proposal to speed up logging, cut environmental analysis, public input Asheville Citizen-Times (August 9, 2019)

Don’t Let Them Silence You
Blue Ridge Outdoors
August 1, 2019

National forests in Southern Appalachia are among the most popular in the country. The Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina is the nation’s second-most visited national forest, with nearly 7 million visitors last year. According to the U.S. Forest Service’s own 2014 Visitor Use Survey for the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest, over 90 percent of forest users are hikers, mountain bikers, paddlers, trail runners, and other nature-seeking outdoor enthusiasts. Without their input into future decisions, our forests will become less hospitable to the activities they enjoy.

Don’t Let Them Silence You Blue Ridge Outdoors (August 1, 2019)

The public still has an opportunity to comment on the proposed rule changes. The comment period for the proposed rule was extended. Comments must be received in writing by August 26, 2019 at or visit Southern Environmental Law Center’s action page for the Forest Service rule change at

Panthertown is designated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission as part of the Panthertown-Bonas Defeat Bear Sanctuary.

Asheville, NC – June 6, 2019 – Visitors to Panthertown on the Nantahala National Forest are asked to take precautions to avoid bears after recent reports of increased encounters.

No injuries have been reported. Encounters include bears stealing packs and riffling through camping supplies and gear. The bears will often stay in the area of the incident for multiple hours.

This time of the year black bears are opportunistically looking for food that campers and trail users bring on their trips.  

According to District Ranger Mike Wilkins, “Bears become used to people due to the close proximity of residential neighborhoods and the regular use of the same camping spots. Once there is more natural food available across the forest the bears should be less aggressive.”

While black bear attacks on people are rare, such attacks have resulted in human fatalities.

To avoid bear attacks, experts recommend the following:

  • Keep your dog on a leash in areas where bears are reported.
  • If you notice a bear nearby, pack up your food and trash immediately and vacate the area as soon as possible.
  • If a bear approaches, move away slowly; do not run. Get into a vehicle or a secure building.
  • If necessary, attempt to scare the animal away with loud shouts, by banging pans together, or throwing rocks and sticks at it.

If you are attacked by a black bear, try to fight back using any object available. Act aggressively and intimidate the bear by yelling and waving your arms. Playing dead is not appropriate.

Visitors are encouraged to prevent bear interactions by practicing these additional safety tips:

  • Do not store food in tents.
  • Properly store food and scented items like toothpaste by using a bear-proof container.
  • Clean up food or garbage around fire rings, grills, or other areas of your campsite.
  • Do not leave food unattended.
  • Never run away from a bear-back away slowly and make lots of noise.

A reminder to forest visitors that bear canisters are required in the Shining Rock Wilderness in the Pisgah National Forest. Since this requirement has been in place the number of successful black bear attempts to getting campers food has significantly decreased. Remember to be bear aware.

For more tips, visit or go to and click on “Learn about Bear Safety”

For more information about black bears in Panthertown visit

Panthertown Valley is a black bear sanctuary. Bears live here. This is their home.
Bear Encounters
An important reminder from the U.S. Forest Service

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