Panther Creek Falls Trail Status?

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Does anyone know the status of Panther Creek Falls Trail (near Tallulah Falls not Cohuttas)? I have never been to this Panther Creek and am looking for a short backpack for a family of 5. I am hoping to find something near Cleveland because we will be there Saturday morning, this trail looked to fit all the needs. The website says the trail is closed, but I was wondering how bad the condition is and if we could do it anyway. Website is here https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recarea/?recid=10514. If it is really out and not safe, any other suggestions in this area?
 

Geffellz18

Senior Member
Tons of trails up that way. I really enjoyed Raven Cliff falls trail when I did it a couple years back. It’s about 5 miles round trip and not too strenuous. Add in Dukes creek falls trail at about 2-2.5 miles round trip and you’ve done about the same as panther creek. They are just a few miles apart outside of Helen on the Richard b Russell byway.
Another one I liked a lot which is perfect on a clear day is the Glassy Mountain road trail. Short at about 2 miles round trip, but 5* panoramic views from atop the fire tower if it’s still open to access. It’s a non stop steep hike up, but all downhill on the return. It’s closer to the area Panther Creek falls trail is at.

From my understanding, Panther Creek Falls trail is closed due to bridges that cross the creek being blown out, causing dangerous situations if you tried to Ford the creek to continue on the trail.

The AllTrails site that’s linked in the above post is a great site to visit to get additional ideas for your area of interest. Enjoy your trip and share some pics of your experience!
 
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Sorry I missed the window here but just in case ... Raven Cliff Falls is perfect. Three big falls and the last one is spectacular. If you don't mind getting wet, park at Raven Cliffs, walk away from the trailhead across the grassy meadow w the picnic tables to the creek. Walk into the creek and follow it downstream (not as trouty as upstream in Dodd, but some wild rainbows in this stretch). You'll come to a path after a half mile or so - this takes you down to Duke's Creek Falls without having to get back in the car and you avoid the hill.

Further up and on the other side of the ridge, you can take Andrews Cove Trail to Indian Grave Gap, then go west on the AT towards Rocky Mtn or east towards Tray. Tray'll be a nice round trip (9ish mi total from Andrews Cove campground maybe) but Rocky is more like 4 or 5. Warning: Andrews Cove is straight up, up, up especially at the end (think Tearbritches). You can avoid that part and go directly to the AT at Indian Grave Gap if you don't mind a bit of gravel and dirt driving up Indian Grave Gap rd - I've seen that road fine for light SUVs and I've seen some deep mud towards the bottom, so be mindful of the conditions if you don't have high clearance.

If you drive to IG Gap, Rocky Mtn is closer but the views and hiking to Tray are better, IMO. There's a stretch in autumn - early October - where the sunset shines directly into Andrews Cove. Hiking down during a sunset when the leaves are turning is one of the most beautiful natural settings I have ever experienced.

Panther Creek / Habersham is a beautiful trail that requires a lot of focus and tricky footing towards the end - the steel cables they had along the bluffs were falling out when I was there a couple of years ago, and a lot of people had trouble with the wet rocks there. Lovely creek and gorgeous waterfall whenever its back.

Hope you found something good!
 
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