Trails in the Panthertown Valley Trailhead Area
Using this information, you can combine these trails into several day hikes or overnight trips on loops or out-and-back routes to your favorite landmarks. If you would like more guidance, we also provide complete information - including maps, directions, descriptions, and photos - to guide you along what we consider to be the best hikes using these trails.
Here is a list of trails in the Panthertown Valley Trailhead area. For more information and a map (where available), click the trail name.
USGS/USFS Number: 447
This trail leads to the top of Big Green Mountain, with excellent views.
USGS/USFS Number: 491
USGS/USFS Number: 449
Starting at the Panthertown Valley trail downhill from Salt Rock, this trail descends to cross Frolictown Creek just above its small, scenic waterfall. Be careful at the crossing - it's slippery and the falls are just downstream. The trail is an old road and the surface reflects that. Continues to dead end at private property boundary in Deep Gap.
USGS/USFS Number: 448
USGS/USFS Number: 486
In addition to providing access to the long, sliding Granny Burrell Falls, and the huge pool downstream of them, this trail travels near some neat portions of Panthertown Creek. A Carlton McNeil classic, it twists and turns through some of the densest mountain laurel tunnels to be found anywhere.
USGS/USFS Number: 489
This trail was previously considered two trails by most, but the Forest Service has officially combined them into one. For this reason, it has two distinct characters on the two different sections that now share the same name. Starting on the Deep Gap Trail, the trail descends as an old road to cross Panthertown Creek upstream of Granny Burrell Falls. Shortly thereafter, it enters the level valley at the upper end of Panthertown Creek and passes an old hunting shelter. The trail is open to bikes and horses up to the shelter. Beyond, it is open only to hiking, and it travels generally south below the sheer cliffs on the west side of Big Green Mountain, before veering northeast away from the creek. Up to this point the trail is mostly level and there are very few obstacles, but here it ascends steeply on a narrower, rougher path until the end at the intersection with the Big Green trail southeast of the summit. Makes a part of a great loop which includes many of the waterfalls in the valley.
USGS/USFS Number: 488
Formerly called Carlton's Way, named after Carlton McNeil. Carlton was a nearby resident who loved the Panthertown valley and was known locally as its "keeper". He blazed many of the trails in the area, including this one, and his trails characteristically twist and turn through the undergrowth. This trail goes to one of the nicer destinations in the valley - Greenland Creek Falls - from the Cold Mountain parking area. The upland portion courses through a mixed forest while the creekside portions are sometimes wet and muddy.
USGS/USFS Number: 484
USGS/USFS Number: 485
The Little Green trail starts at the Panthertown Valley trail where it crosses Greenland Creek, near the Cold Mountain entrance to the valley. It starts on a level course along the creek, where there are some bridge structures to carry you over some muddy seeps. It is a short distance the right side of Schoolhouse Falls, one of the most popular places in Panthertown. This is where most people stop, but the trail veers right and twists up the slopes of Little Green Mountain. After a 600' climb through a mixed hardwood forest, you'll arrive at the top of Little Green Mountain, where there are some spectacular views and great early season blueberry picking. The trail then swings south, and joins with the Mac's Gap trail, making some good loop options available.
USGS/USFS Number: 482
Provides the quickest access to Greenland Creek Falls from the Cold Mountain trailhead on an old road bed. Then, ascends into the heart of the valley and descends again between Big and Little Green Mountains. Can be used to make a ton of loop options throughout the valley.
USGS/USFS Number: 452
There are spectacular 180-degree views of Big and Little Green Mountains, and the entire Panthertown valley, from the open summit of Blackrock Mountain. Can be made into a loop with the Blackrock, Panthertown Valley, and Powerline Road trails.
USGS/USFS Number: 474
This is the main trail through the valley which stretches from the Cold Mountain entrance to the Salt Rock entrance. Portions of this trail are open to horses and/or bikes. It passes near many of the main attractions within the valley, so many loop hikes will utilize it. The surface is generally gravel or dirt/doubletrack, with some lengths near Panthertown Creek that are sandy. Being an old road, grades are generally gentle to moderate.
USGS/USFS Number: 451
USGS/USFS Number: 452
USGS/USFS Number: 450
Formerly called the Green Creek trail. Passes near Riding Ford, Jawbone, and Warden's falls. Can be used with Powerline Road, Devil's Elbow, and Panthertown Valley trails for a great loop.
USGS/USFS Number: 469
USGS/USFS Number: 490
Starting just west of Salt Rock along the Panthertown Valley trail, this trail descends on a path with three distinct characters, past the base of Wilderness Falls. The upper portion is not recommended until a re-route of the middle section is completed. This re-route is officially proposed by the Forest Service as of July 2012.
The portion from the Panthertown Valley trail to the top of the falls is on an old road bed and is in generally good shape with moderate grades, with only a few eroded spots. Closer to the top of the falls, it's mostly level and in great shape.
The section from the top of the falls to the bottom is narrow, slippery, steep, and rough. This is the section that will be by-passed with a reroute. It comes out on a rock outcrop (the same one that forms the falls), and descends steeply alongside the waterfall to its base, directly down-slope. It's not great at all.
The portion from the Deep Gap trail to the base of the falls is in decent shape again, though - narrow and twisty in spots, with a few mud sections, but nothing terrible and no major climbs.
Thus, if you're just wanting to see the falls, come in from the bottom (Cold Mtn. Trail) and skip the middle part, until it gets re-routed. It's well worth it.