If you’re a hiker and you’re not familiar with Panthertown, you should be. If you are a lover of waterfalls and you’re not familiar with Panthertown, you should be. Panthertown Valley is a part of the Nantahala National Forest located north of US 64 as it winds through the mountains between Toxaway and Cashiers, NC. Comprised of 6300 rugged, pristine mountains, there are more than 25 miles of trails connecting the various geological features and the 20 waterfalls.
Protecting this marvelous natural area are The Friends of Panthertown, a volunteer group who, working in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, maintain trails and parking areas and distribute information about Panthertown.
This map is one of those distributions. It is actually published by a fellow famous for his efforts to map and guide the area, a fellow named Burt Kornegay. Burt not only leads hikes in Panthertown but runs Slickrock Expeditions and guides adventurers on major trails around the country.
It is a nicely-sized (not too big or too small), waterproof map with lots of history and information about Panthertown on one side. On the other is a topographic map of Panthertown Valley overlaid with all the official Forest Service trails, unofficial footpaths, parking areas, waterfalls and geographical features.
This is a serious map of a serious area. Unless you are a seasoned hiker, it isn’t recommended that you grab this map and take off down the trail. There are no descriptions of the trail or photos of the area’s highlights. Therefore, if you are uncomfortable with the lack of such details, use this map along with information gathered from another source. For you waterfall hikers, good sources are Allen Easler’s NCWaterfalls.com or Kevin Adam’s Waterfalls of North Carolina.
If you have any plans to hike Panthertown, you need this map*. Although it might not have all the trail and waterfall detail you might be looking for, you’ll not find another map better representing Panthertown’s topography and the related trail system.
*Available for $12 from Slickrock Expeditions, P.O. Box 1214, Cullowhee, NC 28723