Panther Creek Recreation Area


Area Status: Open

THE PICNIC AREA AND TRAIL ARE OPEN TO INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED HIKERS ONLY. BRIDGES AND TRAIL REPAIRS STILL NEED TO BE COMPLETED TO MAKE THE TRAIL SAFER FOR OTHER HIKERS IN 2023/2024.

Enjoy a picnic, hold a Boy Scout troop meeting, or have a family gathering within the historic CCC structures of this wooded recreation area. Directly adjacent to the picnic pavilions visitors can follow their picnic with a mesmerizing day hike to the awesome falls on the 3.5-mile (one-way) Panther Creek Trail.

Panther Creek Panther Creek Panther Creek Panther Creek Panther Creek

At a Glance

Current Conditions: The picnic area and trail remain open. The Panther Creek Trail is opened to intermediate and advanced hikers only. The Chattooga River Ranger District has issued a hiker warning for the Panther Creek Trail in Habersham County Georgia. Bridges are no longer in place requiring hikers to Ford Panther Creek and minor tributaries. Sections of the trail tread washed away and passage to the falls is possible just use extra safety precautions. We appreciate visitors' cooperation while staff works to make the trail safe and address resource damage.
Operational Hours: Sunrise to Sunset for the picnic area and shelters. No overnight camping in or around the picnic area or parking lot. Thank you NEWPay for your activity pass at Panther Creek Falls Day Use Area and Trailhead with the Recreation.gov Mobile App. Log into your Recreation.gov account through the mobile app and scan the QR code at the area.  Follow the on-screen instructions. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one to use Scan & Pay. Please have your proof of payment available for review upon request.
Reservations: Reservations are not accepted.  Occupation of picnic sites are on a first come first serve basis.
Fees: Standard Amenity Fee - $4/Vehicle/day Amenity fees are for use of Toilet Building, Trash, Picnic Areas, and/or use of Parking Lot.
Open Season: Open year-round
Restrictions: The hiking trail is strictly for foot-travel only
Closest Towns: Clarkesville, GA
Water: Drinking water is provided from fountains at the picnic area
Restroom: 1 Vault restroom facility
Passes: All the America the Beautiful passes are accepted at this site for a 50% discount on your day use recreation fee.
Operated By: USDA Forest Service
Information Center: NEW:  Pay for your activity pass at Panther Creek Falls Day Use Area and Trailhead with the Recreation.gov Mobile App. Log into your Recreation.gov account through the mobile app and scan the QR code at the area.  Follow the on-screen instructions. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one to use Scan & Pay. Please have your proof of payment available for review upon request. Please contact the Chattooga River Ranger District for more information at (706) 754-6221 or sm.fs.crrd@usda.gov.

General Information

Directions:

 Physical Address: 3995 Old Historic 441, Turnerville, GA

 


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities

Day Hiking

Panther Creek Foot Trail is a total of 6.6 miles of moderate hiking, point-to-point.  From the (northern-end) Trailhead it's about 3.3 miles to the falls.

The trail consists of steep slopes, rocky paths and sometimes requires crossing very narrow and precarious stretches of trail. Please hike with caution and watch your step!

*Do not mistake the high shoals at mile 2.3 for the waterfall--you have another mile to go!*

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Picnicking

Enjoy the CCC built structures initiated by President Roosevelt as a response to the Depression. Amenities include:

  • Two stone picnic shelters
  • 1 group area
  • quaint trail bridge over Panther Creek
  • Vault Toilet
  • Paved delineated parking w/ signage
  • 10 picnic sites

General Info:

Directions

(Northern end)Trailhead and recreation area: from the Chattooga River Ranger office in Lakemont, travel south on US 441 for 3.5 miles to Historic 441 and turn Rt.  Continue on Historic 441 for approx. 1.5 miles.  The Panther Creek Recreation Area will be on the right and the trail begins across the street on the left.

(Southern end) Panther Creek Trail: Hwy 184 North (Panther Bridge Rd) which becomes Yonah dam Rd. to Panther Creek Rd.  Turn Lt. and follow Panther Creek rd. until it ends at parking lot at southern end  of trail. 


Photos & MultimediaPhotos & Multimedia