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Panthertown Valley Loop

Intermediate

Trail

5.5 mile 8.8 kilometer loop
89% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 822' 250 m
Descent: -791' -241 m
High: 4,062' 1,238 m
Low: 3,649' 1,112 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Trail Run Project Staff

A relatively easy run that has a few waterfalls and stunning vistas.

Trail Run Project Staff

Features Swimming · Views · Waterfall

Overview

What makes this 6.0 mile loop so interesting is the diversity of terrain. There are high alpine bogs, stunning waterfalls, granite overlooks, and a variety of unique fauna within the 6.0 miles.

Description

From the Salt Rock Trailhead, follow the gravel road down into the valley. At 0.1 miles, you'll come to an overlook known as Salt Rock. From here, you can see the entire valley of Panthertown.

Continue down the gravel road and look for a trail to the right marked as Mac's Gap Trail #482. Follow this narrow trail into a deciduous forest and eventually into a beautiful pine forest. At 1.3 miles, there is a spur trail to the right. Granny Burrel Falls is only about 200 yards down the spur. Backtrack to Mac's Gap Trail #482 and continue along the valley floor to Little Green Trail #485 (2.3 miles). Take a left on Little Green Trail, which starts as a moderate climb but gets steep, ascending a series of steps up the side of Little Green.

Once on the top, the trail follows the contour of the ridge line, and one must navigate across barren rock which can be a little difficult to follow. Watch for faint white arrows painted on the rock's surface and occasionally a green marker nailed to a tree or an exposed root. There are some tremendous views of the valley along this stretch.

After taking in the view of Tranquility Point, follow the steep trail down the backside of the mountain to School House Falls. After leaving School House Falls, the trail is on a raised boardwalk for a short stretch. Then comes to the Panthertown Valley Trail #474. Turn left and follow the trail back to Salt Rock trailhead.

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background

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Mar 30, 2019
Susan Johnson
9h 44m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 10 votes

#2540

Overall
  4.0 from 10 votes
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Run Rankings

#2,540

Overall
73 Views Last Month
4,345 Since Nov 26, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Schoolhouse Falls along the Panthertown Valley trail
Aug 13, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC
The School House Falls are one of the highlights of the Panthertown Valley Loop.
Dec 21, 2015 near Cullowhee, NC
Panthertown Valley provides pleasant views toward Green Mountain.
May 29, 2017 near Cullowhee, NC
Slickrock/bald rock face seen from Little Green Mountain Trail.
Dec 26, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC
View from a top Little Green Mountain Trail.
Dec 26, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC
Boardwalk on lower section of Little Green Trail.
Dec 26, 2019 near Cullowhee, NC

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