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Thread: Panther Creek

  1. #1
    Senior Member shanewalker10's Avatar
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    Panther Creek

    Some friends and I will be at Panther Creek, near Clarkesville, Ga this coming up weekend or week...any body else getting out there this weekend?
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

    Genesis 1:31

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    Quote Originally Posted by shanewalker10 View Post
    Some friends and I will be at Panther Creek, near Clarkesville, Ga this coming up weekend or week...any body else getting out there this weekend?
    I might get out this weekend. I don't think a lot of people know where Clarkesville is, it is on Old US441 in NE Georgia. When I have driven through, it looks like a neat downtown area with a lot of neat shops and people around.

    Are you going in from the Old US441 trailhead or the other end of the trail near Davidson Creek or Yonah Dam?
    Youngblood AT2000

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    It is just south of Tallulah Gorge area on 441.

    The wife, a friend and I hiked down Panther Creek to the falls weekend before last. Nice hike. The last hundred yards are rough. Be careful. I did notice several good camp sites that could accomodate a good number of hangers. Saw a few camping groups that Sunday. No hangers though. A couple of the camping areas are at places that would allow for easy access to slow areas of the creek, i.e. swimming. Most of the creek is less than 3' deep but it is wide with many cascades. Nice place.

    Dave

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    Senior Member shanewalker10's Avatar
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    This is my first time going, we will be going from the side that is by 441, not Yonah Dam. There will be 3 us of hanging and I've heard this trail can get crowded in the spring so I'm hoping its not too crowded when we go. Def. wont be swimming yet, but i was thinking of maybe taking a fishing pole and see if there are any goods spots to fish, but I don't know about that yet.
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

    Genesis 1:31

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    Senior Member thekalimist's Avatar
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    ahh man you are gonna have a blast! This is one of my favorite places to hang.

    As earlier mentioned, the last 100 yds before the falls its super gnarly. Also, right by the falls seems like a great place to hang but it gets crowded by late AM plus the falls are pretty loud. Made that 'mistake' twice! It is absolutely incredible under the falls. Id suggest continuing along the trail about another 200 yds and there is a great site about 100 ft off the trail on the left right where the creek forks around a pile of boulders. absolutely awesome and well past dayhikers and cubscout troups.No offense to them but i like a bit of seclusion in the woods.

    Its worth checking even with the haggard startup of the trail when you get back on it. If i remember correctly it was teeming with good sized fish.

    No matter what you're gonna enjoy it. Dont forget your camera!
    Happy hanging!
    ...in it for pics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shanewalker10 View Post
    This is my first time going, we will be going from the side that is by 441, not Yonah Dam. There will be 3 us of hanging and I've heard this trail can get crowded in the spring so I'm hoping its not too crowded when we go. Def. wont be swimming yet, but i was thinking of maybe taking a fishing pole and see if there are any goods spots to fish, but I don't know about that yet.
    It is $3 per day per car parking at the Old US441 trailhead. You need the correct change and a pen to fill out the info on the envelop you pull. It will be crowded and the parking lot will overflow on nice weekends with day hikers in the afternoons. But even if you park on the side of the road you need to pay. Probably 98% of the hikers and camper will be between the main falls that are 3.6 miles from the Old US441 trailhead and that trailhead.

    It is a beautiful place with lots of places to camp. I'm not crazy about using the water from Panther Creek but there are not too many more localized feeder streams. My oldest guide book from the 1980s warned of the water in Panther Creek because it comes in from farm and cattle land so that always resonates in the back of my mind but I've used it and folks do. Normally a few days after rains the water is beautiful and clear and I've never noticed any odor. I've seen them toss trout into Panther Creek from a stocking truck once but I do not recall ever seeing a fish of any size in that creek in the dozens of times I've been there but most of my trips have been between the Old Hwy 441 trailhead and the main falls.

    Beyond the main falls the trail gets more difficult and it looks like they have not repainted the blazes in decades. I could see some old paint specs and an occasional marker at a turn in the trail. For a while it is along the creek and then it is on narrow ledges in step gorges that are beautiful but hazardous. Many people will be uncomfortable hiking it because of how hazardous it is and how difficult it is to locate the trail in spots. There were a few blow downs a couple of weeks ago that were a pia with a backpack. Then it goes away from the creek, over a mountain before meeting back up with the creek before it hits the pedestrian bridge at the next trailhead that is about 5.8 miles in.

    There is no easy water access if there is any access at all for about the last 2 miles of that until you get to the bridge and few camping opportunities either. Last time I did that I hiked in from Old US441, got my overnight water at the bridge, hiked back a quarter mile or so, and set up my hammock for the night.
    Youngblood AT2000

  7. #7
    Senior Member shanewalker10's Avatar
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    thanks alot for the info, this helps out a ton. I had read where you had to pay for parking but I could not find out where or how it worked. I'm excited, it sounds like this trail has a variety of difficulty which is what I am looking for. Plus my mom got a new camera for Christmas, so I'm excited to get out and take some pics and have a good night of hanging.
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

    Genesis 1:31

  8. #8
    Senior Member shanewalker10's Avatar
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    And what about a fire? Doenst seem like anyone would care if you have a fire a couple hundred feet off the trail as long as its controlled and cleaned up in the morning
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

    Genesis 1:31

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    There is an unattended metal box at the entrance by the info sign. You pull an envelope out, fill it out, put your money in it, tear off your hang tag, put your hang on your rear-view mirror, and put the envelope back into the goesinna slot on the metal box. (Sometimes those envelopes are packed too tight, are damp, and you can't get them out. I carry a couple of small envelopes in my car and when that happens I put the money in one of them and write the days I am paying for and my tag number on it.)

    People use camp fires. The trail from the Old 441 trailhead to the main falls is pretty easy and gentle for the most part. There are a couple of spots here and there that are a little tricky but not too bad. You have to be careful, pick the spots for your feet, and take your time on the descend to the area below the main falls. It might be scary for folks that aren't use to that and haven't got that mountain-goat instinct. I have helped folks in there before when they are too nervous and a little scared.

    You will like it. It is a treasure of a trail.
    Youngblood AT2000

  10. #10
    Senior Member shanewalker10's Avatar
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    Youngblood, each time you post it sounds better and better, I can't wait to get there.
    God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

    Genesis 1:31

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