Panther Creek Falls
Panther Creek Recreation Area, Georgia
Difficulty
hike difficulty
9.2
Length
hike difficulty
6.6
Duration 2 - 4 hours
Elevation Gain 860 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Panther Creek Recreation Area
Parking Fee $3
Blaze Lime Green
Nearby City Tallulah Falls, GA
Trailhead Coord. 34.698856, -83.419356

One of the best hikes in north Georgia, Panther Creek offers a relatively easy trail with an impressive waterfall as the payoff. Panther Creek Falls trail is a well maintained, 6.6 mile roundtrip trail that’s great for families or for hikers looking for a relaxing half day adventure. However, due to the close proximity to Atlanta, this can be one busy path. Get there early or expect a crowd at the falls.



Although this is technically a point to point trail with one end on Yonah Dam road, this report covers the trailhead on Old Highway 441 to the falls and back. If parking in the lot, the trail begins across the highway. Starting high above the creek, the path quickly crosses under Highway 441 and then shortly through a power line clearing. Along these open sections you will find raspberries and blackberries in the summer. Once past these prominent signs of civilization, the trail returns to the forest and its natural beauty for the remainder of the hike.



The trail has undergone several changes in the past few years. This has included updating the blazes, which the most recent are lime green and very noticeable. You may also see the numbered markers. Either way, the trail is very easy to follow. For the first half of the hike, the trail stays above the creek, following the contours of the hills. It slowly begins to make its way down to meet the water and the first footbridge. This is roughly the half way point. Along this first section you will notice several camping sites and many more near the base of the falls; however, camping is not allowed along the trail, although it is clearly popular.



From here, the trail stays on the south side of the creek for the remainder of the hike. This section is flat and easy. The water is never far away from here on, making this a very relaxing and enjoyable hike. The last half mile of the trail gets a little more interesting, with the path making several steeper climbs above the creek and along rock ledges. Due to the popularity of the trail, these are all safeguarded with metal cable railing, making it safe for all ages and abilities.



The falls can be heard as you make your approach, which ends with a steep descent. The main falls is 40 feet high, but is wide and impressive. The pool of water at the base is great for swimming and the falls itself can be explored along the base. Be careful not to climb the falls; this is very dangerous.



The trail continues toward Yonah Dam road and the South Carolina border, but few go further that the falls. For those interested, the trail soon leaves the creek for most of the hike’s remainder. This section is far less maintained and may provide challenging as there are many fallen trees, some too large to get around easily.

IMAGES & VIDEO
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TERRAIN MAP
Green MarkerTrailhead   Blue MarkerPoint of Interest   Yellow MarkerDirections

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ELEVATION PROFILE
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GETTING THERE
Trailhead Coordinates
34.698856, -83.419356 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°41.93, W 83°25.16 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°41'56'', W 83°25'10'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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Most auto GPS units use the Degree Minutes format as the default.



Further Directions
Travelling north on 441, look for the sign on the right of the highway for Panther Creek Recreation Area indicating a left turn onto Glen Hardman Rd. Make a right on Old Hwy 441 for 1 mile. Parking is on both sides of the road.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Ranger District Information
Chattooga River District
9975 Highway 441 S Lakemont, GA 30552
706-754-6221



Cautions & Warnings
The climb down to the falls is the only difficult section along this hike.
All cliff edges have cable guardrails for security and support.