National Trails Day

Panthertown Valley

Each year more than 25,000 visitors and residents explore the trails in Panthertown Valley, a treasured backcountry recreation area and bear sanctuary in Nantahala National Forest. 

For more than a decade, Friends of Panthertown volunteers have maintained the 30-mile trail system for everyone to enjoy. Our mission is to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley. 

Together with our project partner, Mainspring Conservation Trust, and many generous donors, we recently raised $195,000 to purchase an important 16-acre piece of property located adjacent to Panthertown’s popular Salt Rock trailhead entrance.  Ultimately, this newly acquired conservation land will be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service to be added to Panthertown’s protected borders.

We invite everyone who loves Panthertown to celebrate with us on Saturday, June 3, National Trails Day, from 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. at Salt Rock.  There will be plenty to do for the whole family, demonstrations and kid’s activities, plus (guided hikes and) lots of self-guided exploring.  Hike, bike, run, and play on the trails all day, rain or shine.  Enjoy live music, bring a picnic lunch, bid on silent auction items, and enter to win a Yeti Hopper 40 cooler.  At noon, there will be a ribbon cutting, and experts will be on hand to share knowledge and answer questions about Panthertown.

There will be time for you to tour the newly protected property, scope out a campsite or hammock spot in the woods, and trek up a short path to the property’s ridge.  It is sure to be a fun-filled day of adventure and celebration. 

Salt Rock is located at the end of Breedlove Road in Cashiers.  Parking is extremely limited along the bumpy 1/4 mile U.S. Forest Service gravel road leading to trailhead.  We strongly suggest you arrive early, carpool and share a ride.

Visit or send e-mail to for more info.