DEPARTURE TO TRAILHEAD is 9:40 AM from the Ingles Market in Cashiers, NC.
Panthertown Valley Back-Country Area is part of the Nantahala National Forest, located in Jackson County between Sapphire and Cashiers, NC.
This area is sometimes referred to as the "Yosemite of the East." Find granite rock domes with 300-ft. cliffs, deep gorges, broad valleys, bogs, trout streams and many waterfalls.
One of the highlights is Schoolhouse Falls (pictured above). Panthertown Valley is designated as a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. This hike will take us to 4 waterfalls and other scenic areas, the best Panthertown Valley offers. I am very familiar with Panthertown Valley and its history, which I will be sharing with the group as we hike.
The hike is EASY to MODERATE 7 miles total with a elevation gain of 900 feet. Our pace will be a comfortable stroll, approximately 2 miles per hour, stopping many times to take in the views. We will have one shallow creek crossing.
You will also have the option for a group dinner at Mica's Restaurant and Pub. Great menu and reasonable pricing for the area. Depending on group ability we should arrive at Mica's at 4:00 PM.
The travel time to the meeting place is 3 hours from Pineville, NC. For those who do not wish to return home after the hike you may consider spending the night in Brevard, NC. If you do choose this option you can visit DuPont State Park on Sunday. DuPont is 12 miles from Brevard on the way back to Charlotte.
I can also offer recommendations of local motels and hikes if you wish to make a full weekend visiting the Smoky Mountains. Jackson County, NC is a beautiful area visited by thousands of nature lovers. You can visit www.mountainlovers.com for more details.
Ride sharing from Charlotte may be arranged on the message board. I am arriving from the opposite direction. I recommend a Charlotte carpool meeting location of Roses Discount Store, located at 605 Park St, Belmont, NC 28012. Easy access to I-85 South, most Charlotte folks will be driving past this location. Arriving at 6:15 AM and departing no later than 6:30 AM will give you plenty of time to arrive at Ingle's on time at 9:30 AM.
From Ingle's we will caravan 15 minutes to the trail-head. I recommend drivers be paid $10.00 per person for driving expenses.
This hike is limited to 16 hikers. Will we have members from other hiking groups joining us. Please bring plenty of water, a lunch snack and a waterproof outer layer in case of rain. I will update prior to the hike with the local weather forecast.
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